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Engineering Structures 197 (2019) 109402

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A direct displacement-based design procedure for base-isolated building T

structures with lead rubber bearings (LRBs)
⁎ ⁎
Kun Ye , Yan Xiao, Liang Hu
School of Civil Engineering and Mechanics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China


Keywords: This paper proposes a direct-displacement based design (DDBD) procedure, to make base-isolated building
Direct displacement-based design structure with lead-rubber bearing (LRBs) satisfy the performance objectives prescribed by displacement
Base-isolated building structures thresholds. To this end, the DDBD for regular building structures is incorporated with the two-degree-of-freedom
Lead Rubber Bearings (LRBs) (2DOF) model of base-isolated building structures. Fundamentals of the standard DDBD procedure is briefed at
2DOF model
first. The equivalent linearized 2DOF model of a base-isolated building structure is then detailed. Modal analysis
and response spectrum analysis of this 2DOF model has been carried out, which suggests a simplistic and readily-
invertible closed-form relationship from structural characteristics to seismic displacements. Given the dis-
placement requirements, the relationship facilitates the solution of the structural parameters of the base-isolated
building structure. Following the basic steps of DDBD but utilizing this 2DOF model as the substitute for the
original nonlinear structural model, an alternative DDBD procedure is then developed and detailed. This DDBD
procedure is verified by numerical examples, in which the nonlinear time-history analysis of the designed
structures yields seismic displacement results matching the preset target thresholds well. The design solutions of
the proposed procedure are also compared with those given by an existing one. Numerical results indicate that
the proposed DDBD procedure is reliable, straightforward, and convenient for the seismic design of base-isolated
building structures with LRBs.

1. Introduction formulation of the equivalent viscous damping.

Seismic isolation works in extensive civil engineering practical cases
Force-based aseismic design is traditionally utilized to ensure the in the past decades [10], because it can effectively mitigate earthquake
safety of civil engineering structures under earthquake ground motion. damages with the acceptable economic expense. The key idea of seismic
However, the concept of performance-based seismic design has been isolation is to shift the fundamental frequency of a base-isolated
proposed and developed in the last decades of years, aiming at the structure far away from both the fundamental frequency of the corre-
designed structures satisfying with controllable structural performance sponding fixed-base structure and the dominant frequency of ground
objectives under specified levels of seismic hazard. Since those perfor- motions and enhance the ability of energy dissipation by installing
mance levels are related more closely to displacements than forces or flexible isolation system between the superstructure and foundation
mostly defined in terms of displacements, the performance-based de- [11]. As far as the aseismic design of base-isolated structures is con-
sign has engendered a category of displacement-based design (DBD) cerned, the force-based procedures are mostly used, such as the
methods. In this category, the direct displacement-based design (DDBD) equivalent lateral force (ELF) method and modal response spectrum
procedure [1] is popular, which has been extended to various structural method in the current codes (i.e., ASCE 7 [12,13], AASHTO [14] and
types including RC frame structures [2], RC wall and frame-wall Eurocode 8 [15]).
structures [3], masonry structures [4,5], steel structures [6,7], and Aimed at the performance-based design of seismic isolated struc-
bridges [8,9]. The extensions of DDBD procedure to specific structural tures, DDBD procedures have also been developed for bridge [16,17]
systems follow the same basic procedure of DDBD but are incorporating and building structures [18] equipped with seismic isolation. The DDBD
with particularly devised detail components. They may have, for ex- procedure in [16] contains an improved equivalent viscous damping
ample, different deformation capacities, displaced shape profiles, yield ratio for LRBs, whereas Cardone et al. [17,18] developed the DDBD
displacements, and displacement ductility demands, and even the procedure for structures equipped with various types of seismic

Corresponding authors.
E-mail addresses: (K. Ye), (L. Hu).
Received 29 November 2018; Received in revised form 30 May 2019; Accepted 13 July 2019
0141-0296/ © 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
K. Ye, et al. Engineering Structures 197 (2019) 109402

isolation systems. However, similar to the conventional DDBD proce- and the top lateral displacement under the design-based earthquake,
dure, all of the existed DDBD procedures for isolated structures replace which manifests the limits of displacements of each story. Additionally,
the nonlinear MDOF model of the isolated structure with an equivalent a ductility limit on the displacements is also demanded. Starting from
linear SDOF system. It is well known that, rather than the SDOF model, those displacement requirements, the DDBD results in the design of
the fundamental dynamic characteristics of a base-isolated building structural characteristics of the building, which is a typical inverse
structure can be described accurately and conveniently by the two- problem. The key idea of DDBD procedure is that to facilitate the so-
degrees-of-freedom (2DOF) model proposed by Kelly [19]. Conse- lution of such a problem, the substitute structure approach [20] is
quently, herein an alternative DDBD procedure for base-isolated utilized to provide the relationship from structural parameters to dis-
building structures is proposed, in which the conventional DDBD pro- placements of the target building but in a simplified and readily in-
cedure is integrated with the modal and response analysis theory of vertible form.
2DOF model [19]. The procedure is also numerically verified in com- The nonlinear multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) system of the
parison with existing ones. building is first replaced with an equivalent linear single-degree-of-
The remaining part of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2 freedom (SDOF) system with the equivalent mass me, effective height he
introduces the fundamentals of the traditional DDBD procedure for and target displacement Δd0 (Fig. 1a):
regular non-isolated buildings. In Section 3, the original nonlinear N
model as well as its equivalent 2DOF linearized model of base-isolated ∑i = 1 (mi ·Δi )
me =
buildings are detailed. Based on the dynamic characteristics analysis Δ0d (1)
and seismic response analysis of the 2DOF model, a simplistic structural
characteristics-displacement relationship is derived as the substitute ∑i = 1 (mi ·Δi ·hi )
model. Section 4 incorporates the basic DDBD steps with the 2DOF he = N
∑i = 1 (mi ·Δi ) (2)
model to propose a detail DDBD procedure for LRB-isolated building
structures. A numerical example is provided in Section 5, which verifies N
∑i = 1 (mi ·Δi2 )
the proposed procedure and compares it to the existing procedure by Δ0d = N
[18]. Findings and observations are summarized in Section 6. ∑i = 1 (mi ·Δi ) (3)

where N is the number of stories, mi is the mass of each story, and Δi is

2. Fundamentals of the DDBD procedure the associated displacement relative to the ground. It is noteworthy
that, under the design-based earthquake, the original MDOF system
A brief introduction of the DDBD is presented in this section by may behave nonlinearly, so that the SDOF system need be equivalently
taking as an example the performance-based seismic design of a regular linearized by the secant or effective stiffness ke (Fig. 1b). The effective
multi-story building structure (Fig. 1a). The target performance objec- stiffness is the primary structural parameter to be determined by the
tive is to apply constraints on both the lateral inter-story displacements design process. With this simplified SDOF model, the structural

Fig. 1. Fundamental steps of the standard DDBD procedure.

K. Ye, et al. Engineering Structures 197 (2019) 109402

parameters can then be obtained readily by the inverted (displacement- elastic stiffness kE). Alternatively, an equivalent linearized model
structural properties) relationship by the substitute structure approach. (Fig. 2b) may simplify the bilinear relationship and thus facilitate the
According to the existing ductility-damping diagrams, the effective structural analysis involving LRB isolation system. Under the specified
viscous damping ratio ξe of the SDOF system is first estimated as shown displacement of LRB isolation system Δ and the associated restoring
in Fig. 1c. The effective period Te is then identified from the curve of force Fm, the effective stiffness kIS and damping ratio ξIS of the linear-
design displacement response spectrum under the viscous damping ized system are expressed as:
ratio ξe, as the value corresponding to the target displacement
Δ0d (Fig. 1d). Based on Te and Δ0d , ke is determined as: Q F
kIS = kP + = m
Δ Δ (6)
k e = 4π 2
Te2 (4)
2Q (Δ − uY )
ξIS =
Finally, the design base shear of the target structure is calculated as πkIS Δ2 (7)
VB = ke·Δd0 (5) where ξIS is calculated based on the equal energy dissipation principle
and then distributed to each story as a set of lateral forces Fi. It has been proposed by Jacobsen [22].
shown that the regular design of the target building under the loading Based on the effective stiffness kIS and by assuming the isolated
VB and Fi, in conjunction with ke and ξe, can assure the performance superstructure as rigid, the effective period of the whole base-isolated
objectives specified. More details of the standard DDBD procedure may building structure is given by:
be found in references such as [21].
mT ∑i = 1 mi + mIS
TIS = 2π = 2π
3. 2DOF model of base-isolated building structures kIS kIS (8)

