Increased Highrise Resilience to stabilize Cities of the Future

Rudi Scheuermann
Director, Global Building Envelope Design Leader
Arup, Berlin

Dense urban city environments consist of an agglomeration of tall buildings. The resilience of cities as a whole depends, among other components, on the resilience of each single element: the tall buildings which together make a city a functional place. City resilience has a range of challenges, ranging from protecting the property against aggression and vandalism to the influence of extreme weather conditions. If we look at single tall buildings then we find that in many places that air tightness is one of the biggest challenges. Therefore the mechanical operation of these buildings is essential to keep them operational. Catastrophes like in Fukushima, Japan – but also usual simple power failures as we find them taking place in less stable civilizations – lead to situations where the buildings cannot be kept in operation easily. Where natural ventilation options have been part of the envelope design strategy, buildings can be kept operational with greater resilience.

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