This exhibit illustrates that using extra beams between floors, can make a skyscraper more rigid and thus more resistant to the tremendous forces of the wind. When the wind blows, the columns on the windward side stretch apart, while the columns on the opposite side squeeze together.
Visitors can watch the effect of the wind on the model of a skyscraper with and without reinforcement. Displays show the speed of the wind and how much the building bends.
As skyscrapers grow taller and taller, engineers face another challenge: wind.
To withstand wind forces, the tallest skyscrapers must be 50 times stronger than the
typical 200-foot buildings built in the 1940s.
- Press the button to start the wind.
- Watch the displays to see how much the building bends.
- Secure the reinforcement beams.
- Press the button again. Do you notice any difference?