Effect of a through-building gap on wind-induced loading and dynamic responses of a tall building

  • To, Alex P. (Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd.) ;
  • Lam, K.M. (Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong) ;
  • Wong, S.Y. (Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong) ;
  • Xie, Z.N. (State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Architecture Science, South China University of Technology)
  • Received : 2011.05.03
  • Accepted : 2012.03.05
  • Published : 2012.11.25


Many tall buildings possess through-building gaps at middle levels of the building elevation. Some of these floors are used as sky gardens, or refuge floors, through which wind can flow with limited blockage. It has been reported in the literature that through-building gaps can be effective in reducing across-wind excitation of tall buildings. This paper systematically examines the effectiveness of two configurations of a through-building gap, at the mid-height of a tall building, in reducing the wind-induced dynamic responses of the building. The two configurations differ in the pattern of through-building opening on the gap floor, one with opening through the central portion of the floor and the other with opening on the perimeter of the floor around a central core. Wind forces and moments on the building models were measured with a high-frequency force balance from which dynamic building responses were computed. The results show that both configurations of a through-building gap are effective in reducing the across-wind excitation with the one with opening around the perimeter of the floor being significantly more effective. Wind pressures were measured on the building faces with electronic pressure scanners to help understand the generation of wind excitation loading. The data suggest that the through-building gap reduces the fluctuating across-wind forces through a disturbance of the coherence and phase-alignment of vortex excitation.


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