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A Benchmark Problem For Response Control of Wind-Excited

Tall Buildings

J.N. Yang
Prof., Dept. Civil & Env. Engrg., Univ. of Calif., Irvine, CA

A.K. Agrawal
Asst. Prof., Dept. Civil Engrg., City College of New York, New York, NY

B. Samali
Professor, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

J.C. Wu
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Tamkang University, Taipei, Taiwan.
This paper briefly describes the benchmark problem for the
response control of wind-excited tall buildings.
benchmark building is a 76-story 306 meters concrete office
tower proposed for the city of Melbourne, Australia.
Across-wind data obtained from wind tunnel testing at the
University of Sydney, Australia, are used.
constraints and evaluation criteria are prescribed for the
benchmark problem. Either active, semi-active or passive
control systems can be installed in the building to reduce the
wind response. In the case of active control systems, either
an active tuned mass damper (ATMD) or an active mass
driver (AMD) can be installed on the top floor. In the case
of passive or semi-active systems, such as viscous dampers,
visco-elastic dampers, ERMR dampers, etc., control
devices can be installed in selected story units. Control
constraints and evaluation criteria are presented for the
design problem. A simulation program based on the LQG
has been developed and made available for the comparison
of the performance of various control strategies.
Significant progress has been made in structural control
against natural hazards, such as earthquakes and strong
winds. In particular, active control systems have been
implemented in full-scale buildings in Japan to alleviate the
acceleration response under wind excitations. To focus
future efforts in the most effective direction, a series of
structural control benchmark problems have been developed
for earthquake [Spencer et al (1998) Ohtori et al (ZOOO)]
and wind excitations [Yang et al (1998)j. In the previous
wind-excited benchmark problem [Yang et al (1998)], wind

loads applied to the building were modeled by stochastic

processes defined by the Davenports cross-power spectral
density matrix that was used to calculate rms response
quantities. Further, a set of sample functions of wind forces
simulated from the wind spectra was used to calculate peak
response quantities.
Recently, wind tunnel tests were
conducted on a 76-story scaled building model at the
University of Sydney, Australia, to generate along-wind and
across-wind data [Samali et al (1999)].
The benchmark building is symmetric in both horizontal
directions, and the axis of elastic center coincides with the
axis of mass center to avoid significant coupled lateraltorsional motions. Hence, the motion of the building in
along-wind and across-wind directions can be analyzed
separately. Presently, a single tuned mass damper in acrosswind direction is considered to study the effectiveness of
different control devices and strategies. Further, actuator
dynamics and controller-structure interaction have been
neglected. More sophisticated benchmark problems will be
considered after more experience is gained through the
present study. Active, semi-active and passive control
systems can be installed in the building to reduce the wind
response, although only an active control sample problem
has been worked out to illustrate the control design.


The building considered is a 76-story 306 meters office

tower proposed for the city of Melbourne, Australia. This is
a reinforced concrete building consisting of concrete core
and concrete frame. The total mass of the building,
including heavy machinery in the plant rooms, is 153,000
metric tons. The total volume of the building is 5 10,000 m3,


resulting in a mass density of 300 kg per cubic meter, which

is typical of concrete structures. The building is slender
with a height to width ratio (aspect ratio) of 306.1/42= 7.3;
therefore, it is wind sensitive.
The 76-story tall building is modeled as a vertical cantilever
beam. A finite element model is constructed by considering
the portion of the building between two adjacent floors as a
classical beam element of uniform thickness, leading to 76
translational and 76 rotational degrees of freedom. Then, all
the 76 rotational degrees of freedom have been removed by
the static condensation. This results in 76 degrees of
freedom, representing the displacement of each floor in the
lateral direction. The first five natural frequencies are 0.16,
0.765, 1.992, 3.790 and 6.395 Hz.
The proportional
(76x76) damping matrix for the building with 76 lateral
degrees of freedom is calculated by assuming 1% damping
ratio for the first five modes using Rayleighs approach.
This model, having (76 x 76) mass, damping and stiffness
matrices, is referred to as the 76 DOF Model.
A tuned mass damper (TMD) with an inertial mass of 500
tons is installed on the top floor. This is about 45% of the
top floor mass, which is 0.327% of the total mass of the
building. The undamped natural frequency and damping
ratio of the TMD are 0.16 Hz and 20%, respectively. A
damping ratio for the TMD, higher than the optimal
damping ratio, is used to allow for a bigger stroke for the
active tuned mass damper (ATMD).
The building with
ATMD is referred to as the 77 DOF Model.



