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Encyclopedia > Skyscraper design and construction

Skyscrapers are tall, internally supported structures where the majority of load bearing structure, outside of that providing structural support for dead load is specifically designed to provide for large free spaces between supporting elements while still providing for the structural support and the building utilities required for the densely populated structure that results. The problems posed in skyscraper design are considered among the most complex encountered given the balances required between economics, engineering, and construction management. Taipei 101, the worlds tallest skyscraper by roof height on high rise. ... Load is what is carried, or a force. ... In structural engineering, dead loads are those loads which are considered to act permanently; they are dead, stationary, and unable to be removed. ... Face-to-face trading interactions among on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor Economics or oeconomics is the study of human choice behaviour. ... The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland. ... Cranes are essential in large construction projects, such as this skyscraper In project architecture and civil engineering, construction is the building or assembly of any infrastructure on a site. ...


Basic design considerations

Good structural design is of grave importance in most building design, but especially among skyscrapers since even a small likelihood of catastrophic failure is unacceptable given the number of individuals served by skyscrapers and the resulting price of failure. This presents a paradox to civil engineers: the only way to assure a lack of failure is to test for all modes of failure, in both the laboratory and the real world. The only way to know of all modes of failure is to learn from previous failure. In this way, no engineer can be absolute sure that a given structure will resist all loadings that could cause failure at all times, but only can be sure, that given large enough margins of safety, that a sufficiently small percentage of the time will a failure ever occur. When buildings do fail, engineers question if the failure was due to some lack of foresight on their part or some unknowable factor that would have never been expected to have been designed for.

Loading and vibration

The load a skyscraper experiences is largely that from the force of the building material itself. In most building designs, the weight of the material which supports the structure is much larger than the weight the material will support beyond its own weight. In technical terms, the dead load, the load of the structure, is larger than the live load, the weight of things in the structure (people, furniture, vehicles, etc). As such, the amount of material required within the lower levels of a skyscraper will be much larger than the material required within higher levels. This is not always visually apparent, or borne out visually. The Empire State Building's setbacks are actually a result of the building code at the time, and were not required. On the other hand John Hancock Center's shape is uniquely the result of how it supports loads. Vertical supports can come in several types, among which the most common for skyscrapers can be categorized as steel frames, concrete cores, tube within tube design, and sheer walls. In structural engineering, dead loads are those loads which are considered to act permanently; they are dead, stationary, and unable to be removed. ... Live Loads are not permanent and can change in magnitude. ... The Empire State Building is a 102-story contemporary Art Deco style skyscraper in New York City, declared by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. ... Several buildings bear this name, all built by John Hancock Insurance and named after John Hancock. ...

The wind loading of a skyscraper is also considerable.

Other vertical and horizontal loading factors come from varied, unpredictable sources

Shear walls

A shear wall, in its simplest definition is a wall where the entire material of the wall is employed in the resistance of both horizontal and vertical loads. A typical example is a brick wall, or a cinderblock wall. Since the wall material is used to hold the weight, as the wall expands in size, it must hold considerably more weight. Due to the features of a shear wall, it is perfectly fine, and even ideal for small constructions such as suburban housing or a typical urban brownstone, because it requires low cost of material, low maintenance, and provides high reliability for small designs. In this way, sheer walls typically in the form of either plywood and framing, brick, or cinderblock, is used for these structures. For skyscrapers though, as the size of the structure increases, so does the size of the supporting wall. Previous large structures such as castles and cathedrals could ignore these issues due to a large wall being advantageous (castles), or ingeniously designed around (cathedrals). Since skyscrapers seek to maximize the floor-space by consolidating structural support, shear walls tend to be used only in conjunction with other support systems. An old brick wall in English bond laid with alternating courses of headers and Brick is an artificial stone made by forming clay into rectangular blocks which are hardened, either by burning in a kiln or sometimes, in warm countries, by sun-drying. ... The Breezeblock is also a radio show on BBC Radio 1. ... Toy constructed from plywood. ... Caernarfon Castle, Wales. ... A cathedral is a Christian church building, specifically of a denomination with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Anglican, Catholic and some Lutheran churches, which serves as the central church of a diocese, and thus as a bishops seat. ...

Steel frame

The classic concept of a skyscraper is a large steel box with many small boxes inside it. The genius of the steel frame is its simplicity. By eliminating the inefficient part of a sheer wall, the central portion, and consolidating support members in a much stronger material, steel, a skyscraper could be build with both horizontal and vertical supports throughout. This method though, though simple, has drawbacks. Chief among these is that as more material must be supported (as height increases), the distance between supporting members must decrease, which actually in turn, increases the amount of material that must be supported. The old Steel cable of a colliery winding tower Steel is a metal alloy whose major component is iron, with carbon content between 0. ...

External links

  • How Stuff Works explanation of Skyscrapers



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