Design Seismic Accelerations in Buildings

by Robert Smilowitz, Sr. Research Engr.; Weidlinger Assoc., Consulting Engrs., New York, N.Y.,
Nathan M. Newmark, (Hon.M.ASCE), Prof. Emeritus of Civ. Engrg.; Center for Advanced Study, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.,


Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 12, Pg. 2487-2496


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: A procedure is presented for determining the design distribution of story shears and overturning moments in buildings subjected to strong ground motions, with particular emphasis on tall buildings. A parameter study was conducted and modal analyses were performed to determine the influence of the following variables on the most probable response to earthquake excitation at various levels in a building: (1) The type of structural behavior, ranging from that of a purely flexural beam to that of a purely shear beam; (2) the fundamental frequency relative to the intersection of the linear branches of the response spectrum; (3) the degree of structural setback, ranging from uniform to setback over 80% of the height; and (4) the degree of foundation compliance. For all parametric combinations a bilinear response spectrum was used and the secondary P-Δeffects were incorporated into the modal analysis.

Subject Headings: Building design | Structural behavior | Ground motion | Parameters (statistics) | Linear analysis | Modal analysis | Beams

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