The equation of motion of the building equipped with an

ATMD on the top floor can be expressed as
in which x = [xI,x~,...,x76,xm]
is the displacement vector
with xi being the displacement of the ith floor and x, being
the relative displacement of the inertial mass of damper with
respect to the top floor. In Eq. (l), M, C, and K are (77 x 77)
mass, damping and stiffness matrices, u is a scalar control
force, W is the wind excitation vector with dimension 77, H
is a control influence vector, and q is an excitation
influence matrix.
A state order reduction method has been used to derive
lower order models for the building with and without
In this method, a state reduced-order system is
derived such that the eigen properties of the selected modes
as well as the selected states of the original system are
represented in the reduced-order system. Based on this
approach, the 77 DOF model (with ATMD) in Eq. (1) is
reduced to a 24 DOF system such that the first 48 complex
modes (eigenvalues and eigenvectors) of the 77 DOF
system are retained. The resulting state equation is given by
i= Ax+Bu+EW

in which x = [X, tl


is the 48-dimensional state vector,

x10, x13, x16> x20> x23,



x33> x36> x4O, x43, x46, x5O> x53, x56, x6O~ x63>
x66~ xlO> x73> x76~ xm], A is a (48 x48) system
matrix, B is a 48 location vector, and E is a
(48 x 77) matrix. In the system reduction above, the wind
loads acting on each of the 23 floors above are computed
from the wind loads W acting on each of the 76 floors by
lumping wind forces on adjacent floors at the locations that
correspond to the 24 DOF model. Thus, in Eq.(2), the
dimension of W becomes 24 and E is an appropriately
modified (48 x 24) matrix. This model is denoted as 24
Similarly, the 76 DOF model (building without ATMD) can
be reduced to a 23 DOF system by retaining the first 46
complex modes of the original system such that the
(46 x 1) , (46 x 46)) (46 x 1) and (46 x 23)) respectively,
u=O and X is the same as that for the 24 DOF model
without xm This model is denoted as 23 DOF with W23.
The computational time for the response quantities is
reduced significantly using these reduced-order models.
To verify the accuracy of different reduced-order models for
the building, numerical simulations were conducted to
calculate the temporal rms and the peak response quantities.
The rms floor accelerations for various models subject to
900 seconds of across-wind loads are shown in Table 1. In
Table 1, oii
represents the rms value of the floor
acceleration ?i

It is observed from Table 1 that ogi for 23

DOF with W23 and 24 DOF with W24 models are quite
close to those for 76 DOF and 77 DOF models, respectively.
The controlled output vector z and measured output vector y
of the evaluation model in Eq. (2) can be expressed as
in which Z [Xl,
x76, Xm, il,

x30 > x50, x55, x60, x65 > x70 > x75,
x30, x50, ijj, x60, x65, x70, x75,

x76, &, , 11, 230, 250, x55, x60, 165, x70, 275 1
276, ji, 1 is a 30-dimensional vector of the response that


x30, x50, x55, x60, x65,

in,> 21, x30 1 x50,x55>
260 ,X65 ,t70, 275, 276, x, 1 is a 20-dimensional
vector of the response that can be directly measured by
installing sensors. In Eq. (3), v is a vector of noises, and
C,, D,, Fz> Cy, Dy , and Fy are matrices of appropriate
dimensions. In the notation above, km is the relative
velocity of the mass damper with respect to the top floor.


The model in Eqs. (2)-(3) for 24 DOF with W24 is termed

as the evaluation model and it can be used to assess the
performance of candidate control strategies.


The problem of controller design is to determine a discretetime feedback compensator of the form

xc@ + 1) = f&(k)> Y(k), u(k), kl;

