CTBUH Embarked on a Project Studying Cyclone-Glazing and Façade Resilience

By October 12 , 2016
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Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has received $85,800 in funding from Trosifol to embark on an important 12-month research project, “Cyclone-Glazing and Façade Resilience for the Asia-Pacific Region.” The research will investigate current, state-of-the-art cyclone-resistant façade technologies in the Asia-Pacific region. In this area of the world, megacities are developing to address the demand for additional residential and office space, which calls for the construction of high-rise buildings. The study will analyse how existing codes and standards could address cyclone-induced risks through façade technologies. To support this research, a steering committee will drive the research and evaluate the results.

The envelope is a critical component to a building’s performance during a windstorm. Wind borne debris can typically cause major façade damage and is a significant contributor to recovery costs. In 1992, hurricane Andrew hit the coast of Florida causing a lot of damage to local buildings, especially to their envelopes. In the following years, Florida added curtain wall provisions to their building code, which included the strengthening of building openings and glass surfaces to limit damage caused by high velocity wind and debris. This code, and the revisions introduced since, represent the most demanding building codes in the US when it comes to impact-resistant façade systems.

In the world, there are several areas that are particularly susceptible to hurricanes, such as the Asia-Pacific region which includes the Philippines, Vietnam, South and East China, Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. In these areas, high-wind storms are called typhoons and they represent a serious threat to the economic stability and growth of these countries. As a result, many new buildings require special design guidelines for curtain walls in order to resist these hazards.

Several questions arise when examining these problems:

  • What are the current code requirements for the construction of impact-resistant curtain wall assemblies in the Asia-Pacific region?
  • Particularly in growing, developing regions, modern towers may be surrounded by structurally weak buildings built in informal configurations. Are there specific threats for tall buildings on these sites?
  • What buildings are generally safe from cyclone and typhoon threats?

This research will answer these questions by exploring the norms and standards of the major tall building markets within the Asia-Pacific region and will propose a new “standard” for the design of typhoon-resistant façades.

The first stage of this research, which has already been funded, will focus on identifying the common traits of how local authorities in the Asia-Pacific region approach the topic of cyclone-resistant façades. The research methodology will develop according to the following three steps: identification of the severity of the problem, identification of existing codes, and further considerations needed for existing standards.

The support of a panel of international experts and local consultants will be crucial for the success of this research. The results will be summarized in a research report and will provide information on the topic of cyclone-resistant curtain walls in the Asia-Pacific region.

This undertaking represents yet another CTBUH organizational member-funded research project, which is an indication of the unmatched capacity of the Council to explore some of the most intricate, under explored, and essential aspects of tall building design.

Project Started: October 2016
Anticipated Project Completion: October 2017
Funding Sponsor: Trosifol
Principal Investigators: Dario Trabucco, CTBUH; Antony Wood, CTBUH; Ray Nakada, TrosifolProject Milestones -2016, October: Project Announcement

Contact Information
For more information or any questions, please contact: research@ctbuh.org

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