Tall Buildings Structural Systems and Aerodynamic Form by Mehmet Halis Günel and Hüseyin Emre Ilgin
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Tall Buildings Structural Systems and Aerodynamic Form by Mehmet Halis Günel and Hüseyin Emre Ilgin

The aim of this book is to provide basic architectural and structural knowledge about the design of tall buildings. In presenting examples of the steel, reinforced concrete and composite structural systems for such buildings, it is argued that wind load has a very important effect on the architectural and structural design. The aerodynamic approach to tall buildings is considered in this context. The main readership of the book is intended to be architects, structural engineers, and their trainees. In addition, the book has been written to be accessible, as far as possible, to general readers interested in tall buildings by using plain language.

Wind and earthquake induced lateral loads have an influential role in the architectural and structural design of tall buildings. In particular, architectural design plays a large part in the precautions that can be taken to resist wind load. The aerodynamic efficiency of the building form – implicitly including the architectural concerns – and the selection of the structural system significantly affect the resistance offered by a building against lateral loads.

The design of tall buildings necessitates that architects have a basic understanding of structural systems and aerodynamic forms of buildings, and that during the design process they work together with experts in other relevant fields, especially with regard to the structures and aerodynamics. Otherwise, it is possible that structural and aerodynamic solutions produced after the completion of the architectural design may be economically costly or even impossible to implement. The book outlines the essential information that architects and structural engineers need in order to design tall buildings.

In the first chapter, tall buildings are defined and their historical development is discussed; in the second chapter, wind and earthquake induced lateral loads on tall buildings are examined; in the third chapter, the structural systems of tall buildings are considered; in the fourth chapter, case-studies of a number of well-known tall buildings are presented; in the fifth chapter, the effect of wind on tall buildings is assessed; and in the final chapter, design approaches to resist wind effects on tall buildings are reviewed. Throughout history, human beings have built tall monumental structures such as temples, pyramids and cathedrals to honour their gods.

Human beings have always been struggling to push the limits of nature in their age-old quest for height, from the legendary Tower of Babel in antiquity, purportedly designed with the aim of reaching heaven, to today’s tallest building. Today’s skyscrapers are monumental buildings too, and are built as symbols of power, wealth and prestige. At the beginning of the twentieth century, tall buildings were generally designed as offices, and achieved an important position as a “distinguished space” in the history of American urban architecture.

These buildings emerged as a response to the rapidly growing urban population, with the aim of meeting the demand for office units to be positioned as closely as possible to one another. Architects’ creative approaches in their designs for tall buildings, the shortage and high cost of urban land, the desire to prevent disorderly urban expansion, the effort to create a skyline concept, and factors such as concerns for a cultural identity and for prestige have driven the increase in the height of buildings. Today it is almost impossible to imagine a major city without tall buildings.

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