Formulation of Separation Distance to Mitigate Wind-Induced Pounding of Tall Buildings

Tristen Brown, Magdy Alanani, Ahmed Elshaer, Anas Issa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Structures in proximity subjected to a substantial lateral load (e.g., wind and earthquakes) can lead to a significant hazard known as structural pounding. If not properly mitigated, such impacts can lead to local and global damage (i.e., structural failure). Mitigation approaches can include providing a suitable separation gap distance between structures, installing adequate shock absorbers, or designing the structure for the additional pounding impact loads. Wind-induced pounding of structures can be of higher risk to buildings due to large deflections developed during wind events. The current study develops various mathematical formulas to determine the suitable separation distance between structures in proximity to avoid pounding. The developed procedure relies first on wind-load evaluations using Large Eddy Simulation (LES) models. Then, the extracted wind loads from the LES are applied to finite element method models to determine the building deflections. Various building heights, wind velocities, and flexibility levels are examined to prepare a training database for developing the mathematical formulas. A genetic algorithm is utilised to correlate the required separation gap distance to the varying parameters of the tall buildings. It was found that more complex formulas can achieve better mapping to the training database.

Original languageEnglish
Article number479
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • finite element method (FEM)
  • genetic algorithm (GA)
  • structural pounding
  • wind-induced deflection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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