In this section, the original nonlinear model of the base-isolated where mT is the total mass of the base-isolated building structure, in-
building structure with LRBs is first introduced. Its equivalent linear- cluding the mass of the isolated superstructure, ∑i = 1 mi (mi is the mass
ized 2DOF model is then detailed, together with its dynamic char- of i-th floor of isolated superstructure) and the mass at the isolation
acteristics. Seismic response analysis in terms of displacement response level mIS.
spectrum is then utilized to establish a link between structural para-
meters and responses, by jointly taking the equivalence conditions into
3.2. 2DOF model
Kelly [19] has developed a linearized 2DOF model to simplify the
3.1. Original model of base-isolated building structures with LRBs
dynamic analysis of base-isolated building structures. As shown in
Fig. 3, the equivalent displacements of the two DOFs are modeled as
The original base-isolated building structure is shown in Fig. 2a. The
uIS,eq and uS,eq, representing the displacement of the isolation level re-
isolated superstructure is modeled as an MDOF linear-elastic structure
lative to the ground (i.e., the displacements of isolation system) and the
whose parameters include the story mass mi, lateral stiffness ki, and
relative displacement of the superstructure with respect to the isolation
damping coefficients ci, i = 1 … N. The linear-elastic assumption is
level, respectively. The equivalent mass, stiffness and damping coeffi-
reasonable because the base-isolated building structure should comply
cient corresponding to the two DOFs are mIS,eq and mS,eq, kIS,eq and kS,eq,
with an operational performance level under design-based earthquake,
cIS,eq and cS,eq, respectively; computation of those equivalent para-
which corresponds to the maximum inter-story drifts in the range of
meters from the original structural parameters are detailed in Section 4.
only 0.2–0.5%. With those linear-elastic structural parameters, the
Modal analysis of the equivalent 2DOF model of the base-isolated
fundamental period of the isolated superstructure assumed as fixed-
structure gives its first and second periods as:
base is computed as TS, and the corresponding modal damping ratio is
ξS. TIS,eq
T1, eq =
In comparison to the superstructure, the LRB isolation system is 1 − μeq εeq

more complex as it is characterized by the bilinear force–deformation TS , eq 1 − μeq

T2, eq =
relationship in terms of the physical parameters (Fig. 2b), i.e., the post- 1 + μeq εeq (9)
yield stiffness kP, the characteristic yield strength Q (the force intercept
at zero displacements) and the yield deformation uY (or the initial and the first and second order modal damping ratios as:

Fig. 2. Base-isolated building structure (Left) and bilinear force-deformation relationship of LRB.

K. Ye, et al. Engineering Structures 197 (2019) 109402

uS, eq max
= εeq
uIS, eq max (16)

Taking into account the equivalence between the 2DOF model and
the original base-isolated structure, Eq. (16) may result in a useful re-
presentation of the seismic displacement of the original structure. First,
the equivalent displacement |uIS,eq|max is equal to the displacement of
isolation level in the original structure |uIS|max, whereas |uS,eq|max can
be regarded as the relative displacement of isolated superstructure at
the effective height (Eq. (2)). Second, the equivalent period and
damping ratio of isolated superstructure in the 2DOF model are equal to
those of first-order mode of the original fixed-base superstructure:
TS, eq = TS ξS, eq = ξS (17)
Fig. 3. 2DOF model for base-isolated building structure with LRBs.
Moreover, because the equivalent mass of the isolation level and the
equivalent stiffness and damping coefficient of the isolation system are
ξ1,eq = ξIS, eq 1 − 2 μeq εeq
) regarded the same as those of the original structure (i.e., mIS,eq = mIS
ξS , eq + μeq εeq ξIS , eq
and kIS,eq = kIS), it may be derived that:
ξ2,eq = 1 − μeq (1 − 1
μ ε
2 eq eq ) (10) mIS,eq + mS,eq mIS + mS,eq
TIS, eq = 2π = TIS
kIS,eq mT (18)
In Eqs. (9) and (10),

