High-Rise Design

We have experience with high-rise projects including condominiums, apartment buildings, hotels, and office buildings. Several of these projects are located in high-wind areas and/or moderate- to high-seismic zones.

A crucial design component of high-rise structures is the development of an effective and economical lateral force resisting system. Often this will involve working with a wind tunnel consultant and using the results of wind tunnel studies to more accurately estimate the design lateral loads for the structure as well as for the exterior wall system. In moderate- to high-seismic zones, a site-specific seismic study is performed by a qualified geotechnical engineer to assess the seismic hazards and provide seismic design parameters for the design of the structure. Depending on the project location and complexities, we can facilitate the involvement of both wind tunnel consultants and qualified geotechnical engineers, as needed.

A cost-effective floor framing system is a requirement for any project but is particularly important for a high-rise structure because of the repetitive nature of the framing. Comparisons of alternative framing systems are routinely preformed – frequently with the help of the contractor to select the system best suited to the particular project. The evaluation of structural systems must also include the impact to the building foundations. Foundation systems will generally be more expensive for concrete-framed versus steel-framed buildings since the supported loads are much larger. However, depending on the subsurface conditions and recommended foundation system, the incrementally higher foundation costs for a concrete-framed structure may be offset by a more economical framing system. Consideration must also be given to the interaction of the framing system and the exterior wall system to accommodate building movements (due to both gravity and lateral loads) over the height of the structure.

Project experience includes: