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1.8 Basic seismic design principles for buildings

1.8.1 Fundamental Principles

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Structural Simplicity

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Uniformity, symmetry and redundancy

Numerous studies of earthquake damage have found that buildings with a uniform
and symmetrical distribution of mass, strength and stiffness in plan and elevation
generally perform better than buildings lacking these characteristics. Uniformity in
plan improves dynamic performance by suppressing torsional response. Irregular or
asymmetrical plan shapes such as L or T configurations may be improved by
dividing the building with joints to achieve compact, rectangular shapes, but this
introduces a number of design issues that must be solved; these are avoiding
buffering (impact) across the joint, and detailing the finishes, cladding and services
that cross the joint to accommodate the associated seismic movements.
Uniformity of strength and stiffness in elevation helps avoid the formation of weak or
soft storeys. Non uniformity in elevation does not always lead to poor performance,
however; for example, seismically isolated buildings are highly non uniform in
elevation but are found to perform very well in earthquakes.
Redundancy implies that more than one load path is available to transmit seismic
loads, so that if a particular load path becomes degraded in strength or stiffness
during an earthquake, another is available to provide backup.

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Bi directional resistance and stiffness

Unlike the situation that often applies to wind loads on buildings, seismic loads are
generally similar along both principal horizontal axes of a building. Therefore, similar
resistance in both directions is advisable. Systems such as cross wall construction
found in some hotel buildings, where there are many partition walls along the short
direction but fewer in the long direction, work well for wind loading, which is greatest
in the short direction, but tend to be unsatisfactory for seismic loads.

Torsional resistance and stiffness

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Adequacy of diaphragms at each storey level 2/28/17

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Adequate foundations 2/28/17

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1.8.2 Evaluating regularity in plan and elevation

General

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Regularity in plan
Classification as regular in plan requires the following:
1. Approximately symmetrical distribution of mass and stiffness in plan.
2. A compact shape, i.e. one in which the perimeter line is always convex, or
at least encloses not more than 5% re-entrant area.

3. The floor diaphragms shall be sufficiently stiff in-plane not to affect the
distribution of lateral loads between vertical elements. EC8 warns that this
should be carefully examined in the branches of branched systems, such as
L, C, H, I and X plan shapes.

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4. The ratio of longer side to shorter sides in plan does not exceed 4.

5. The torsional radius rx in the x direction must exceed 3.33 times eox, the
eccentricity between centres of stiffness and mass in the x direction. Similarly,
ry must exceed 3.33 times eoy.

6. rx and ry must exceed the radius of gyration ls, otherwise the building is
classified as torsionally flexible, and the q values in concrete buildings are
greatly reduced.

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Regularity in elevation 2/28/17

A building must satisfy all the following requirements to be classified as regular


in elevation.

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1.8 Capacity Design

EC8 Part 1 Section 2.2.4 contains some specific design measures for ensuring
that structures meet the performance requirements of the code. These apply to
all structures, not just buildings, and a crucial requirement concerns capacity
design, which determines much of the content of the material specific rules for
concrete, steel and composite buildings in Section 5, 6 and 7 of EC8 part 1.
Clause 2(P) of section 2.2.4.1 states

In order to ensure an overall dissipative and ductile behavior, brittle


failure or the premature formation of unstable mechanisms shall be
avoided. To his end, where required in the relevant parts of EC8 resort
shall be made to the capacity design procedure, which is used to
obtain the hierarchy of resistance of the various structural
components and failure modes necessary for ensuring a suitable
plastic mechanism and for avoiding brittle failure modes.

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1.8 Other basic issues for building design


1.8.1 Load combinations

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1.8.2 Seismic mass

1.8.3 Importance classes and factors


Four importance classes are recognized, which also shows the recommended I
factor; this is, however, a Nationally Determined Parameter (NDP), which may
be varied in the National Annex.

Note-: whereas in US practice the importance factors are applied to the seismic
loads, in EC8 they are applied to the input motions. This makes an important
difference when non-linear analysis employed, since increasing the ground
motions by X% may cause an increase of less than X% in forces, due to yielding
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of elements, but (possibly) more than X%15 in deflections, due B.Sc.Eng
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1.8.4 Primary and secondary members

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1.8.5 Other design measures in EC8 1 Section 2.2.4

The need for an adequate structural model for analysis is identified and , where
necessary, soil deformability, the influence of non-structural elements and
adjacent structures should be included in the analysis.

Example

Refer the distributed worked example for siting of structures and


assessing structural regularity

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