mIS,eq + mS, eq mS, eq Substituting Eqs. (17) and (18) into Eq. (16) then yields:
TIS,eq = 2π , TS, eq = 2π
kIS, eq kS, eq (11) uS, eq max 1 mT
= εeq = ·
uIS, eq max RIS2 mIS + mS,eq (19)
are the equivalent natural periods of the base-isolated structure (i.e., by
assuming as a rigid superstructure) and the isolated superstructure where RIS = TIS/TS denotes the period ratio of the original structure,
(assumed as fixed-base); i.e., the effective period of the entire base-isolated structure (Eq. (8))
cIS, eq cS, eq over the isolated superstructure as fixed-base. It can be observed from
ξIS, eq = , ξS, eq = Eq. (19) that the ratio of the peak displacement of isolation system to
2(mIS, eq + mS, eq) kIS, eq 2 mS, eq kS, eq (12) the relative peak displacement of the isolated superstructure depends
on both the period ratio of the original structure and the equivalent
are the equivalent damping ratios of the base-isolation structure and the
mass of the superstructure of the 2DOF model (also an explicit function
isolated superstructure; consequently, the equivalent dimensionless
of structural parameters). Therefore, a clear and simple link has been
period ratio and mass ratio are defined as
established in Eq. (19) from structural parameters to the seismic dis-
2 placements of a base-isolated structure. On the other hand, if the dis-
TS, eq ⎞ mS, eq
εeq = ⎜⎛ ⎟ , μeq = placements are given, corresponding structural parameters may be
⎝ IS, eq ⎠ mS, eq + mIS, eq (13)
solved by inverting the relationship in Eq. (19). This solution process
A detailed description of the dynamic characteristics of this may not be straightforward, but it may be feasible by carefully selecting
equivalent 2DOF model can be found in [19]. unknowns and applying reasonable constraint conditions. Therefore,
the relationship expressed by Eq. (19) resembles the one required by
the standard DDBD procedure, which is utilized to propose the DDBD
3.3. Seismic response of the 2DOF system
procedure for base-isolated building structures in the following section.

By utilizing the modal response spectrum analysis and neglecting

high order terms of εeq, the peak values of equivalent displacements 4. DDBD procedure for base-isolated building structures
|uIS,eq|max and |uS,eq|max are expressed as:
As aforementioned, an alternative DDBD procedure is proposed for
uIS,eq max = (1 − μeq εeq ) SD (T1, eq, ξ1, eq) (14) base-isolated buildings with LRBs by incorporating the general proce-
dure for regular buildings and the 2DOF linearized model of base-iso-
uS, eq max = εeq (1 − μeq εeq )[SD2 (T1,eq, ξ1,eq ) + SD2 (T2,eq, ξ2,eq )]1 2
(15) lated buildings. For a base-isolated building structure, design require-
ments are applied by its basic functionality as well as the performance
where SD(T, ξ) is the elastic design displacement spectrum as the objectives in terms of displacement thresholds under a specified seismic
function of both T and ξ. It should be noted that Eqs. (14) and (15) are intensity. The design procedure aims at the determination of the me-
essentially the same as the formulations for the deformation of isolation chanical characteristics of the LRB isolation system, and the associated
system and drift of superstructure in the Kelly’s 2DOF model [19] by set of lateral forces for the isolated superstructure. Accordingly, the
neglecting the higher-order term of frequency ratio εeq. Aiming at a superstructure can be designed by this set of loading linear-statically as
possible simplified approximation of those displacements, for a typical a regular structure. The structural design resulted as such will fulfill the
base-isolated structure the lateral stiffness of its superstructure is design requirements specified. Overall, the DDBD procedure developed
usually substantially larger than that of the isolation system. In such a in this study consists of the following seven steps, which is also illu-
case, jointly considering that the first and second modal periods of the strated by the block diagram in Fig. 5.
2DOF system are approximately reciprocally-proportional to the root- Step 1: Preliminary design of the isolated superstructure. Start from
of-square of the stiffness of both the isolation system and the super- the requirements by the functionality of the building, a draft structural
structure, T1,eq ≫ T2,eq may be yielded. Consequently, the conclusion configuration of the isolated superstructure is empirically determined,
SD(T1,eq, ξ1,eq) ≫ SD(T2,eq, ξ2,eq) could be obtained [23]. Thus, based on which includes floor masses, inter-story heights, span lengths, beam/
Eqs. (14) and (15), the following simple approximate relationship is column sections, etc. It is assumed that the stiffness and mass of the
yielded: superstructure are distributed uniformly along with the height. With

K. Ye, et al. Engineering Structures 197 (2019) 109402

Fig. 4. Base-isolated building structure and corresponding target displacement profiles.

Fig. 5. Flowchart of the alternative DDBD procedure.

