CPP wind engineering services integral to EY Centre success

The building demands attention. Completed in 2016 and over five hundred feet tall, the EY Centre in Sydney, Australia, stands out for its striking exterior. As described on, “…it appears in the city as a tower made of timber rising out from the grayness of its neighbors.”

CPP played a major role in the structural and comfort integrity of the building’s design, winner of numerous awards.

“This was a successful project for us,” said CPP’s Peter Bourke, a member of the engineering team, “but also quite challenging.” Like many waterfront developments, CPP had to take into account strong ocean winds and their effect on the target building and neighboring objects. EY Centre is part of a multi-structure, integrated laneway, with buildings of many heights, public passages, and outdoor features such as cafés and kiosks. CPP tested for pedestrian comfort as well as structural and cladding design. “Structural load testing made sure the entire tower could withstand wind forces,” said Bourke. “We also examined loads on core, and how people inside would experience any wind-induced movement.”

The project involved an extensive team of two drafters, three engineers, three model builders, and two tunnel technicians. The team built a scale model of the EY Centre, along with neighboring buildings, some in existence, but some on blueprints only. The primary model’s exterior was equipped with hundreds of pressure sensors and exposed to 360° of wind tunnel forces. The findings influenced design.

The project came with the unexpected. “Many aspects were moving targets,” said Bourke. “A thousand-foot building, to be located only twenty feet from EY Centre, remained in the drawing-board stage.” Wind interaction between the two buildings became a major topic for study and recommendation. “Some specifications were in flux, which required us to test for many eventual outcomes spread out over multiple phases.” As a result, CPP’s role became iterative. “We would test, submit recommendations, the architects and engineers would revise, and we would test again. This repeated for multiple cycles until we achieved our goals.”

CPP remained involved with the project for almost a year. Learn more about EY Centre here.