American Society of Civil Engineers

Tall Building Motion Control Using Double Skin Façades

by Kyoung Sun Moon, Ph.D., (corresponding author), (Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Yale Univ., P.O. Box 208242, New Haven, CT 06520 E-mail:

Journal of Architectural Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 3, September 2009, pp. 84-90, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Double skin façade (DSF) systems are more effective environmental mediators than conventional single skin façade systems, and, due to this reason, their usage for tall buildings has increased despite their higher initial costs. This paper investigates the potential of the DSF system as a structural motion control device in tall buildings regarding dynamic wind loads. The connectors between the inner skins and outer skins of the DSF system are designed to have very low axial stiffness with a damping mechanism so that the dynamic motion of the primary building structure can be reduced. Governing equations are generated for motion of both the primary structures and DSF outer skins and solved to anticipate the dynamic responses of the system. The primary structure motion can be substantially reduced by the low stiffness DSF connector design introduced in this paper. However, the excessive motion of the DSF outer skins is a serious design limitation of the system. Further research is required for the practical application of the proposed system.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Curtain walls
High-rise buildings
Wind loads