World's tallest building in Dubai sways back and forth about 5.5 feet

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Washington, January 6 (ANI): If reports are to be believed, then even the world's tallest building, that is, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, would sway back and forth about 5.5 feet, which suggests that tall buildings can sway much more than thought.

According to a report in Discovery News, Ron Klemencic, president of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Inc., a structural and civil engineering firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington, engineers use a pretty basic formula to get a good idea of how much a building will move back and forth.

Klemencic says that engineers take the height of the building and divide by 500. So, a 1,000-foot building would sway two feet to the left or right.

Calculations suggest that at 2,716 feet, the Burj Khalifa would sway back and forth about 5.5 feet.

Some people feel the motion when the building changes direction and accelerates and its one of many factors that architects and engineers take into consideration when designing the building.

"Structural engineers spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to distribute the material in the building," said Klemencic.

"They work closely with the architect to shape the building to minimize the sway effect," he added.

Wind flows around buildings similar to the way water flows around rocks in a stream.

As the water flows over the rock, small vortices or eddies swirl near the rock.

Wind does the same thing. If those wind vortices break off the building in an organized, rhythmic fashion, the building will rock.

"If you can have the vortices break off at random or unorganized points in time, you can reduce the resonance," said Klemencic.

The Burj Khalifa achieves this with a design that's terraced at different levels, which disrupts the wind vortices. (ANI)

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