|Looking at the Damage
The damage to some
of the curtainwall in South Florida is very odd because the
storm, Hurricane Wilma, was not bad, as described in "Wilma
Pounds Florida, Cuba with Surprising Strength" (ENR 10/31
p. 12). At this time we think it was a category one hurricane.
We have some glass buildings in
Coral Gables with complete curtainwall around the four sides,
and the high-rise glass had not a bit of damage. Yet right
across the street was a glass high-rise with considerable
I think this is evidence of poor
review of the plans when they came in for permitting, or poor
inspections during construction if these designs did not meet
Even the old pre-Andrew code had
graduated wind loads that go up in an exponential pattern
as you go up in height, and would have taken care of the high-rise
buildings in this situation.
I was reading about
the tall buildings being planned or currently under construction
in the story, "Skyscraper Envy Lives On, Globally"
(ENR 10/31 p. 10). I do not think that a tower or spire on
top of a building should count when calculating the building
height in the competition for the worlds highest building.
Only those portions of the building that are habitable should
For example, the Eiffel Tower included
an apartment at the top, whereas the Empire State Building
height includes a mast [dirigible mooring tower] that should
not have been included in its calculated height.
If the architect really wants to
include a mast as part of the design and wants it to be included
in the building height, he or she should put a habitable office
or apartment at the top of the mast with some enclosed wayladder
or stairsto get to it.
Another example is New York Citys
Trump Tower, where the first habitable floor above the ground
floor is numbered 20. There are no habitable floors between
the ground floor and floor 20. Thus, the tower floor located
200 ft above the ground floor should have been numbered 2
and not 20.