Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
What Makes Tall, Tall: A Discussion on Design & Construction Criteria Unique to Tall Buildings

September 29, 2015

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ATLANTA – On Tuesday, September 29, CTBUH Atlanta hosted its second ever event as a follow up to its inaugural event in March. The event was generously sponsored by Walter P Moore and was hosted at their offices in Midtown Atlanta. The evening featured a networking session, followed by a series of technical presentations from the arenas of structural and MEP engineering, architecture, and construction. 48 area professionals turned out for the event – of which most were new faces, signaling an expanded reach as the Atlanta chapter grows.

Each panelist presented high-level concepts and ideas related to design and construction criteria unique to tall buildings intended to answer the fundamental question, WHAT MAKES TALL, TALL? The answers, while specific to each presenter’s sector, illustrated to the audience how interconnected the design and construction of tall buildings is.

Tim Santi, Principal at Walter P Moore, led things off by addressing fundamental principles of aspect ratios, core profiles, and the effects of wind on buildings. He then delved into the specific application of belt trusses, outriggers, and damping systems and stressed the importance of link beams.

Walter P Moore offices, Midtown Atlanta
Tim Milam, Principal at Jordan and Skala, followed with a high level presentation on the “what” and the “how” of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire safety systems. Tim illustrated the value of any and all real estate inside the building core for services, and made special care to explain the unique effects building tall has on the conveyance of water, air, and electricity.

Chuck Hull, Principal at Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Assoc., then presented the 638-meter mixed-use Signature Tower Jakarta as a way to illustrate the tall building design criteria unique to architects. Chuck walked the audience through the project from the basements up the observation deck, along the way illustrating how to accommodate the primary objective of tall buildings to safely and efficiently move people.
Group discussion
Jon Lewis, General Superintendent at Holder Construction Co, finished things up by presenting a series of case studies on tall building construction projects he has completed. His focus illustrated the challenges to keeping people safe while efficiently moving materials and preserving the integrity of the building throughout the construction effort.

In the end, the interconnectivity of the design and construction fields and the collaboration required to build tall was made clear. The post-presentation audience discussion adeptly honed in on two very important questions relating to tall building design: first, what are the sustainability challenges to building tall; and second, that we addressed the WHAT and the HOW, but what about the WHY? Both questions will be addressed by this Chapter in the future.
Tim Santi, Walter P Moore, presenting
Name Company
Donnie Hunter Alcoa
Bill Halter Cooper Carry
Greg Buchanan Gensler
Michael Hodge Gensler
Anastasia Kostrominova Gensler
David LeFevre Gensler
James Puckhaber Gensler
Autumn Sikorowski Gensler
Mark Vaida Gensler
Jon Lewis Holder Construction
Dan Simpson Holder Construction
Nelson Chong John Portman & Associates
Norris Hunt John Portman & Associates
Luca Maffey John Portman & Associates
John Nipaver John Portman & Associates
Albert Sun John Portman & Associates
Tani Winata John Portman & Associates
Rex Hamre Jones, Lang LaSalle
Matt Marvel Jordan & Skala
Tim Milam Jordan & Skala
Jim George KDC
Heidi Swygert KDC
Steven Bruning Newcomb & Boyd
Andrew Blocha Perkins & Will
Don Reynolds Perkins & Will
Paul Monardo Pond Co
Mark Spencer SAPA Extrusions North America
Andrew Roberts Seven Oaks Company
David Chen Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
Jim Van Duys Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
John Gerondelis Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
Chuck Hull Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
Adebisi Oyedeji Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
Mihir Patel Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
Jeff Purdy Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
James Tomak Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
Luis Urrea Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
Steve Dollar United Forming. Inc.
Jim Case Uzun & Case
Rob Weilacher Uzun & Case
Adam Bichir Walter P Moore
Jackson Esoda Walter P Moore
Jared Jensen Walter P Moore
Adam Karabenli Walter P Moore
Weijie Liu Walter P Moore
Connie Mackenzie Walter P Moore
Kyle Manweiler Walter P Moore
Tim Santi Walter P Moore