American Society of Civil Engineers

Dynamic Testing and Structural Identification of the Hypo Bank Office Complex. I: Experiments

by Antonino Morassi, (Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Univ. of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy. E-mail:

Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 137, No. 12, December 2011, pp. 1527-1539, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Nondestructive dynamic methods are a useful tool in structural engineering. Their purpose is twofold. First, they provide guidance on the validation of a mathematical model of the structure under investigation. Second, repeated tests over time can indicate the emergence of possible damage occurring during the structure’s lifetime. Recent technological progress has generated extremely accurate and reliable experimental methods, enabling a good estimate of dynamic behavior of a structural system. Although experimental techniques are now well-established, the interpretation of measurements still lags somewhat behind. This particularly concerns structural identification due to its nature of inverse problem. In addition, when identification techniques are applied to the study of real-world structures, additional obstacles arise given the complexity of the structural behavior, the inaccuracy of the analytical models used to interpret experiments, measurement errors, and incomplete field data. This study discusses some of these aspects with reference to a series of harmonic forced-vibration tests carried out on the new headquarters of the Hypo Bank (Tavagnacco, northeast Italy). The special structural typology of the tilted building and the complex distribution of the resisting structural members have made interesting, and at the same time quite complicated, the interpretation of the real dynamic behavior of the construction. The present paper (Part I) is devoted to the experimental programme. The use of the measured dynamic data in the calibration of numerical models of the Hypo Bank complex is presented and discussed in Part II.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Dynamic tests
Structural dynamics
Commercial buildings
Mathematical models

Author Keywords:
Dynamic methods
Structural identification
Experimental modal analysis
Finite-element models
Structural dynamics