1st Edition

Arup’s Tall Buildings in Asia
Stories Behind the Storeys

ISBN 9781138058736
Published October 25, 2017 by Routledge
192 Pages

USD $110.00

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Book Description

Through a series of detailed case studies from East Asia, Arup, one of the global leaders in tall building design, presents the latest developments in the field to inspire more innovative and sustainable ideas in tall building design and engineering.

This book exhibits the key design aspects of tall buildings in 20 case studies, from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Japan. Chapters cover design and construction, safety concerns, sustainability strategies, BIM and optimisation solutions, and include contributions from the actual project engineers. The projects chosen are not the tallest buildings, but all of them have been selected for their significant engineering insights and values. Arup’s engineers explain the design principles, and how they overcame various design constraints and challenges, while exceeding their clients’ expectations.

Unique examples include:

  • the design and application of a hybrid outrigger system in the Raffles City Chongqing project
  • the challenges encountered in the construction of the CCTV Headquarters, Beijing
  • as well as Tianjin’s Goldin Finance 117 Tower, Ho Chi Minh City’s Vincom Landmark 81, the China Resources Headquarters, Ping An IFC, Tokyo’s Nicolas G Hayek Center and the Shanghai World Financial Centre.

These varied and complex cases studies draw on multi-disciplinary design and engineering challenges which make this book essential reading for architects, structural engineers, project managers and researchers of high-rise buildings. The book also provides a usual reference and link between practitioners in the industry, academia and engineering students.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface – About Arup Tall Building
  2. Overview of the book and Arup’s building design philosophy.

    By: Dr Goman Ho (Arup Fellow in Tall Buildings)

  3. Foreword
  4. Foreword 1 - By: Mr Michael Kwok, Arup East Asia Chairman

    Foreword 2 - By: Prof. You-Lin Xu, Dean of Faculty of Construction and Environment

    The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

    1. Ambitiously Tall
    2. Tall buildings are viewed as a symbol of a city’s socio-economic power and the source of pride of its people; they are becoming increasingly tall and peculiar in shape. How can we realise height?

      1. Raffles City Chongqing, Chongqing, China
      2. Highlight: A patented hybrid outrigger system to achieve 9.4 slenderness ratio in two 350m tall buildings. Also a 280m long seismically isolated glass-clad conservatory floating 265m above the ground.

      3. Tianjin Goldin Finance 117 Tower, Tianjin, China
      4. Highlight: 597m tall building in high seismicity region, supported by four steel mega columns, perimeter cross-bracing and belt truss.

      5. The Masterpiece (K11), Hong Kong

      Highlight: Vertical pre-stressing with belt truss and outrigger to realize a reinforced concrete building with an aspect ratio of 12.

    3. Facilitating construction
    4. Tall buildings, especially those in iconic shape, often suffer from high construction cost. As designers and engineers, what are we doing to facilitate construction, reduce construction time and cost?

      1. CCTV Headquarter, Beijing, China
      2. Highlight: Joining two 75m long cantilever steelwork from two inclined towers at 162m above ground; wind, temperature, stress built in the two inclined towers all matter.

      3. Vincom Landmark 81, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
      4. Highlight: Tallest building in Vietnam upon completion. Difficult ground conditions, large scale of the project, fast-paced programme all pose challenges to the pile design and construction.

      5. Tianjin Goldin Finance 117 Tower, Tianjin, China
      6. Highlight: Soft soil and deep stiff strata resulting a foundation system with 941 nos. hundred meter long 1m diameter fiction piles.

      7. Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Finance Center, Tianjin China

      Highlight: The curvatures along this 530m tall building yield to 20 thousands unique irregular façade panels; Arup rationalized them to a thousand.

    5. All in one, vertically integrated
    6. Today tall buildings are often cities within a city, embracing all major functions of a city – office, hotel, retail, residential etc. But how to make the best use of space and make them all function well together, vertically?

      1. Changsha International Finance Square, Changsha, China
      2. Highlight: Effective vertical transportation strategy to achieve high handling capacity with minimum space.

      3. Guangzhou International Finance Centre, Guangzhou, China

      Highlight: Mixed-use tower has different MEP requirements at different building zones. Optimization is crucial to ensure maximum rentable area.

    7. Safe and comfortable
    8. Many people are afraid of getting trapped in a tall building during a fire / earthquake / super-typhoon / terrorist attack etc. Are our tall buildings designed safe enough?

      1. China Zun (Z15), Beijing, China
      2. Highlight: Structural fire engineering explains the possible interaction between different structural members during fire, allowing us to go beyond the prescriptive design codes.

      3. Nicolas G Hayek Center, Tokyo, Japan
      4. Highlight: An innovative "self-mass damper" system which transfers the floor slabs to mass dampers to ensure no collapse in 1 in a 1000-year earthquake in Tokyo.

        By: Ryota Kidokoro (Associate)

      5. Shanghai World Financial Centre, Shanghai, China
      6. Highlight: The first Chinese lift-assisted evacuation strategy reducing the evacuation time by almost 40% in this 101-storey building.

      7. China Resources Headquarters, Shenzhen, China

      Highlight: Apart from ensuring the tall building is safe in typhoon and earthquake, we also adopted motion simulator to help client determine the comfort criteria.

    9. Green Building
    10. Tall buildings are a major source of carbon emissions in cities due to energy consumption in their heating, cooling and ventilation systems. They also have adverse effect on the microclimate. How can we minimise their environmental impact and unleash their potential environmental advantages?

      1. China Resource Building, Hong Kong
      2. Highlight: Strategies to make a 25-years old building save 27% of water and 8% energy consumption.

      3. Ping An International Finance Centre, Shenzhen, China
      4. Highlight: Specific challenges in making a 599m super tall building "green" and Arup’s solutions.

      5. Hysan Place, Hong Kong

      Highlight: A LEED-CS Platinum project not only benefits the building owner and users, but also the community. How?

    11. Design in the digital age
    12. Latest tools and methods in tall building design.

      1. M+, Hong Kong
      2. Highlight: Implementing BIM from very beginning of the design stage for better design coordination and quicker design calculation.

      3. China Zun (Z15), Beijing, China

      Highlight: Parametric design has enabled automatic design process and optimized structural solutions.

    13. Total Design
    14. Arup integrated design approach bringing synergy to the tall building.

      1. Canton Tower, Guangzhou, China
      2. Highlight: An integrated effort by Arup’s structural and building services engineers, specialists in fire, seismic and wind, and lighting designers has realized the most elegant TV tower in the world.

      3. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Highlight: This mega-project took four years to design and construct; without the multi-disciplinary and global Arup team, this is impossible.


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Goman Wai-Ming Ho is an Arup Fellow. He has extensive experience in multi-disciplinary and mega scale and tall building projects especially in East Asia Region. He is currently the global leader of Tall Building Skills Network. He joined Arup in 1992 after completing his PhD at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His has been involved in projects across the East Asia Region including: Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mainland China, Myanmar, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. He is a registered Chartered Engineer in the UK, Registered Professional Engineer in Hong Kong and First Class Registered Structural Engineer in the People’s Republic of China.