Matthias Zeiml
wh-p Ingenieure, Berlin

The structural design of high-rise buildings in Germany and Switzerland requires considering—depending on the location of the building site—effects of vibrations originating from wind and/or seismic action. The height and slenderness of the building itself influences necessary measures of damping and vibration design, aiming at improving the dynamic performance of the structural system with respect to wind or seismic actions. This process is illustrated through two project examples in Switzerland and Germany.

Rising 178 meters, the tallest building in Switzerland is currently Roche Building 1 at the Roche Campus in Basel, Switzerland, designed by Herzog & de Meuron Architects. The structure is subjected to forces and vibrations originating from wind and seismic activity. Stability is provided by the core alone. Currently, Roche Building 2 is under construction, which will be even taller than Building 1 at 205 meters.

The Elbtower in Hamburg, Germany, designed by David Chipperfield Architects, rises 250 meters and is likely to be the third tallest building in Germany. The tower is characterized by a continuously changing outline of the ceiling slabs and a slender core. Stability is provided by this core and a set of outriggers, placed in the utility floors at approximately one third and two thirds of the tower height. In order to limit wind-induced accelerations, additional/alternative measures of damping (TMD, STU) were investigated and the most suitable solution will be implemented in the detailed design.