Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

First Advisor

Petros Sideris

Second Advisor

Ross B. Corotis

Third Advisor

Yunping Xi


With the changing climate coupled with the limited supply of fossil fuels available for global energy use, much research has been done to develop innovative methods of producing clean and renewable energy. Wind forces can cause tall buildings to undergo significant vibrations that are a potential source of clean and renewable energy for buildings and the power grid. Tall buildings have utilized dampers as a means of mitigating these wind induced vibrations, however, this research proposes the use of dampers as, not only vibration mitigation devices for extreme loading (e.g. strong winds and earthquakes), but also as energy harvesters which convert this vibrational energy into electricity. Designing a building for both energy harvesting (EH) under service conditions (e.g. low or moderate wind loads) and vibration mitigation (VM) under extreme loads is a challenging undertaking due to the conflicting requirements in structural damping for EH and VM. Large damping is required for VM, whereas small or moderate damping is required for EH to ensure that the structure maintains low-amplitude vibrations for as long as possible. Furthermore, the EH potential of buildings using the proposed design solution has never been quantified. In reference to these challenges, the objectives of this research include: (i) development of a nonlinear model for the EH dampers, (ii) quantification of the energy potential of tall buildings subject to wind loading, and (iii) investigation of the seismic performance of tall buildings with damping levels suitable for energy harvesting. The work described here is a preliminary, yet fundamental, study to assess the feasibility of using dampers to satisfy both objectives described above and will be used as the basis for future research efforts on the topic.