Arup, the global firm of designers, engineers and business consultants, recently installed its revolutionary ‘damping’ system in The St. Francis Shangri-La Place. The new system, which minimizes the standard wobble in high-rise buildings, employs the same technology used to strengthen the Millennium Bridge in London. With this system installed, The St. Francis Shangri-La Place isn’t just the country’s tallest residential building; it is also one of the safest. “The swaying of tall buildings is a perennial issue caused by high winds and even earthquakes,” says Rob Smith, Associate, Arup. “We’ve worked to find an economical and effective solution to the problem and are delighted that the new technology developed by Arup is being put into practice in a high rise building for the first time today.”The usual methods employed to strengthen buildings are to reinforce it with significant extra structure or to install tuned mass dampers. Both methods are not only expensive, but also make the building stiffer and heavier while consuming valuable space. The Arup solution works by inserting Viscous Dampers into the St. Francis Shangri-La Place to act as energy absorbers and damp out vibrations. Not only is this a lower-cost solution, it is also more sustainable as it uses less material, and leaves more valuable space inside the building.Smith explains, “If you imagine designing a fast car, you would not necessarily make it stiff and rigid but you would give is a smart suspension system. Arup’s damping system works in a similar way – it is an agile and intelligent solution to controlling the issue of motion in a building.” Such a solution will give greater safety and peace of mind to residents of the St. Francis Shangri-La Place. The St Francis Shangri-La Place was commissioned by The Shang Grand Tower Corporation. It is located in the Shangri-La Place integrated community in Mandaluyong City, Philippines. Completion is set for early 2009.