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Q:

Do tall buildings sway in the wind?

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Dear Straight Dope: Is it true that tall buildings sway in the wind? Almost everyone believes this about the Empire State building in New York. I think it's an urban myth. Do you know the truth? — Sincerely, George Dunbar, Toronto, Ontario George, George, George, the answer is right under your nose, figuratively speaking. The tallest free-standing building in the Western Hemisphere is probably visible outside your window. I'll wait while you go look. For the rest of you Americans, the building in question is the CN Tower, in downtown Toronto. Back with us George? Saw it? Yes? Does it sway? You betcha. From the official statistics, available at the CN Tower website (www.cntower.ca): In a 120 KPH breeze, there is this much sway: Antenna mast (highest part): 1.07 meters (about 3 1/2 feet for you Yanks) SkyPod (Upper observation deck): .46 meters (1 1/2 feet, about) Lookout (Open observation deck): 22.9 centimeters (9 inches) It has to move. The only alternative would be to engineer ... more
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