Leadership in Engineering


Structural damping devices absorb energy caused by wind, earthquake, or vibrations. They are economical and effective at controlling lateral accelerations and improving occupant comfort.
MKA incorporated the first-ever tuned liquid “sloshing” mass damper at Highcliff Apartments in Hong Kong in 1995.
Visco-elastic dampers at Two Union Square in Seattle reduce sway.
Safeco Field’s damping system mitigate seismic forces.
At Benaroya Hall, rubber bearings isolate the main performance hall from vibrations.
Friction pendulum dampers at CenturyLink Field allow the roof and main seating bowl to move independently during a seismic event.

Over the past 30 years, MKA has been instrumental in the development of damping systems for buildings, including many "first-ever" industry applications. Damping can be used in high-rise buildings to control lateral accelerations, reduce occupant perception of motion, and lower construction costs. They can also be used in non-high-rise buildings to absorb energy imposed by an earthquake. Dampers are a cost-effective method of minimizing structural damage without resorting to a more traditional approach of increasing building stiffness through enlarged and intrusive structural elements. A sampling of MKA’s innovative damping applications is shown on this page, including a video demonstration (above) of how tuned liquid "sloshing" dampers function to counteract wind-induced building movement.

On a steep cliffside in Hong Kong, Highcliff Apartments is the first-ever high-rise to incorporate a tuned liquid "sloshing" mass damper (TLMD), crticial to achieving the building’s desired height and extreme slenderness (pictured at top right). The dampers greatly increase occupant comfort under windy conditions.


Safeco Field incorporates a first-ever roof damping system, comprised of eight large "shock-absorber"-type damping units that mitigate thermal and seismic forces. The ballpark’s eight viscous dampers reduce dynamic earthquake loads on the roof, travel track system, and elevated runway structure by 50 percent. The amount of energy absorbed by the dampers during an earthquake is shown in green, above.


MKA was the first to use hyperefficient visco-elastic dampers in at Two Union Square, a 56-story high-rise in Seattle, Washington.


Benaroya Hall incorporates a unique system of vertical and horizontal rubber bearings to isolate the urban world-class performance hall from vibrations induced by below-grade bus and train tunnels.


CenturyLink Field’s two steel-tied arches, spanning 220 m (720 ft), are "decoupled" from the main stadium structure using friction pendulum dampers located at the top of each roof support tower. This unique design allows the roof to move independently from the bowl during an earthquake, reducing forces and minimizing damage.

Featured Damping Projects: