Taipei 101

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Taipei 101 is located in the Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. Built over the course of five years, at a cost of $1.934 billion USD, it stands at 509.2 meters. Taipei 101 has 101 floors above ground, with 5 below ground. Due to its immense stature, the building was built around a massive tuned mass damper, which keeps the skyscraper standing tall.



Due to the typhoon winds and earthquake tremors common in Taipei and surrounding areas of Asia, Taipei 101 had to be built to accommodate natural disasters. A tuned mass damper, weighing 660 tons, is composed of 41 layers of 12.5 cm thick steel plates riveted together [1]. The tuned mass damper is located between the 92nd and 87th floors. The tuned mass damper keeps the tower relatively still during a shaking event and greatly increases the comfort of the people inside. When the building blows a certain way, the tuned mass dampener moves opposite, or against, to dampen the swaying. The damper is suspended using 8.9 cm diameter cables with a length of 42 meters. The cables are composed of over 2000 steel strands. Only 1/4 of the strands would be needed to accommodate the entire mass of the damper [2]. The cables allow for a maximum swaying amplitude of 150 cm., with bumper on the bottom of the sphere to prevent it from going too far. On the bottom of the damper are eight hydraulics that absorb the impulse and use the towers movement to cancel the absorbed energy.

Following is a link to video of the damper working:

Structural Design


382 piles form the structural foundation of Taipei 101 [3]. It took 15 months to excavate 700,000 tons of earth to plant the foundation. The core of the building is formed of a "mega column" made of a double core structure, with a steel external portion and a steel-reinforced concrete internal portion. The welding of the mega column took two years to complete[4]. This sturdy foundation protects the building from a 10 m deep fault 200 m away from Taipei 101. Additionally, the sawtooth shape of Taipei 101 reduces sway from the wind approximately 30-40%[5].


Taipei 101 boasts the world's two fastest elevators[6]. The elevators have a maximum speed of 1010 m/min [7]. In order to combat opposing forces to speed and smoothness, the elevators have many special features. First off, there is atmospheric pressure control. There are suction and discharge blowers on the top and bottom that regulate the pressure inside and reduce passenger ear popping. The car is designed aerodynamically to reduce wind noise. The car uses silicon nitride to brake in an emergency. Also, similarly to the tower, the elevators have mass damping systems to reduce vibration due to outside factors or cars passing each other.