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Earthquake Engineering and Plastic Design

Engr. Katherine Shayne D. Yee, CE, RMP, ME-1

What happens to the buildings during an
If the ground moves rapidly back and
forth, then the foundations of the building
are forced to follow these movements.
The upper part would remain where it is
because of its mass of inertia.
A resonance phenomena will incur and
cause large internal force.
This frequently results in plastic
deformation of the structure and
substantial damage with local failures
and in extreme cases, collapse.
General Concepts in Earthquake Resistant Design

Resist minor earthquake without damage

Resist moderate earthquake without structural damage, but

possibly experience some non-structural damage

Resist major earthquake without collapse, but possibly with some

structural as well as nonstructural damage.
To become Earthquake Resistant,

Strength the structure must have the ability to carry or resist the
earthquake forces without failure.

Ductility the structure must have the ability to deform past the
elastic range without failure to dissipate the energy induced by
the earthquake.

Reference: Seismic Conceptual Design of Buildings Basic Principles for

engineers, architects, building owners, and authorities.
BP1: The architect and the engineer
collaborate from the outset.
BP1: The architect and the engineer
collaborate from the outset.
BP 2: Follow the seismic provisions of the
Enforcing building
code requirements
makes it possible to
significantly reduce
the seismic
vulnerability of
buildings with no
significant additional
costs while improving
their resistance
against collapse.
BP3: Avoid Soft-storey ground floors
In a soft storey building configuration, the columns are damaged by
CYCLIC DISPLACEMENTS between the moving soil and the upper part
of the building. A collapse is often inevitable
BP3: Avoid Soft-storey ground floors

This sway mechanism in the ground floor of the building

under construction almost provoked a collapse.
This multi-storey
building has just
escaped collapse
from an
And this is the remains of the left A resistant column with well detailed
edge ground floor column stabilizing confining reinforcement
BP4: Avoid Soft-Storey Upper floors
If lateral bracing is weakened or omitted, or if the horizontal resistance
is strongly reduced above a certain floor.
In this office building,
an upper storey failed.
The top of the building
has collapsed onto the
floor below.
BP5: Avoid Asymmetric Bracing!
If the center of resistance and the center of mass do not
coincide, eccentricity and twisting occurs.
Why should we must avoid asymmetric
Asymmetric Bracing leads to unbalance distribution
of stiffness or mass w/c can also lead to eccentricity
and torsion in the structure.
Dynamically a building is more efficient if the center
of mass and the center of resistance coincides.
This can be achieved with a symmetric
arrangement of the lateral bracing elements.
BP6: Avoid Bracing Offsets
Offset disturbs the direct flow of forces,
weakened the resistance and reduce
the ductility of the bracing.
They cause LARGE additional forces and
DEFORMATION in their other structural
BP7: Discontinuities in stiffness and resistance cause
Modifications of cross sections of bracing systems over the height of a
building cause discontinuities and lead to sudden variations in the
stiffness and resistance of the building.
A seismic resistant structure always has
seismic resisting parts!
Even a Special Moment Frame System is
Seismic Resisting frame
Causes of Discontinuities of Frames:
A. Floating Columns - when a column coming from top
of the building is discontinued at a lower level, usually
at the ground storey.

B. Set-back Columns - when a column coming from top

of the building is moved away from its original line,
again usually at the ground storey.

C. Lack of Grid in Moment Frame common discontinuity

of load path in the horizontal direction (in plan).
A. Floating
B. Setback Column
C. Lack of Grid in Moment Frames
Causes of Discontinuities of Structural Walls
(Shear Walls):
Structural Wall Openings
Causes of Discontinuities of Structural Walls
(Shear Walls):
B. Discontinuing structural walls in upper storey:
Causes of Discontinuities of Structural Walls
(Shear Walls):
B. Discontinuing structural walls in upper storey:
Causes of Discontinuities of Structural Walls
(Shear Walls):
C. Discontinuing structural walls in lower storey:
BP8: Two slender reinforced concrete
structural walls in each principal direction
In a zone of moderate seismicity,
in most cases two slender and
capacity designed ductile walls
in each major direction are

Walls should be placed

symmetrically with respect to the
center of mass and as close as
possible to the edges of the
This skeleton structure has reinforced concrete structural wall in transverse direction at
two building corners.
BP9: Avoid mixed systems with columns and
structural masonry walls.
The columns in combination with the
slabs or beams form frames, which has
smaller horizontal stiffness than the
masonry walls.
The earthquake actions are carried to
a large extent by masonry walls.
When masonry walls fail due to the
seismic actions or deflections, they can
no longer carry the gravity loads, which
usually lead to total collapse of the
BP10: Avoid bracing of frames with
masonry infills.
The frame structure is relatively
flexible and somewhat ductile, while
reinforced masonry is very stiff and
fragile and may explode under
effect of only small deformations.
At the beginning of an earthquake
the masonry carries most of the
earth-quake actions but as the
shaking intensifies the masonry fails
due to shear or sliding.
BP11: Brace masonry buildings with reinforced
concrete structural walls
Masonry structures are good material for
gravity load but has no resistance to
seismic excitations.

