BANGKOK – As buildings become taller, the challenges for engineers and architects intensify. Urban population is rapidly increasing, innovative buildings are needed to address this shift. These were some of the many issues deliberated on the seminar Design of Tall Buildings: Trends and Advancements for Structural Performance organized by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in collaboration with Computers and Structures, Inc. (CSI) USA, supported by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), and thyssenkrupp as technology exhibitor held on 7-9 November 2016 at the Sofitel Hotel Bangkok Thailand.

Nearly 150 professionals, engineers, architects, developers, researchers, and students from countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand joined the seminar. Notable speakers included Arch. Joel Luna, Vice President, Chief Architect, Innovation and Design Group, Ayala Land, Philippines; Engr. Jose A. Sy, President and CEO, Sy^2 + Associates Inc., Philippines; Dr. Karoon Chandrangsu, President, K.C.S & Associates Co.,Ltd; Arch. Maythin Chantra-ou-rai, Executive Director, Architects 49 Limited Thailand; Arch. Winyou Wanichsiriroj, Executive Vice President, Design 103 International Ltd.; Dr. Teraphan Ornthammarath, Lecturer, Mahidol University; Engr. Apichai Siridumrongphun, Project Development Director, Siam Sindhorn.

Speakers from AIT include Prof. Pennung Warnitchai of School of Engineering and Technology; Dr. Naveed Anwar, Executive Director, AIT Solutions (AITS); Engr. Thaung Htut Aung, Deputy Projects Director (AITS), Engr. Keerati Tunthasawatana, Deputy Director, ACECOMS, Dr. Pramin Norachan, Senior Manager, Structural Engineering, AIT Solutions; Shabir Ali Talpur, Senior Engineer, AITS; Engr. S.M.Zia Uddin, Structural Engineer, AITS; and Engr. Fawad Najam, Ph.D. Candidate (AIT).

“We need structural solutions to architectural challenges,” Dr. Naveed Anwar, Executive Director of AIT Solutions said while welcoming participants. Dr. Naveed highlighted the difference of mindsets between structural engineers and architects is that the former are trained to follow procedures, equations, rules, and conform whereas later are encouraged to dream and be defiant. To pioneer new techniques in designing tall buildings both need to merge these differences for better collaboration.

Architect Joel Luna of Ayala Land, Inc., the largest property development firm in the Philippines, stated that by 2050, two-thirds of humanity will be residing in cities. He emphasized that the key challenges and opportunities in developing Tall Buildings include: connectivity, to foster community interaction; sustainability, to create a balance between built and natural environment, and inclusivity, which can serve more people.

Engineer Jose A. Sy, President of Sy^2 + Associates Inc., Philippines elaborated that engineers should not be bound by the limitations of building codes, as code compliance is not enough to address design and architectural challenges. The Philippines is located along the Ring of Fire and faces 24 typhoons every year which means that the country has the same earthquake risk as California, Japan, New Zealand and Haiti but the practices of earthquake engineering are not yet at par with the mentioned countries which can be addressed with combining collaboration and creativity.

Developments discussed during the three-day seminar included Progression of Structural Design Approaches, Structural Engineering Solutions to Architectural Challenges, Smart Systems for Structural Response Control, Performance-Based Design, Value Engineering, Peer Review, Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment, Wind Tunnel Test, State of Practice in Design of Tall Buildings in Philippines, and Architectural Innovations and Challenges in Tall Buildings. The seminar was followed by hands-on workshop using CSI software for structural engineers held in AIT campus for two days and a field visit at wind tunnel lab and G Land Tower.

From left: Engr. Earl P. Bonita Head of PBD Department, Sy^2+ Associates Inc.; Arch. Joel Luna, Vice President, Chief Architect, Innovation and Design Group, Ayala Land, Philippines; Engr. Jose A. Sy, President and CEO, Sy^2 + Associates Inc., Philippines; Dr. Karoon Chandrangsu, President, K.C.S & Associates Co.,Ltd.; Dr. Naveed Anwar, Executive Director, AIT Solutions; Rex Sirilan Head of R&D Department, Sy^2+ Associates Inc.


Some event photos:



The event served as a networking platform for professionals working in tall buildings.


Panel discussions were held at the end of each day for participants to be able to interact and ask questions to experts.


3D printing demonstration was held at the exhibition area where participants viewed building models being printed.


CTBUH member Dr. Naveed Anwar delivered the presentation about partner of the event the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), support.