Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blog 15 | Thesis Presentation Discussion

By Sean Williamson

Hello! Welcome back. With the end of the semester is approaching us, I thought this would be an appropriate time to explain where I am at with my thesis which incorporates the development of a hurricane resistant high-rise structure.

Approximately two weeks ago, I met with my committee for the second time and presented to them the progress I have made on my thesis so far. I have attached the board I presented to them (image 1). At the top left of the board, you will find a brief description of the design that reads;
            My thesis incorporates hurricane resistance into a residential high-rise structure             located in Miami, Florida. This design incorporates wind tunnels throughout its 3             towers to allow wind to easily pass through the structure, regardless of wind             direction. The wind tunnels reduce the lateral forces from wind, as well as provide             energy for the building by forcing wind through vertical wind turbines. Community             spaces within each tower provide residents with a semi-private exterior space excluded             from the general public. The lower levels of the design include retail spaces on the             ground floor, with a parking garage for the residents of the complex located on             levels 2-4. Surrounding the tower is an exterior walkway/ boardwalk that will             contain various restaurants and bars.

Underneath the site analysis on the top right of the board is where you will find the vertical wind turbine diagram. Originally, the form of the building resembled more of a triangle (which according to Buckminster Fuller is the strongest geometric shape), but the building form eventually evolved into the image on the right. This image explains the big idea behind the structure which was to allow wind to travel through the building regardless of direction (as wind would be in a hurricane). The left image explains why a vertical wind turbine was chosen. Its design allows it to function with wind from any direction, along with functioning in turbulent or gusty winds. Compared to a horizontal turbine which must have a constant wind from a specific direction.

Below the site location is a 3d perspective with various callouts, with a ground floor plan to the right.  Below the ground level floor plan is the 5th and 6th level floor which represents the apartment layouts. Each apartment is 2 levels. The lower level will contain the kitchen and public areas, with the bedrooms located on the upper level. The left image is the 5th level floorplan which is the lower level of the apartments, with the right floor plan displaying the upper level of the apartments. The corridors of the tower are found on only the lower levels of each apartment (which is every other level). Although the floor to floor heights within the apartments are 15 feet, the height of the corridors are slightly under 10 feet, allowing for more wind to travel through the wind tunnels. Residents will be able to travel through these low ceiling corridors and view the wind move the turbines through skylights. Each wing contains (2) 2 bedroom apartments, (2) 3 bedroom apartments, and (1) 2 bedroom extended apartment found on the corner of each wing. With a grand total of 180 units with 432 residents throughout the entire tower.

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