Therefore, a possible solution consists of

bracing unreinforced masonry buildings
with reinforced concrete structural walls.
BP12: Reinforce structural masonry walls to
resist horizontal actions
Possible alternative to BP11
for making masonry
structures more suitable for
seismic actions is to
reinforce some long
masonry walls and thus
stiffen them in the
longitudinal direction.
BP13: In skeleton structures, separate non-structural
masonry walls by joints.
In flexible skeleton structures, It can
be beneficial to separate non-
structural partition walls from the
structure by soft joints.
The joints run along the columns,
structural walls, and slabs, or beams
and must be filled by a very flexible
soundproof material. (e.g. soft
BP14: Avoid short columns

The diagonal cracks and shear failures

in the short columns of a multi-storey car
park in California almost caused
BP15: Avoid partially infilled frames
The infill of parapet walls into a
frame structure without the
addition of joints can cause short
column phenomena. (see BP14).
BP16: Separate adjacent buildings by joints
Pounding and hammering of adjacent
buildings can cause substantial
damage, if not collapse.
This implies the following:
The joints must have a certain min. width
The joints must be empty (no contact joints)
BP17: Favor compact plan configurations
In this L shaped building, the
stiffnesses of the two wings,
respective to each principal
direction are very different.
The two wings will tend to
oscillate very differently but also
hinder each other.
This tend to large additional
stresses, particularly at the
corners of the floor slabs and at
the end of each wing.
BP18: Use the slabs to tie in the elements
and distribute the forces
In multi-storey buildings, the
floor slabs must be nearly rigid
They must be properly
connected to all the gravity
load bearing elements to act
as section shape preservers.
Slabs ensure that all the
vertical elements contribute to
the lateral resistance.
BP19: Use transverse reinforcement with
135 degree hooks and spaced at s 5d in
structural walls and columns
Within the cyclically stressed
plastic zones of reinforced
concrete structural walls and
columns, the concrete cover
spalls when the elastic limit of
the reinforcement is exceeded.
It is necessary to stabilize the
vertical bars against buckling
and to confine the concrete to
allow greater compressive
BP20: Use transverse reinforcement with
135 degree hooks and spaced at s 5d in
structural walls and columns

In this column, the

hoops or ties were
too widely spaced
and insufficiently
anchored with only
90 hooks.
BP21: Assess the potential for soil liquefaction
Certain sandy or silty soil saturated with water can display a sufficient
static load-bearing capacity. However, when vibrated, such during an
earthquake, they suddenly behave like a liquid.
BP21: Design the structure properly and
construct accordingly
BP22: Design Foundation per Column
Other Earthquake Resistant
Base Isolation Devices Separate buildings from ground by some
rubber devices

Seismic Dampers introduced in buildings absorb the energy

produced by seismic waves.
Base Isolation Devices
As the earthquake shakes
the soil laterally, the
foundation moves with the
soil and seismic waves are
transferred throughout the
structure over time as the
seismic waves travels up to
the structure.

The base isolator reduced

the stiffness of the building
and thereby, lower its natural
Seismic Dampers
Seismic Dampers are used
in place of structural
elements, like diagonal
braces, for controlling
seismic damage in
structures. It partly absorbs
the seismic energy and
reduces the motion of
Tuned mass dampers stabilize against violent Tuned
motion caused by harmonic vibration. Mass Dampers
A tuned mass damper (TMD) consists of a mass (m),
a spring (k), and a damping device (c), which
dissipates the energy created by the motion of the

An external force is applied to a system, such as

wind pushing on a skyscraper, there has to be an
acceleration. Consequently, the people in the
skyscraper would feel this acceleration. In order to
make the occupants of the building feel more
comfortable, tuned mass dampers are placed in
structures where the horizontal deflections from the
wind's force are felt the greatest, effectively
making the building stand relatively still.
Components of a Tuned Mass Damper

Oscillating Mass
Types of Dampers
Viscous Damper

Friction Damper

Yielding Damper