We have written several times about the value of tuned mass dampers in the construction of tall buildings as counterweights to the tendency of tall things to sway in the wind making the occupants most uncomfortable.
Nowhere is that more important than in a hurricane, typhoon or harmattan when winds reach 130-175 mph and pummel everything in its path. Recently, Typhoon Soudelor hit Taipei 101, the fourth tallest building in the world, and the value of the tuned mass damper was proven to the structural engineers, designers, owners and occupants of the building.
Not only did the damper do its work, but also Popular Mechanics and Arch Daily captured the actual movements of the building during the onslaught by the typhoon. It is not often that we see the damper in action, much less see record setting movement of the tall buildings. The 2-minute video below captures both and is really amazing to see.
You can imagine what is going on outside this 1,667-foot high tower as the 18-foot diameter, 728-ton damper “does its thing” in the 145 mph winds. Hope you find it as interesting as we did.