Performance-Based Design

Supplemental Damping Systems

Our clients consistently challenge us to create elegant structures that are lighter, more slender and cantilever further than ever before.  To improve the serviceability and control the movements under dynamic loadings of these structures - which can range from skyscrapers to a single cantilevered staircase - Walter P Moore draws on a variety of supplemental damping and passive energy dissipation systems.  These systems can be used in a variety of ways to alter response frequencies and reduce vibrations or accelerations.  

To learn more about our supplemental damping systems design, contact Mark Waggoner 

Passive Energy-dissipating Roof Dampers, Minute Maid Park

At Houston’s Minute Maid Park, Walter P Moore employed a series of passive energy-dissipating dampers at the joint of the 520-foot span trusses to vertical support trusses that also provided lateral support for the world’s largest moving glass wall.  These dampers, which work much like a shock absorber, reduced roof steel tonnage by decreasing the hurricane wind load demand on roof trusses.  They simultaneously controlled the dynamic oscillations of the glass wall during a thunderstorm which might be visible to – and possibly alarming to – fans in the ballpark.

Passive Energy-dissipating Roof Dampers
Tune Mass Damper System, Signature Tower

To economically manage the wind drift accelerations of a slender 82-story tower planned for Nashville, Walter P Moore utilized the benefits of a state-of-the-art Tuned Mass Damper (TMD.)  Walter P Moore’s design goal was to minimize structural materials and costs, and maximize the speed of construction.  To economically help control occupant perception of motion under wind loads, we used a passive damping system, because it could fit within the tower’s top spire and required no active control and little maintenance.  After evaluating cost and performance of several options for supplemental damping systems, including a TMD, a Tuned Liquid Column Damper, and a Tuned Sloshing Damper, we selected a 550-ton cruciform-shaped TMD system. This system saved approximately $4 million in construction costs and allowed the columns and shear walls to be of minimum size, which maximized rentable space in the tower.

Stacked Tuned Mass Damper System, SFO Air Traffic Control Tower

Our design of the new 231-foot tall air traffic control tower at San Francisco International Airport had to ensure that air traffic controllers remain effective and operational during strong winds as well as during Maximum Considered Earthquake (MCE.)  We designed for seismic forces with a sophisticated self-centering structural core with vertical post tensioning.  This system was supplemented with a tuned mass damper at the top of the tower to improve the tower’s dynamic performance under both typical and high winds.

Stacked Tuned Mass Damper System