Distribution of earthquake-induced floor horizontal accelerations and generation of floor responses

Student: Angelos Floros
Supervisors: Prof Guido Magedes


Non structural elements or parts, are the components of a building that do not make part of the principal seismic load resisting system. They include among others equipment attached to the primary structure, partitions, non-load bearing walls, roofs and floor diaphragms. The importance of seismic design of non-structural elements and secondary systems is rapidly increasing during the last years. Indeed, the damage over acceptable limits of non-structural elements and equipment of nuclear or chemical plants during a seismic action can be of major danger for human life. Also the potentially high cost due to the damage of parts, is proven to result to catastrophic economical consequences.

Current design provision, estimate the floor horizontal accelerations that are necessary to obtain forces for the design of diaphragms, for the design of their connections and for the design of non-structural components and equipment supported by the structure. However most of the expressions proposed do not take into account the overall displacement ductility demand of the system.

Scope of this paper is to demonstrate the high variation of floor acceleration amplification on conventional frames, depending on the displacement ductility demand induced by the inertia forces to the building. Also, an investigation and a critical comparison between the floor horizontal accelerations estimated from a recently developed method as well as from the various code expressions and those obtained by non-linear dynamic analysis has been carried out.

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