Structural systems for residential and office buildings have evolved to reflect their differing functional requirements.
Office Tall Buildings:
The need to satisfy differing requirements of tenants leads to the provision of large column-free open areas to allow flexibility in constantly changing office layouts.
Improved levels of services frequently necessitate an entire floor devoted to mechanical plant. However, this lost space can often be compensated by accommodating deep girders or trusses connecting the exterior and interior structural systems.
Earlier heavy internal partitions and masonry cladding, with their contributions to the reserve of stiffness and strength, have given way to light removable partitions and cubicles and glass curtain walls, forcing the basic structure alone to provide the required strength and stiffness against both vertical and lateral loads.
Large entrances and open lobby areas at ground level, multi-story atriums, and high level restaurants and viewing galleries may require more sophisticated elevator systems and multiple sky lobbies.
Residential Tall Buildings:
The basic function is the provision of self-contained individual dwelling units, separated by substantial partitions that provide adequate fire and acoustical insulation.
Because the partitions are repeated from story to story, modern designs have utilized them in a structural capacity.
This has led to the shear wall, cross wall, and in filled-frame methods of construction.