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Case Study – Swaying Skyscraper Solution


Skyscrapers are not the rigid constructions we may think they are. They need to bend, not break under the pressure of wind, ground movements and possible earthquakes. For years, RT Dygert has been instrumental in helping maintain the proper amount of flexibility a skyscraper requires to adjust for windy conditions while maintaining stability so occupants don’t notice any sway.

A few years ago residents of a building were getting sick because the building was swaying excessively. To control the amount of a skyscraper’s sway, large “pancake” cylinders” are installed at the bottom, allowing the building to “float” above its rigid foundation. This allows the building to rock slightly, counteracting the wind pressure so the structure is safe and habitable. It also prevents duplicating the structure’s natural harmonics, which would result in severe shaking.

RT Dygert had to consider several dynamics to quickly provide the right replacement seal package for this urgent situation.

  • Design a new seal to retrofit an existing envelope from a previous old design.
  • Determine the size, materials and process to create, deliver and install such large cylinder seals in a timely manner.
  • Seal high pressure hydraulic fluid on a grand scale and in a dynamic, moving environment.
  • Create a large six foot diameter seal with extremely precise dimensions.
  • Create a seal flexible enough to accommodate the cylinder’s movement, but strong enough to handle the tremendous weight as it provides a cushion between the cylinder and the building’s foundation.
  • Meet and verify skyscraper construction codes.

RT Dygert not only retrofitted the previous seals, it improved upon their performance with better quality seals. We also made life “queasy-less” for the high rise inhabitants.