Constantin Christopoulos
Technical Advisor
Kinetica, Toronto

As high-rise buildings are built taller and more slender, their dynamic behavior becomes a critical design consideration. Wind-induced vibrations cause an increase in the lateral wind design loads, but more importantly, they can be perceived by building occupants. The current techniques to address these issues include stiffening the lateral load resisting system, adding mass to the building, reducing the number of stories, or incorporating a vibration absorber at the top of the building. Each solution has significant economic consequences for builders. In state-of-the-art performance-based seismic design approaches, during frequent earthquakes, structures are designed to respond essentially elastically. During more rare earthquakes structures are typically designed to tolerate structural damage to the lateral load resisting elements so long as the building does not lose its gravity load bearing capacity.

The 2019 CTBUH Innovation Award winning Viscoelastic Coupling Damper (VCD) system increases the level of inherent damping of the structure such that wind and earthquake-induced dynamic effects are considerably reduced. Damping is provided by incorporating VCDs in lieu of coupling beams in common structural configurations and therefore they do not occupy any valuable architectural space, while mitigating building tenant vibration perception problems and reducing both the wind and earthquake response of the structure. When utilized properly, these dampers result in more cost effective structural designs, more usable space, increased human comfort, safer designs and less expected damage for both wind and earthquake loads.