u(k) = fAxc(WtWl

where x,(k),
y(k) and u(k) are the vector of the
compensator, selected measurement output vector, and the
control force, respectively, at time t= kAT with AT being the
sampling time for the compensator.
The maximum
dimension of the compensator is expediently required to be
less than 12, i.e., dim [xc(k)]
Wind forces acting on the benchmark building in alongwind and across-wind directions were determined from
wind tunnel tests. A rigid model of the 76-story benchmark
building was constructed and tested in the boundary layer
wind tunnel facility at the University of Sydney, Australia.
The model to prototype scale for the building was 1:400 and
the velocity scale was 1:3, resulting in a time scale of
approximately 1:133. Wind data were recorded for 27
seconds, representing approximately 1 hour of prototype
data. Using the referenced mean wind speed, V,, at the
height of 10 meters from the ground as 13.5 m/s, the mean
wind velocity at the top of the building was calculated to be
approximately 47.25 m/s. The wind force data in both
along-wind and across-wind directions were obtained from
pressure coefficients measured during wind tunnel testing.
The referenced mean wind speed of V, = 13.5 m/s represents
serviceability level winds at which occupants comfort and
motion perception are important design criteria. For the
performance evaluation of control systems, only the first I5
minutes (900 seconds) of across-wind data are used for the
computation of building response quantities to reduce the
computational burden. In these wind data, the mean wind
force on each floor has been removed, since it produces only
the static deflection of the building. Details of the wind
tunnel tests are given in Samali et al (1999).


the 76 floor (roof) is not used by the occupants,

The second criterion is the average performance
acceleration for selected floors above the 49 floor, i.e.,

C( c,i/bxio ) for i= 50, 55,60, 65,70 and 75 (6)

in which oxio is the rms acceleration of the ith floor
without control [shown in Table 31. The third and fourth
evaluation criteria are the ability of the controllers to reduce
the top floor displacements and are given as follows
J3 =cx76/Jx76o ;J4 =? ~(~xi/~xio)
J2 = i

for i = 50,55,60,65,70, 75 and 76. In Eq.(7), cxi and cxio

are the rms displacements of the ith floor with and without
control [e.g., Table 31, respectively, and cx76o = 10.137
Each proposed control design must satisfy the actuator
ou I 100 kN
oxm < 30cm, where cru and oxm are rms control force
and rms actuator stroke, respectively. In addition to above
constraints, the control effort requirements of a proposed
control design should be evaluated in terms of the following
nondimensionalized actuator stroke and average power
=dp = il,t im(
J5 = a;J6
I2 dt
in which cxm is the rms actuator stroke , x,,,(t) is the
actuator velocity, T is the total time of integration and cp
denotes rms control power.
In addition to the rms performance, the performance in
terms of the peak response quantities is also important and
are given in the following,
J7 = max(: pi ); i=l,30,50,55,60,65,70and75,
Jg =i

Jl =max( -) cxi
for i = 1,30,50,55,60,65,70 and 75 (5)
where ~2; is the rms acceleration of the ith floor, and
c,75o = 9.142 cm/sec2 is the rms acceleration of the 751h
floor without control. In the performance criterion Jl ,
accelerations only up to 75 floor are considered because


J9 = %~JIo=~


The first evaluation criterion for the controllers is their

ability to reduce the maximum floor rms acceleration for
occupants comfort given by



for i = 50, 55, 60, 65,70, 75 & 76. In Eq.(ll),


XPi and

XPio are peak displacements of ith floor with and without

control, iipi and Xpio are peak accelerations of ith floor
with and without

control; e.g., xP76o= 32.30 cm and

xp750 = 30.33 cm/se?, as shown in Table 4.

The actuator capacity constraints are: the maximum control
force maxlu(t)l 2 300 kN and the maximum stroke


max\x,(t)l I 95 cm. In addition, the proposed control

designs should be evaluated for the following control
capacity criteria

JII = Xpm/Xp760 ; 512 = Pm, = m~lx,(t)

u(t)1 (12)

where xpm = peak stroke of actuator, and Pmax = peak

control power. From performance criteria defined above, it
is observed that smaller values of performance indices I,, JZ,
., J,a indicate better the performance of the controller.



Performance criteria for ATMD above, i.e., Ji-Jia, are

applicable to passive energy dissipation devices, such as
viscous dampers, viscoelastic dampers, etc, and semi-active
devices, such as MR or ER dampers, etc. Likewise, in
addition to the total number and total capacity of dampers,
the locations (e.g., story units) and the number of dampers
as well as their capacities to be installed in each location
should be presented.


The following constraints are imposed on the controller

design for an ATMD:
1. A maximum of 6 sensors out of 20 measured output y
defined by Eq. (3) can be used.
2. The controller for the structure is digitally implemented
with At=O.OOl set and a time-delay of 1 msec.
3. The measurement noises are modelled as Gaussian
rectangular pulse processes with a pulse width of 0.001


seconds and a two-sided spectral density of 10m9

The maximum number of states in the compensator, Eq.
(4) is restricted to 12 and it is required to be stable.
The natural frequency and damping ratio of TMD are
design parameters that can be chosen by the designer.
The robustness of the controller should be discussed.

