Structural solutions for tall buildings: AIT shows the way

Structural solutions for tall buildings: AIT shows the way

Dr. Naveed Anwar at the inaugural session.

When buildings become taller, the challenges for engineers, architects, and all other experts involved in the profession skyrocket. These were the issues deliberated at the Tall Building Seminar organized by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) on 7–9 November 2016.

“We need structural solutions to architectural challenges,” Executive Director of AIT Solutions, Dr. Naveed Anwar, said as he welcomed participants. The vision of the future is already here, and the trend toward creating tall structures continues, he remarked. Dr. Naveed highlighted the salient features of 200-meter tall buildings in Bangkok, as he identified two majors shifts: one from steel structures to concrete and composite structures, the other toward the mixed use of tall buildings by incorporating offices, residences, utilities, and services in a single building.

Speaking at the inaugural session, AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai enumerated various new initiatives, including the plan to introduce a Professional Master’s program in Tall Buildings. Describing AIT as a model of real-world collaboration, he stressed that the mission of AIT is to produce global citizens, serve as a global collaborative platform for providing solutions to human challenges, and partner with industry to create innovation. Prof. Worsak spoke about the Five “I’s” of creating global citizens: International perspective, Interdisciplinary competence, ICT competence, Industrial relevance, and Innovative mindsets.

Joel Luna, Vice President, Innovation and Design Group of Ayala Land, Inc., the largest property development firm in the Philippines, stated that by 2050, two-thirds of humanity will reside in cities. He mentioned that every hour, 29 persons move to Manila, contributing to the trend toward urbanization, dense cities, and tall buildings. Key challenges presented by urbanization include balancing density of population and infrastructure, mobility, inclusiveness, technology, community, environment, and livability. He added that while urbanization fuels economic growth, it also widens the gap between rich and poor.

Jose A. Sy, President and CEO, Sy^2 + Associates Inc., spoke about natural challenges faced in urban conglomerations. “The Philippines has the same earthquake risk as California, Japan, New Zealand, and Haiti,” he said, adding that practices in earthquake engineering are not at the same level in all places. The Philippines is located along the Ring of Fire and faces 24 typhoons every year, he added.

Developments discussed during the three-day seminar included Progression of Structural Design Approaches, Structural Engineering Solutions to Architectural Challenges, Smart Systems for Structural Response Control, Performance-Based Design, Value Engineering, Peer Review, Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment, Wind Tunnel Testing, State of Practice in the Design of Tall Buildings in the Philippines, and Architectural Innovations and Challenges in Tall Buildings. The seminar was followed by a workshop for structural engineers and a field visit.

The event was organized by AIT Solutions in collaboration with Computers and Structures, Inc. (CSI) USA and was supported by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Technology exhibitors included Thyssenkrupp.

Keynote speakers included Prabhakorn Vadanyakul, President and Managing Director, Architects 49 Ltd., Thailand; Maythin Chantra-ou-rai, Executive Director, Architects 49 Ltd., Thailand; Joel Luna, Vice President, Chief Architect, Innovation and Design Group, Ayala Land, Philippines; Jose A. Sy, President and CEO, Sy^2 + Associates Inc., Philippines; and Winyou Wanichsiriroj, Executive Vice President, Design 103 International Ltd. Guest speakers included Dr. Karoon Chandrangsu, President, KCS & Associates Co., Ltd.; Dr. Teraphan Ornthammarath, Lecturer, Mahidol University; Apichai Siridumrongphun, Project Development Director, Siam Sindhorn; Rex Sirilan, Head of R&D Department, Sy^2+ Associates Inc.; and Earl P. Bonita Head of PBD Department, Sy^2+ Associates Inc.

Speakers from AIT included Prof. Pennung Warnitchai of Structural Engineering; Dr. Naveed Anwar, Executive Director, AIT Solutions (AITS); Thaung Htut Aung, Deputy Projects Director, AITS; Keerati Tunthasawatana, Deputy Director, ACECOMS; Dr. Pramin Norachan, Senior Manager, Structural Engineering, AITS; Shabir Ali Talpur, Senior Engineer, AITS; S.M. Zia Uddin, Structural Engineer, AITS; and Fawad Najam, PhD Candidate.