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New Skyscrapers Subjected To Apocalyptic Scenarios To Test Performance


New skyscrapers will have to face some intense weather scenarios before they ever rise from the ground.

To account for unexpected climate events and maximize safety for occupiers and inhabitants, builders, developers and architects are testing the durability and stability of their buildings’ facades, the Wall Street Journal reports.

This has become particularly essential as architects have gotten increasingly creative with building design. The testing ensures that even if a building has a strange shape or unexpected nooks, it will still be able to stand strong in the case of harsh conditions.

Extremely high winds, water-infiltration tests and hydraulics that shift a building back and forth to simulate an earthquake are all among the tests faced by mockups at the Construction Research Laboratory in Miami, one of the facilities where assessments take place.

One of the skyscrapers undergoing such testing is Manhattan's 53W53, a future hotel and apartment building next to the Museum of Modern Art, which will stand 1,050 feet when complete. The 82-story building will have a tapered structure and crisscross structural framing on the exterior, in addition to 6,000 panels of triple-paned glass, the WSJ reports.

While the design is likely to be visually appealing, corners, joints and vents tend to be among the most vulnerable parts of a structure, meaning some of the design features could put the building at risk. But many of the tests it will be subject to at the laboratory exceed the conditions that would be faced in the natural environment. This ensures that if the mockup manages to survive, the team can feel confident it is strong enough to manage any inclement weather situations that arise.