730 ton stabalizing ball keeps tallest building standing.
The Taipei 101 building in Taiwan has held the title of the tallest, completed building in the world since 2004. With great height comes great responsibility; namely, making sure that the thing doesn’t topple under the assault of high winds and ground tremors – and the Taipei 101 building stands just 600 feet from a fault line.
To counteract the forces working against it, architects installed a $4 million, 730 ton tuned mass damper, which is a big ball 18 feet in diameter, made of 41 steel plates, and suspended by strong cables 3½ inches thick. It’s said to cut down on the swaying of the building by almost 40%. It isn’t the first skyscraper to include one as other buildings, such as the Citicorp Center in Midtown, Manhattan, have them as well.
In May, the horrible earthquake which rocked China also reached the foot of Taipei 101, putting its integrity to the test. Click Continue to see the video of the 730 ton tuned mass damper in action during the quake.