K. Ye, et al. Engineering Structures 197 (2019) 109402

the draft design, the superstructure is modeled as an N-story fixed-base N

∑i = 1 (mi ·Di ·hi )
shear-type structure (Fig. 4a), where mi, ki, ci and hi, (i = 1, 2, …, N) are hS, eq = N
∑i = 1 (mi ·Di ) (25)
the mass, lateral stiffness, damping coefficient and height of i-th story,
respectively. The fundamental period of the fixed-base superstructure It is noted that the design displacement DS,eq is essentially equal to
TS is then calculated accordingly. |uS,eq|max defined in the previous section. Substituting Eq. (21) into Eqs.
Step 2: Determining of performance objectives of base-isolated (23) and (24), the design displacement DS,eq and effective mass mS,eq
building structures. Usually, the operational performance level [24] is can be reformulated as:
required for the isolated superstructure under the design basis earth-
N 2
quake (DBE), or more strictly under the maximum considered earth- θS0 h1 ∑i = 1 mi Φi
DS,eq =
quake (MCE). To preclude the damage of non-structural components as N
Φ1 ∑ mi Φi
i=1 (26)
demanded by this performance requirement, the maximum inter-story
drift of the isolated superstructure should not exceed the allowable N 2
limit θS0 of 0.2–0.5% suggested by SEAOC in Vision 2000 [24]. Below (∑i = 1 mi Φi )
mS, eq = N
this displacement limit, the superstructure would be regarded as linear- ∑i = 1 mi Φi2 (27)
elastic. Because the total weight of isolated superstructure known in the
previous step is directly supported by LRB isolation system, the di- Step 5: Solving the period ratio. In the equivalent 2DOF model, the
mension of LRBs can be determined based on the allowable compressive period ratio RIS may be computed by the explicit relationship derived in
Eq. (19) with the specified target displacement threshold (i.e., DIS and
stress upon based on the vertical design load known in the previous
θS0 ):
step, which in turn are closely related to the horizontal deformation
capacity of LRBs. Thus, the performance level also imposes the hor- 0
Φ1DIS mT · ∑i = 1 mi Φi2

