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Optimization and risk assessment of tall reinforced concrete buildings

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When the structural design of individual members such as slabs, beams, columns, shear walls, foundations, etc. of a tall building is concerned, the design methodology hardly differ with the number of floors; hence the individual members of a tall building is designed in the same way as for a low rise or medium rise building. However, the failure of some of the individual members of a tall building could be of disastrous consequences and hence the design engineer needs to have a thorough understanding of the risks involved in the optimization of the individual members using various design alternatives.

This presentation is intended to address these issues with practical examples taken from actual building projects carried out in Sri Lanka with the number of stories ranging from 30 to 67 with structural forms selected to suit various peculiarities needed due to architectural concepts. The examples will cover hotel and apartment buildings that will pose many issues mainly due to the heavy weight partitions still used mainly to fulfil the client’s preferences. In these projects, the presenter has been either the design engineer or the design checker. An approach that can be used for design optimization while minimizing the risks associated with the provision of very cost effective and constructable solutions for tall building will be discussed highlighting some important concepts from the first principles.

Biography of Prof M T R Jayasinghe (Thishan Jayasinghe):

The presenter is a Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering of University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. He obtained his B.Sc. Engineering degree with first class honours from the University of Moratuwa in 1987 and then read for Ph.D. at Engineering Department of Cambridge University from October 1988 to December 1991. His Ph.D. was supervised by Prof Chris Burgoyne and the title of the thesis is “Rationalization of prestressed concrete spine beam design philosophy for an expert system”. In March 1992, he returned to Sri Lanka and with the start of the building boom in mid-1990s, initiated research and studies into the design methods of tall buildings. These finally led to a comprehensive course on Tall Building design and since 1996, he has trained more than 500 practising engineers on the mathematical modelling and design of tall buildings with 3D FEM and design optimization. He has also taught more than 1400 undergraduates on analysis and design of tall buildings with a fourth-year optional subject entitled “Design of Large Structures” over the last 12 years. His other research interests are in the areas of Optimization of highway bridge designs, Cost effective structures with alternative structural forms and systems with minimum carbon footprint and usage of waste as building materials, Climate responsive designs with special reference to tropical climates and impending climate change, etc.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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