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Equivalent Lateral Force Procedure

The ASCE 7 Equivalent Lateral Force Procedure consists of determining the total lateral force, or shear at the base (V) from the following formula: V=CsW Where: Cs = seismic response coefficient = SDS/(R/I) W= effective seismic weight, including the total dead load of the building This formula can be rewritten as: V = SDSWI/R It might help to understand this formula if we go back to the basic relationship between force and acceleration, which is F = Ma. This is equivalent to V = SDSW. The importance factor I is introduced, in order to increase V for certain critical structures. Thus, V = SDSWI. Now we take that value of V and reduce it by the coefficient Rw, to account for the ability of the structural system to accommodate loads and absorb energy considerably in excess of the usual allowable stresses without collapsing, and thus, V = W, the basic seismic formula. In the paragraphs that follow, we will explain the terms in this formula in more detail. The seismic force V is generally evaluated in two horizontal directions parallel to the main axes of the building. For buildings assigned to SDC A and B, the structure must be able to resist effects caused by seismic forces in either direction, although not in both directions simultaneously. The same is true for buildings assigned to SDC C, except for those buildings possessing a nonparallel systems horizontal irregularity, where the vertical elements of the seismicforce resisting system are not parallel to or symmetric about the major orthogonal (rightangle) axes of the seismic-force-resisting system. Building irregularities are discussed in greater detail below. When such a horizontal discontinuity exists, structural members must

be designed to resist the effects from the simultaneous application of 100 percent of the seismic forces in one direction and 30 percent of the seismic forces in the orthogonal direction. Buildings assigned to SDC D through F must conform to these same requirements. Additionally, any column or wall that is part of two intersecting seismic-force-resisting systems and that is subjected to an axial load due to seismic forces greater than 20 percent of the axial design strength of the member must be designed for the most critical effects due to seismic forces acting in any direction. ASCE 7 gives procedures on how to satisfy the direction of loading requirements for SDC D through F.

Seismic Response Coefficient, Cs


The formulas for Cs given in the code are used to determine the base shear V. These formulas form the basis of the design spectrum of the Equivalent Lateral Force Procedure. The design spectrum is illustrated below for a typical building. Note the similarities between the shape of the design spectrum and the response spectra presented in Figure 12.14. As noted previously, the seismic response coefficient Cs is determined by the following formula: C = SDS/(R/I) The above formula is independent of the period of the building and represents the horizontal line (short-period response) of the design spectrum. Note that in the Equivalent Lateral Force Procedure, the horizontal portion of the spectrum begins at a period equal to zero and extends to a period equal to Ts = SD1/SDS, which is slightly different than what is depicted in the previous figures of the response spectra. Ignoring the initial linear segment of the curve at low periods is mainly for simplicity, since that portion of the spectrum rarely has an effect on the design of a typical building. The value of Cs need not exceed the following:

Cs = SD1/T(R/I) for T less than or equal to TL C, = SD1TL/T2(R/I) for T greater than TL It is evident from these formulas that Cs is dependent on the fundamental period of the building T, which is discussed later. The first of these formulas represents the descending portion of the design spectrum (long-period response) up to the period TL, where TL is the long-period transition period. ASCE 7 Figures 22-15 through 22-20 contain TL values. Figure 22-15, for the contiguous U.S., is reproduced below. The second formula represents the descending portion of the design spectrum for periods greater than TL. For typical buildings, the fundamental period of the building T is usually much less than TL. The code also requires that Cs be no less than 0.01. This essentially sets a minimum base shear V equal to 1 percent of the effective seismic weight W, which is the same minimum horizontal force requirement for buildings assigned to SDC A. This minimum V may govern in cases where the period of the building is large. In addition, for buildings located in regions of high seismic risk where S, is greater than or equal to 0.6g, the minimum Cs is determined by the following formula: Cs = 0.5S/(R/I) A form of this lower-bound formula originally appeared in the 1997 Uniform Building Code, and was first adopted in response to the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Southern California. The code sets an upper limit on the value of Ss when computing Cs by the above formulas. In particular, the value of Ss need not exceed 1.5g in regular buildings that are five stories or less in height and that have a fundamental period T less than or equal to 0.5 second. The value of the fundamental period of vibration of the building T may be approximated from the following formula: T = C,(hn)> where Ct and x are parameters that depend on the structure type and hn is the height of the building in feet. Values of Ct and x are given in Table 12.8-2 of ASCE 7, which is reproduced in Figure 12.15.

Note that in the formula for T, hn is raised to the x power where x varies from 0.75 to 0.9. These calculations must be done on a calculator that has a function of raising numbers to a power. Two other formulas are provided in the code that may be used to determine T when certain conditions are satisfied. The above formula can be used in any situation.

I Factor
I is the importance factor as defined by ASCE 7 Table 11.5-1: You can see that the value of I for earthquake is either 1.0, 1.25, or 1.5, depending on the occupancy category of the building. Hence, essential facilities such as hospitals and fire and police stations are designed for seismic forces 50 percent greater than normal (I = 1.5). In this way, such emergency facilities are expected to be safe and usable following an earthquake. Buildings containing certain highly toxic substances must also be designed to these higher standards. Similarly, high-occupancy buildings that represent a substantial hazard to human life schools, health care facilities, and stadiums must be designed for seismic forces 25 percent greater than normal (I = 1.25).

Response Modification Factor, R


When we design a structural system to resist dead, live, and wind loads, we attempt to keep deformations and stresses within acceptably low limits. However, it would be economically prohibitive to use those same limitations when designing for the maximum expected earthquake motion. Instead, the basic philosophy of seismic design is that the structure be able to accommodate the maximum expected earthquake without collapse. Although the structure is expected to ride out the earthquake, inelastic deformation is expected to occur, as well as structural and nonstructural damage. The Response Modification Factor R, which is determined by the type of lateral load resisting system used, is a measure of the system's

ability to accommodate earthquake loads and absorb energy without collapse. A stiff, brittle structure has a low value of R, while a resilient, ductile system has a high value of R. Later in this lesson we will discuss the R values of various lateral load resisting systems in more detail.

Effective Seismic Weight, W


The effective seismic weight W of a building includes all of the dead loads and applicable portions of other loads, as follows: 1. In storage occupancies (including warehouses), 25 percent of the floor live load. Note that floor live load in public garages and open parking structures need not be included. 2. Where a partition load is used in the floor design, the actual weight of the partitions, or a minimum weight of 10 psf. 3. The operating weight of any equipment permanently attached to the building. 4. Where the flat roof snow load exceeds 30 psf, 20 percent of the uniform design snow load, regardless of the roof slope.