Architectural Engineering program, The University of Texas at Austin

High-Rise Project Tips/FAQ (updated daily)

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9 April

A. Maximum building height has been increased to 600′.  If you need to go even taller than 600′ that can be negotiated with Prof. Brooks per each group.

B.  Elevator and Escalator info – SEE B.C.I pg. 9.14 – 9.16
Electric Elevators (“Traction” elevators – use counterweights and motor)  will each need an elevator machine room, same size as elevator width, and deeper in one direction.
Hydraulic elevators can push up to 70′ max.  Notice on BCI diagram that machine room is on lowest level.

C.  DO NOT SHARE FIRESTAIRS AND ELEVATORS between public users and private users.  For example:  if the general public or guests are using the parking structure, create a separate column of elevators and firestairs for parking and for residences.  Same for retail, etc.  This will decide if you are using hydraulic (max 70′ H) or electric elevators (no limit H).

13 April

Architectural next steps:
Once you have your basic plan diagrams, please refine them to show corridors, elevators (don’t forget freight elevator), firestairs, trash chutes, mechanical chases.   Then, the fun part !  Develop the base of the building – is it a podium that the tower sits on?  Coordinate window glazing percentage with your team and sketch your facade solution…balconies? (none, or innie – or outie?)?  Make a great entrance experience for your neighborhood.
Coming up later:  is shading needed?  louvers? perforated panels?

Mechanical next steps:
Plan where your big pieces will go.  As for ducts – No need to show diffusers.  Only the primary and secondary duct layouts are needed, but this semester we want to layer in the exhaust and fresh-air strategies.  Exhaust ducts will be brown, Fresh-air will be green (supply / return will remain blue/pink).   NOTE if you are in a heating only environment, you can use radiant heat…hot water to perimeter wall radiators or heated slabs.

Gravity AND lateral of course.  Sketch solutions and run your final favorite past Prof. Brooks.  Think about this challenge:  what kind of lateral-stability images can you produce that will most clearly and quickly describe your lateral solution?  See notes from Lateral lecture here.
– Size columns in vertical zones, similar to this example.
– Column sizes per zone – use stacked tributary areas as learned last semester.  Instead of BCI – use these column charts (bigger range of size).

15 April

Mechanical notes:
2 important AEStudio links for your team when planning HVAC for your tower project:
A.  High rise parking, cooling tower and fresh-air notes (link).
B.  HVAC tutorial (from Des1) on cooling ton calculation and more…(link)

16 April


IF you have a parking structure under your building – 
Please feel free to use a different apartment LEGO SIZE – 25′ x 60′.
IF you do this, then you can have a double-loaded corridor (10′ wide) with 25′ units on each side, which results in a 60′ wide mass.  This then lines up perfectly with parking structure layout.  60′ wide.   I would recommend a 20′ column spacing, which would result in a column on the exterior walls and one 5′ into the apartment off the hallway.  Just fine.



Written by Gregory Brooks

April 9, 2020 at 3:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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