Skyscrapers

2102 words - 9 pages

Intro Sample...


Picture in your mind the skyline of downtown Toronto. There's the CN Tower, of course, and the 72-floor First Canadian Place, the city's tallest skyscraper. Cascading from there are the assorted banks and hotels and insurance towers. Now, use your imagination to construct some new buildings, these ones reaching three, four and five times higher than the others. Top it all off with a skyscraper one mile high (three times as high as the CN Tower). Sound fanciful? It did 30 years ago when Frank Lloyd Wright proposed the first mile-high building. But not today. We are now said to be entering the age of the superskyscraper, with tall buildings poised to take a giant new leap into the sky. Skyscrapers approaching the mile... View More »

Body Sample...


Tall buildings actually sway in the breeze, in much the same way that a diving board bends under the weight of a diver. Building an edifice that doesn't topple over in the wind is easy enough. The real challenge is keeping the structure so stiff that it doesn't swing too far, cracking partitions, shattering windows and making the upper occupants seasick. As a rule, the top of skyscraper should never drift more than 1/400 of its height at a wind velocity of 150 km/h. Older buildings, like the Empire State Building, were built so that their core withstood all bending stresses. But structural engineers have since found that by shifting the bracing and support to the perimeter of a building, it can better resist high winds. The most advanced buildings are constructed like a hollow tube, with thin, outer columns spaced tightly together and welded to broad horizontal beams. Toronto's First Canadian Place and New York's World Trade Center towers are all giant, framed tubes. A superskyscraper would undoubtedly need extra rigidity, which you could add by bracing its framework with giant diagonal beams. You'll see this at Chicago's John Hancock Center where the architect has incorporated diagonal braces right into the look of the building, exposing five huge X's on each side to public view. Alternatively, you might design your building like a broadcasting tower, and tie it to the ground with heavy, sloping guy wires extending from the four corners of the roof to the ground. A control mechanism at the end of each cable would act like a fishing reel ...

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