izontal displacement of the LRB isolation system, i.e., the design dis- RIS2 =
θS h1 [mIS · ∑N mi Φi2 + (∑N mi Φi )2] (28)
placement DIS of the LRBs, which should not exceed the deformation i=1 i=1
capacity of the LRB isolation system. In summary, the performance
0 which is derived by substituting Eqs. (26) and (27) into (19), and re-
objective is represented by two displacement limits: DIS and θS0 0
garding DIS and DS,eq as |uIS,eq|max and |uS,eq|max in Eq. (19). Further-
Step 3: Computing the target displacement profile of the super-
0 more, it is noted that the right-hand side of Eq. (28) is implicitly a
structure. From the limits DIS and θS0 , the target displacement profile
nonlinear equation of RIS because the normalized profile Φi defined in
(displacement threshold of each floor) can be calculated. As shown in
Eq. (22) depends on RIS. Therefore, RIS should be solved iteratively, i.e.,
Fig. 4a, the target profile of the base-isolated structure Δi is the sum-
by selecting an initial value of RIS in Step 3 and repeating Steps 3–5
mation of the rigid translation resulted from the LRB isolation system
DIS and the deformation of the isolated superstructure Di: until the solution of RIS converges.
Step 6: Estimating the effective stiffness and damping ratio of the
Δi = DIS + Di (20) LRB system. Having the period ratio RIS been solved, the equivalent
stiffness of LRB isolation system is computed by:
where Di is further expressed as
kIS = 4π 2
Φi (RIS TS )2 (29)
Di = θS0 ·h1·
Φ1 (21)
Determination of the effective damping ratio ξIS includes three sub-
where D1 = θS0 h1 denotes the inter-story lateral displacement of the first steps. First, based on Eq. (9), the first modal period T1 of the equivalent
story, at which the inter-story drift maximizes along with the height of 2DOF model is obtained by:
the isolated superstructure; Φ denotes the normalized profile function
mIS + mS,eq
taking the concave shape for base-isolated structures as: [11,18] T1, eq = 2π
kIS (1 − μeq εeq ) (30)
1 h π 1 π
Φi = cos ⎡ ⎛ ⎞·⎛1 − i ⎞· ⎤ − cos ⎡ ⎛ ⎞· ⎤
⎜ ⎟ ⎜ ⎟
where the frequency ratio εeq and mass ratio μeq are defined in Eq. (13).
⎢ ⎝ RIS ⎠ ⎝ H ⎠ 2 ⎥ ⎢ ⎝ RIS ⎠ 2 ⎥ (22)
⎣ ⎦ ⎣ ⎦
Next, the first modal damping ratio of the equivalent 2DOF model ξ1,eq
where H is the total height of the superstructure; RIS = TIS/TS denotes is found out as the damping ratio honoring both T1,eq and the dis-
the period ratio; TS is the fundamental period of the fixed-base super- placement DIS concurrently in the design displacement response spectra
structure calculated in Step 2. It should be noted that Eq. (22) re- SD:
presents the profile function of the displacement for an inelastic con- 0
DIS = (1 − μeq εeq ) SD (T1, eq, ξ1, eq) (31)
tinuous shear building and the maximum inter-story drift located at the
first story. Consequently, the proposed design procedure is targeted to where the first modal damping ratio ξ1,eq is defined as
the multi-story building with uniform mass and stiffness distribution
over the height of the building. 3
ξ1,eq = ξIS ⎛1 − μeq εeq ⎞
Step 4: Establishing the equivalent 2DOF model. The equivalent ⎝ 2 ⎠ (32)
2DOF model for the base-isolated building structure is illustrated in
This searching process may be carried out by using the graph of
Fig. 4b, which as aforementioned comprises two equivalent SDOF sys-
curves of SD associated with various damping ratios or by a numerical
tems modeling the isolated superstructure and the LRB isolation system,
interpolation procedure. Finally, the effective damping ratio of LRB
respectively. The design displacement DS,eq, effective mass mS,eq and
isolation system ξIS can be calculated as follows:
effective height of the isolated superstructure hS,eq are derived based on
the target displacement profiles defined in Step 3: ξ1, eq mIS + mS, eq
ξIS = ·
N 1 − 3μeq εeq 2 mT
∑i = 1 (mi ·Di2 )
DS, eq = N
∑i = 1 (mi ·Di ) (23) Step 7: Design the LRBs and the base-isolated structure. In this study,
the yield deformation uY of LRB isolation system is fixed as 10 mm
N [25–27], so that only the parameters kP and Q are obtained based on the
∑i = 1 (mi ·Di )
mS, eq = effective stiffness kIS and damping ratio ξIS, the mechanical parameters
DS (24)
of isolators:

K. Ye, et al. Engineering Structures 197 (2019) 109402

0 )2
πk IS ξIS (DIS Table 1
Q= 0 −u )
2(DIS Y DDBD results of example buildings by using the proposed procedure existing
kP = kIS −
Q procedure.
DIS (34)
Case Study Procedure proposed Cardone’s procedure
by taking into account Eqs. (6) and (7). Moreover, the isolated super-
structure is designed through a regular aseismic design procedure but 3 Story 5 Story 7 Story 3 Story 5 Story 7 Story

