Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Shanghai International Conference Technical Workshops
The pre-day to the conference began with eight technical workshops, most of them facilitated by CTBUH working groups.

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Building Management and Operation

“Building Management and Operation” shed light on the critical operations period of a tall building’s lifespan, hitting issues such as the handover of construction to operations, using green retrofits to improve tenancy, and managing issues of rights to light and reflected glare from tall buildings. Participants included Matthew Clifford, Head of Energy and Sustainability Services, JLL; CTBUH Trustee Cathy Yang, General Manager, Taipei 101; Victor Madeira Filhos, Partner at Madeira, Valentim & Alem Advogados, and Arthur Wellington, Counsel, Thornton Tomasetti.

Building Movement and Damping Systems

In the “Building Movement and Damping,” workshop Michael Montgomery, Principal, Kinetica, explained the principles behind the Viscoelastic Coupling Damper, which he co-invented, and for which he was awarded the top prize in the 2011 Canadian Innovation Challenge Award. Congzhen Xiao, Deputy Chief Engineer, China Academy of Building Research, proposed a new set of thresholds and parameters for using damping equipment for tall buildings, noting that many codes in force today were based on buildings of 50 meters or shorter.

Façade Design

In the “Façade Design” workshop, presenters focused on using simulation modeling, physical testing and parametric design to optimize the efficiency of façade detailing. Stanley Yee of Dow Corning described importance of physical modeling and controlled testing of details, in order to inform digital simulation modeling with real results. Patrick Loughran, a principal at Goettsch Partners, spoke on the limits of metal façade design. The options available to architects on the market resulted in an interesting discussion between the audience and speakers afterward about metal cladding applications in Israel, Dubai and the US.

Considering the Whole Life Cycle

“Considering the Whole Life Cycle” brought issues of energy use and carbon emissions during construction and demolition to the forefront, through the vehicle of life-cycle analysis (LCA). Don Davies, Senior Principal, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, noted the real motivation and power behind LCA, highlighting that “what gets measured gets targeted for improvement.” Dario Trabucco, Research Manager, CTBUH / Iuav Venice, presented an ongoing CTBUH tall-building LCA research project, explaining that “Demolishing tall buildings takes longer than the time it takes to construct them, especially in dense urban environments. We need to consider the carbon impact of this,” he said.

Fire & Life Safety

In the “Fire & Life Safety” workshop, Ervin Cui, Director, AON Fire Protection Engineering presented analysis that evaluated the impact of atria proportions and scale in tall buildings, which can often create dangerous smoke movement unanticipated by current codes in most nations. Fang Li, Executive Vice President, RJA Group, chronicled the evolution of building evacuation design in China, where some of the world’s most spectacular tall buildings and some of the world’s most stringent fire and life safety codes converge. Simon Lay of AECOM, provided some words of caution about the current mania for pushing height limits.

Seismic Issues

In the “Seismic Issues” workshop John Viise, Associate Principal, Halvorson + Partners, the chair of the session, presented on buckling restrained braces (BRBs), and fluid viscous dampers (FVDs). These alternate approaches provide superior energy dissipation under dynamic loading while avoiding the large localized forces associated with conventional outriggers.

Vertical Transportation

The Vertical Transportation workshop was packed with more than 200 experts from all over the world. In addition to chairing the session, Patrick Bass, Executive Vice President, Thyssen Krupp, presented the challenges and opportunities in elevator design for supporting energy-efficient buildings. David McColl, Senior Manager, Otis Elevator described the present potential of using elevators to evacuate tall buildings, while Glen Pederick, Discipline Leader of Meinhardt Group offered the audience an overview on the evolution and history of the elevator, by describing its increasing importance in shaping the modern city.

Wind Engineering

In the “Wind Engineering” workshop, Xiangdong Du of RWDI China, discussed a hybrid “simple pendulum with restoring force TMD” system, which, through the use of tethered counterweights, allows more adjustment of frequency, and extension of the period of a TMD, without increasing the requirement for the area containing it. Kevin Peddie, Associate Director, Windtech Consultants, called for better measurement of natural ventilation schemes.