High-frequency force balance technique for tall buildings: A critical review and some new insights

Xinzhong Chen, Dae Kun Kwon, Ahsan Kareem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The high frequency force balance (HFFB) technique provides convenient measurements of integrated forces on rigid building models in terms of base bending moments and torque and/or base shear forces. These base moments or forces are then used to approximately estimate the generalized forces of building fundamental modes with mode shape corrections. This paper presents an analysis framework for coupled dynamic response of tall buildings with HFFB technique. The empirical mode shape corrections for generalized forces with coupled mode shapes are validated using measurements of synchronous pressures on a square building surface from a wind tunnel. An alternative approach for estimating the mean and background response components directly using HFFB measurements without mode shape corrections is introduced with a discussion on higher mode contributions. The uncertainty in the mode shape corrections and its influence on predicted responses of buildings with both uncoupled and coupled modal shapes are examined. Furthermore, this paper presents a comparison of aerodynamic base moment spectra with available data sets for various tall building configurations. Finally, e-technology aspects in conjunction with HFFB technique such as web-based on-line analysis framework for buildings with uncoupled mode shapes used in NALD (NatHaz Aerodynamic Loads Database) is discussed, which facilitates the use of HFFB data for preliminary design stages of tall buildings subject to wind loads.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-422
Number of pages32
JournalWind and Structures, An International Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Building design
  • Buildings
  • Dynamic analysis
  • Random
  • Structural dynamics
  • Wind loads
  • Wind tunnel tests


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