A Simulink model has been developed to simulate the rms

and peak response quantities and the performance indices.


A controller design based on the linear quadratic Gaussian

(LQG) theory is presented for the control of the benchmark
building. In the LQG approach, a reduced-order system is
constructed from the evaluation model in Eqs.(2)-(3) for the
design of the controller, referred to as the control design
model, as follows
ir =Ari,
2,. = C,,x,

+ Dzru + FzrW

yr = Cyrxr + Dyru + FyrW + vr

in which XI= 1x16, X30, x46,





x46> %> %76> xm ] = a 12-dimensional state

vector, zr= a 30-dimensional controlled output vector

identical of z defined by Eq.(3), yr = [?50, x76, %m]= a 3dimensional measured output vector, vr = a 3-dimensional
measurement noise, and A,, Br , Er ,C,, , Dzr, Fzr , Cyr ,
Dyr , and Fyr are appropriate matrices. In Eqs.(l3)-(14),
the excitation W and the measurement noise vr are
assumed to be uncorrelated Gaussian white noise vector
processes. However, different components within W can be
A state feedback LQG controller is obtained by minimizing
the quadratic objective function

J =

lim LE
+ Ru2) dt
Z =zr-FzrW=
Q = a
in which
(30 x30) diagonal weighting matrix = diag [ 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1,
1, 1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 105, 105, 105, 105,0, 1, I, 1, 1, 1,
105, 105, 105, 105, 01, and R = I5 x 10e2. Minimizing
the objective function in Eq.(l5), the optimal controller is
obtained as [e.g., Yang et al (1999)]
K = - R-1 (B; PC + 5)
where PC is the solution of the Riccati matrix equation and
q is an appropriate matrix [Yang et al (1999)]. The
controller obtained in Eq. (16) requires the reduced-order
state feedback xr, which can be estimated from an
observer, denoted by ir , as follows

in which the observer gain matrix L is obtained by solving a
Riccati matrix equation. Detailed information about the
design of the compensator is presented in Yang et al (1999).
Finally the controller in Eqs.(l6)-(17) is converted to the
form in Eq. (4) as follows
u(k) = CcxcC4 + D,yr(k)
in which dim[xc(k)] = 12 and xc = xr = ii,. Based on the
eigenvalue analysis of the evaluation model and the control
design model, both the controller and the closed-loop
system are found to be stable.
To assess the performance of the controller, response
analyses have been conducted using the computer programs
available at the website [Yang et al (1999)]. Time histories
of the response quantities are determined from the
evaluation model for a duration of 900 seconds. Then, the
temporal rms response quantities are obtained by taking the
temporal average in 900 seconds.


The results for the evaluation criteria are presented in

Columns (2) and (6) of Table 2. In addition, the required
active control force and the stroke of the actuator are also
shown in Table 2. As observed from Table 2, the hard
ou llOOkN,~xm
maxlxm(t)\ 295 cm, are satisfied. The rms and the peak
response quantities are presented in Tables 3 and 4,
respectively, for selected floors and the inertial mass of
damper (last row denoted by md). Based on the design
code for o&e buildings, the maximum allowable floor
acceleration is 15 cmisec (or a rms value of 5 cm/set).
Excluding the 76h floor on which there is no occupant, the
design requirement is satisfied by the use of an ATMD as
observed from Tables 3 and 4. On the other hand, the
installation of a passive TMD does not satisfy the design
code requirement.
To show the robustness of the controller, we only consider
the uncertainty of building stiffness, since it has been
demonstrated in the literature [e.g., Yang et al (1990)] that
active controllers are not sensitive to the uncertainty in
damping. In addition to the building above, referred to as
the nominal building, two additional buildings are
considered; one with a 15% higher stiffness matrix and
another with a 15% lower stiffness. The (76x 76) stiffness
matrix (76 DOF) of the first building, referred to as the
+15% building, is obtained by multiplying 1.15 to the
(76 x 76) stiffness matrix of the nominal building.
Similarly, the (76x76)
stiffness matrix of the second
building, referred to as the -15% building, is obtained by
multiplying 0.85 to the (76 x 76) stiffness matrix of the
nominal building. The controller obtained previously for
the nominal building is applied to the f 15% buildings and
the response analyses were carried out. The peak and rms
response quantities for these two buildings are presented in
Table 5. The performance indices, which are referred to (or
normalized by) the uncontrolled response quantities of the
nominal building in Tables 3 and 4 are shown in Columns
(3), (4), (7) and (8) of Table 2 for comparison. Also shown
in Table 2 are the rms and peak values of the control force
and actuator stroke.
As observed from the results in Tables 3 to 5, the
acceleration response quantities are robust. However, the
displacement response and the required actuator capacity
(stroke, control force and control power) are sensitive to the
stiffness uncertainty. In comparison with the closed-loop
response of the nominal structure (Table 3), the
displacement of the 7? floor, stroke, active control force
and control power for the -15% building increase by about
23%, 30%, 19.27% and 38.5% respectively. Further, the
stroke of the actuator is close to the prescribed limit
(oxm <30cm, Ix,(t)1 5 95 cm). On the other hand, the
displacement response, stroke, active control force and