under the seismic design loading in terms of the base shear VB: RIS 3.659 3.929 4.060 3.616 3.684 3.763
0 TIS (s) 1.333 2.240 3.151 1.318 2.098 2.916
VB = kIS·DIS (35)
kIS (kN/mm) 8.877 4.723 3.182 9.091 5.381 3.772
which is then distributed along with the height of superstructure in ξIS (%) 21.6 27.3 26.5 21.6 19.4 19.3
kP (kN/mm) 5.654 2.616 1.816 5.786 3.673 2.595
relation to the story masses mi and associated target displacements: Q (kN) 483.5 526.7 477.9 495.7 427.0 412.0
mi ·Δi VB (kN) 1331.6 1180.7 1113.7 1363.7 1345.3 1320.2
Fi = VB N
∑i = 0 (mi ·Δi ) (36)
Applying this set of lateral forces to the superstructure, a linear isolated buildings, respectively. The DBD-adapted displacement re-
static analysis is carried out to obtain the member forces and other sponse spectrum is adopted as the seismic design loading, which is
responses. Results of the analysis together with aseismic codes/speci- provided by Eurocode 8 for soil type C with the design acceleration of
fications finally enable the design of structural members of the isolated 0.35 g and the importance factor of 1.4 [28] but with the period TD
superstructure. modified to 4 s. At this juncture, the DDBD design problem in this ex-
ample is reiterated as: based on the displacement requirements DIS and
5. Numerical verification θIS under the specified seismic response spectrum, determining the
parameters of LRB isolation systems (i.e., kP and Q) and the design base
A numerical example is included in this section to demonstrate and shear VB associated with a set of lateral force. The detailed design of
verify the proposed DDBD procedure. The design problem of this nu- superstructures based on the set of lateral force is not explored in this
merical example is first stated in terms of three example base-isolated example because it follows the conventional force-based design proce-
structures. The proposed procedure is then carried out, and the design dure.
solutions are assessed by using the nonlinear time history analysis
(NTHA). The results given by the proposed procedure are also com- 5.2. Verification
pared with those resulted by an existing procedure proposed by
Cardone [18]. It is noteworthy that the example structures as well as In order to verify the DDBD procedure developed in this study, the
many design parameters are taken the same as those in [18], to facil- design solutions of the example building structures are obtained by the
itate the comparative study. procedure shown in Fig. 5 and programmed by using the Matlab pro-
gram. Nonlinear time-history analysis (NTHA) is then carried out by the
5.1. Example design problem nonlinear finite element model of the designed base-isolated structures.
The proposed procedure is then assessed by checking whether the
In this numerical example, the design of three multi-story (3, 5, and performance objectives have been achieved, i.e., by comparing the
7 stories) base-isolated buildings is considered as shown in Fig. 6 For all target displacement thresholds with the ones given by the NTHA under
the building structures, it is assumed that the story height, floor mass the specific seismic loading. Table 1 lists the design solution of the
(seismic weight) and lateral inter-story stiffness are distributed uni- example design problem of the three base-isolated building structures,
formly over all the stories, with the values of 3.0 m, 100 × 103 kg and in which the left half is the results yielded by the proposed DDBD
150 × 103 kN/m selected in the initial design step, respectively. The procedure. Based on those parameters of mechanical properties, the
fundamental periods of the superstructures as fixed-based are calcu- types and parameters of LRB bearings in the isolation system may be
lated as 0.39, 0.57 and 0.81 s. further determined and selected from the pool of LRB products. The
The performance objectives of the design in this section, including period ratio RIS is the critical parameter which should be determined
0 through an iteration process in the DDBD procedure. Table 2 gives an
the design displacement of the LRB isolation system (DIS ) and the
maximum allowable inter-story drift of the isolated superstructure (θIS0
), example of such iteration, which indicates the final result of RIS (bold
are specified as follows: θIS = 0.25% for all the three structures, text) converges after only a couple of iterative steps and thus is com-
DIS = 150 mm, 250 mm, and 350 mm for the 3, 5, and 7-story base- putationally efficient.

Fig. 6. Building Configuration examined in this study.

K. Ye, et al. Engineering Structures 197 (2019) 109402

Table 2 Therefore, the proposed DDBD procedure is verified because the design
Iterative process for determining the period ratio RIS of the 3-story structure. solutions yielded can satisfy the preset performance objectives with
Number of 3-story base-isolated structure: DIS = 150 mm, θS = 0.25% excellent accuracy.
Assumed RIS DS,eq (mm) mS,eq Calculated RIS 5.3. Comparison with an existing procedure
(103 kg)

