Short Course on Seismic Analysis and Design of Tall Buildings

Pavia, 2nd - 12th April 2013

Download the flyer of the course here


Tall buildings are a special class of structures with their own peculiar characteristics and requirements. Tall buildings are often occupied by a large number of people. Therefore, their damage, loss of functionality, or collapse can have very severe and adverse consequences on the life and limb and on the economy of the affected regions. Each tall building represents a significant investment and as such tall building analysis and design is generally performed using more sophisticated techniques and methodologies. Furthermore, typical building code provisions are usually developed without particular attention to tall buildings, which represent a very small portion of the construction activity in most regions. Therefore, understanding modern approaches to seismic analysis and design of tall buildings can be very valuable to structural engineers and researchers who would like to have a better grasp on design and performance of these icons of a modern megacity.

Objectives of the course

The main objective of this course is to familiarize students with the state-of-the-art in seismic analysis and design of tall buildings from the perspective of the United States academics and practitioners.  At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand common structural systems utilized in tall buildings and their design philosophy.
  • Perform preliminary design and analysis of various structural systems for tall buildings.
  • Conduct site-specific seismic hazard analysis and modeling, including necessary ground motion selection and modification.
  • Develop analytical models for tall buildings using state-of-the-art structural analysis programs, whic and assess structural response under seismic excitation using such analytical tools.
  • Distinguish between prescriptive design methods and modern performance-based design methods for tall buildings.
  • Understand the differences between component-based design and system-based design procedures for tall buildings.
  • Conduct tall building performance evaluation both at component and system level based on state-of-the-art methods and latest guidelines.
  • Effectively participate in structural design of tall buildings for specified performance objectives at component and system levels.

The course will ba taught by Farzad Naeim, Vice President and General Counsel at John A. Martin & Associates, Inc. in Los Angeles, and Farzin Zareian, Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of California-Irvine.

About the instructors

Farzad Naeim is the Vice President and General Counsel at John A. Martin & Associates, Inc. in Los Angeles, California. He received his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from University of Southern California in 1982 and his J.D. with highest honors in 2002. In 2007, he received the Fazlur Khan Medal for lifetime achievements from Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. He has served two terms (1995 and 2011) as the President of the Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council. Dr. Naeim is a Past-President and an honorary member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI).  Farzad has published four textbooks, more than 140 peer-reviewed papers, and has developed 45 different software systems for earthquake engineering design and education.  Dr. Naeim has served as Technical Director for many landmark structures in California and across the United States.

Farzin Zareian is an Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of California-Irvine and his research is focused in the area of Performance Based Earthquake Engineering (PBEE). Within this area, his research efforts focus on applied structural modeling (buildings and bridges) for enhancement of PBEE, appropriate characterization of structural damping, and the development of tools for implementation of PBEE by engineering practice. Straddling the boundary of academia and industry, his research requires a fundamental understanding of the physical response of structures, as well as practical design issues. Dr. Zareian received his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Stanford University in 2006. He has authored 8 book chapters and more than 50 peer reviewed papers.

Further information

The detailed programme of the course as well as registraton information are summarised in the course announcement flyer that can be downloaded here.