control power reduce by 15.8%, 20.2%, 16.97% and 29.4%,

respectively, for the +15% building in comparison with that
of the nominal building (LQG controller case). These
results indicate that a designer should not overestimate the
stiffness of the building in designing the controller.
It is noticed that the across-wind loads depend on the
building frequency. Hence, wind tunnel tests should be
conducted to generate the across-wind data for the + 15%
buildings considered above. In the absence of such wind
tunnel data, the across-wind loads for the nominal building
have been used for the + 15% buildings for a crude
approximation. Hence, the robustness evaluation above
reflects only a trend rather than the actual performance.
A benchmark problem package for the response control of a
76-story wind-excited building has been developed and is
available at the World Wide Website [Yang et al (1999)].
This package contains all the necessary information and
Matiab-based computer programs to simulate both statistical
and peak response quantities. Any participant, who cannot
access the World Wide Website [Yang et al (1999)] or has
any questions regarding the benchmark problem, can
contact the authors via E-mail at or
This research is partially supported by NSF Grant Nos.
CMS 96-25616 and CMS 96-15731. Valuable suggestions
by the members of the ASCE Committee on Structural
Control are sincerely acknowledged.

[Il. Ohtori, Y., Christenson, R.E., Spencer Jr. B.F. and

Dyke, S.J. (2000), Benchmark Control Problem for

Seismically Excited Nonlinear Buildings, Proc. 2d
European Conf. on Structural Control, 2000, Paris.
t21. Samali, B., Kwok, K., Wood, G. and Yang, J. N.
Wind Tunnel Tests for Wind-Excited
Benchmark Problem, Technical Note.
131. Spencer, Jr. B. F., Christenson, R.E., and Dyke, S.
J.(1998), Next Generation Benchmark Control
Problem For Seismically Excited Buildings, Froc. Znd
World Co& on Strucr. Cont., Vo1.2, pp.1351-1360,
John Wiley & Sons, N.Y.
[41. Yang, J.N., Wu, J.C., Samali, B. and Agrawal, A.K.
(1998), A Benchmark Problem for Response Control
of Wind-Excited Tall Buildings, Proc. Zndworld ConJ:
on Strucr. Cont., Vol.2, pp. 1407-1416, John Wiley &
t51 Yang, J. N., Agrawal, A. K., Samali, B. and Wu, J. C.

(1999),A Benchmark Problem for Response Control of

Wind-Excited Tall Buildings, World Wide Website


Table 1: RMS Act. of the 76-Story building subject to across-wind loads.

Table 2: Evaluation Criteria for the Sample Controller

Table 3 : RMS Response Quantities of the 76-Story Building for the Sample Controller.


Table 4: Peak Response Quantities of 76-Story Building for the Sample Controller.

Md 1









Table 5: Peak and RMS Response Quantities of the 76-Story Building for LQG Sample Controller Using
the Building with Uncertainty in Stiffness Matrix.
Uncertainty in Stiffness (AK) = +15 %
II,,,.,= 105.58 kN
ou = 28.29 kN
P mpI= 52.69 kN.m/s
crp= 20.74 kN.m/s





Uncertainty in Stiffness (AK) = -15 0/n

umsr= 164.33 kN
q = 44.33 kN
P,,, = 118.33 kN.m/s
ap = 40.69 kN.mis
0,. 1