1 1.000 12.680 279.904 3.529 An alternative DDBD procedure has already been proposed by [18]
2 3.529 11.663 284.380 3.658 for buildings equipped with various seismic isolation systems, not ex-
3 3.658 11.658 284.403 3.659 clusively for the LRBs. In Cardone’s procedure, the base-isolated
4 3.659 11.658 284.403 3.659 structure is modeled by two reference SDOF models rather than the
conventional 2DOF model, thus a critical assumption is needed for the
relationship of the displacements of the two SDOF models. The critical
parameter is the acceleration-displacement response spectra, in com-
parison with the period ratio in the proposed procedure. A closed-form
expression of that critical parameter is first derived in terms of the
structural parameters as well as the target displacement thresholds, and
then solved iteratively. Because the associated acceleration-displace-
ment response spectra are required to establish the structural para-
meters–displacement relationship, Cardone’s procedure is more general
but not as straightforward and convenient as the procedure proposed in
this study. The one proposed in this paper is user-friendly and can be
readily implemented.
In the following, the design solutions of the two procedures are
compared for the example problem. Both Tables 1 and 3 list the results
of Cardone’s procedure as the sub-tables in the right half. It is apparent
from Table 1 that there are significant differences in the design results
from different DDBD procedures even with the same performance ob-
Fig. 7. Elastic (5% damped) acceleration (left) and displacement (right) spectra jectives, particularly for the 5- and 7-story structures. However, such
of the accelerograms used for NLTH analysis, compatible with the EC design
disparate design solutions finally lead to a similar degree of satisfying
the same design performance objectives, as suggested by observing the
NHTA results in Table 3. For all the example structures, as for as the
Table 3 relative error to the target objectives is concerned, the proposed pro-
Comparison between NTHA results and design targets. cedure is slightly better than the procedure by Cardone. Overall, the
Case Study Procedure proposed in this study Cardone’s procedure predictions of both procedures are similar to achieve the performance
objectives. Given the fact that is it true only with the set of accel-
3 Story 5 Story 7 Story 3 Story 5 Story 7 Story erograms used in this study, solid comparative study considering the
0 150.0 250.0 350.0 150.0 250.0 350.0
record-to-record variability will be conducted in the future. Moreover,
DIS (mm)
0.250 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.250
both procedures can yield feasible but different design solutions (i.e.,
θS0 (%)
VB (kN) 1331.6 1180.7 1113.7 1363.7 1345.3 1320.2
the combination of post-yielded stiffness kP and characteristic yield
DNTHA (mm) 147.4 240.6 342.3 147.1 271.8 368.8 strength Q): this design is a multiple-solution problem with the current
θNTHA (%) 0.251 0.253 0.241 0.267 0.264 0.257 constraint conditions. As far as the optimal global combination of kP
VNTHA (kN) 1346.0 1171.5 1122.0 1347.0 1425.5 1369.2 and Q is concerned, probabilistic performance-based earthquake en-
DNTHA/DIS 0.983 0.962 1.011 0.981 1.087 1.054
gineering analysis is necessary, which is beyond the scope of this study
θNTHA/θS0 0.962 1.012 0.992 1.068 1.056 1.028
but of interests for the future.
VNTHA/VB 0.978 0.964 1.007 0.988 1.060 1.037

6. Conclusions
Moreover, to carry out the NTHA, an ensemble of 15 artificial
In this paper, a DDBD procedure for base-isolated building struc-
sample accelerograms compatible with the design spectrum is gener-
tures equipped with LRB isolation system has been proposed. In the
ated. Fig. 7 indicates the ensemble-averaged response spectrum of the
proposed procedure, the equivalent linear 2DOF system is used as the
generated accelerograms matches well the design response spectrum.
substitution of the nonlinear MDOF model of base-isolated building
Influence of the minor deviation in the time period range of 2–3 s on the
structures. By using the structural parameters-displacements relation-
responses is avoided in the NTHA by scaling the peak acceleration [18].
ship derived in terms of the 2DOF model, the procedure enables readily
Using these sample accelerograms as inputs, the NTHA is carried out in
determination of the parameters of the LRB isolation system as well as
SAP2000 [29]. The left half of Table 3 compares the results of NTHA
the seismic design loading for the isolated superstructure, given the
(DNHTA, θNHTA and VNHTA) with the expected performance objectives
(DIS 0
, θIS and VB). The NTHA results are the ensemble averaging of the preset thresholds of the displacement of the isolation level and the
maximum seismic responses to the 15 ground motions. As observed in inter-story drift of the superstructure. The implementation steps (totally
Table 3, for all the three example base-isolated structures, the NTHA 7) of the proposed procedure are detailed with a flowchart to facilitate
results match the corresponding targets well (with errors lower than its practical applications.
10%). In addition, the NTHA sample and ensemble averaged peak lat- In the numerical example, the proposed DDBD procedure has been
eral displacements of each story and inter-story drifts of the 7-storey applied to the design of three example base isolated building structures.
superstructure are shown in Fig. 8, together with their targets in the By carrying out the NLTH analysis with an ensemble of 15 response
DDBD procedure. It can be noted that the averaged peak values from spectrum-compatible accelerograms, it is observed that the maximum
NTHA are close to those specified performance objectives, which is also peak seismic responses of the designed building structures match the
true for the results for other example buildings (not shown for brevity). corresponding target values accurate enough (i.e., with errors less than
10%). In consideration that the performance objectives have been

K. Ye, et al. Engineering Structures 197 (2019) 109402

Fig. 8. Design displacement profiles and inter-story drift limit with the results of non-linear time-history analyses for the 7-storey base-isolated building structure.

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