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8 comments

Dizzying Heights

Posted April 12, 2017 11:00 AM by MaggieMc

There are varying views on the skyscrapers that dominate urban skylines, from proponents who cite the superiority of new structural techniques, to other ardent opponents of the dense, hulking structures. Whatever your opinion, a new study being conducted by the Universities of Bath and Exeter may give you cause to ask: could skyscrapers cause motion sickness?

An ailment once relegated to boats or facing backward on a train, could now require little more provocation than sitting in your office building, according to researchers.

Previous field studies revealed that “wind-induced building motion” can cause fear when perceived, or contribute to early onset motion sickness, which may present itself as tiredness, low mood, difficulty concentrating, or even a lack of motivation.

Considering “humans spend 90% of their lives in buildings which vibrate nonstop,” there is an increased need for “reliable information about the effect of structural vibration,” according to Alex Pavic, a professor of vibration engineering at the University of Exeter.

This research prompted this five year project and the creation of the £7.2 million ($8.6 million) government-funded national research facility. The facility will feature the high-tech VSimulator, installed at the University of Bath, that will utilize virtual reality to “not only recreate the structural motion people experience, but also the surroundings, temperature, humidity, noise, air quality, and even building smells.”

According to Dr. Antony Darby, head of civil engineering at the University of Bath, the surroundings are important because “just like sea sickness, our propensity to motion induced discomfort is situation and environment dependent.” Darby explains that concert-goers have a higher tolerance for noise induced vibration than those in a hospital operating theatre.

The multi-disciplinary team of engineers, medics, physiologists, and psychologists has the backing of industry leaders hoping to use the research to further improve structural design, especially on sites adjacent to vibration inducing infrastructure.

Image credits: Autodesk and the University of Bath

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#1

Re: Dizzying Heights

04/12/2017 11:37 AM

This is useful research. After they are done, they should use it for test subjects who think they have balance, middle, or inner ear problems. I think based on how my right ear is staying stopped up, I would puke within minutes.

I might puke anyway, in honor of their accomplishment, sort of like when a cat yucks up a hair ball as a greeting to their human.

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#2

Re: Dizzying Heights

04/12/2017 12:41 PM

Tuned mass dampers help considerably. Taipei 101's for example:

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#3

Re: Dizzying Heights

04/12/2017 2:00 PM

If swaying back and forth doesn't get to you, try this swimming pool...

http://mentalfloss.com/article/94256/glass-bottomed-sky-pool-houston-hangs-500-feet-above-street-level

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Dizzying Heights

04/12/2017 2:26 PM

That is completely disturbing to watch. Wasn't a pool like that in a recent Bond flick?

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#5
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Re: Dizzying Heights

04/12/2017 4:28 PM

No I think your thinking of the new Transporter movie, which was in itself a bomb flick.

I'm here all day.

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#6

Re: Dizzying Heights

04/12/2017 8:32 PM

This puts me to mind of the "Grand Canyon Sky walk" and the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse.

If I want a sky view. I'll stay with "fixed wings"! Thank you

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Dizzying Heights

04/16/2017 9:39 PM

Well if there is one good thing about the Grand Canyon Skywalk,,if it does collapse,,you won't have to be worried about being injured.

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#8
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Re: Dizzying Heights

04/16/2017 10:13 PM

No, but you'll have plenty of time to think about! The next question is, who/ what's going to hit the bottom of the canyon first?

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