Zeidler Partnership Architects Interview Part 8: Dampers



Dampers, like shock absorbers in cars, were used on the outside of the building to reduce vibration caused by earthquakes.

Qasim Virjee
Zeidler Partnership Architects, Carolina Eyzaguirre, Elise Hodson, Qasim Virjee
March 2006
Mexico City, MEXICO
© 2006, Design Exchange. All Rights Reserved.


Transcript

Dampers, like shock absorbers in cars, were used on the outside of the building to reduce vibration caused by earthquakes. Dalibor: "Well, it is a surprising discovery that the tall buildings actually behave much better than the buildings around ten storeys which are the most dangerous buildings because they collapse. The tall towers survive because the tower is long enough to flexibly deal with the movement, [but] the small buildings they just break. It’s the impact of the dampers which helps – it’s like the shock absorbers in a car. When the wheel jumps up and down because of the frequency, and it would just jump more and more, the damper calms the wheel so that it stays in place. It is literally the same technology." Eley: "It may literally be that by the time the vibration starts, it’s strongest at the base and [weakest at] the top because the damping its actually diminished somewhat. But I think it’s more the case if you were to compare it to a traditional type of structure, when the earth starts to move because of the period of vibration of the building, sometimes the vibration of the building gets more and more and that’s why buildings collapse. That is when it hits a particular vibration that the building responds to. The damping diminishes that. Five minutes after the seismic event, the building settles down a lot quicker than it would if it didn’t have the damper."


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