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Experimental investigation of the base storey design of base isolated steel buildings Barwig, Bill Barron


Recent research indicates that base isolation of buildings eliminates or reduces seismic loading to an acceptable level. This paper presents the results of the experimental investigations of various base storey schemes for steel buildings with base isolation. A steel frame was designed and built for the shaking table tests, which were conducted in the Earthquake Simulator Laboratory at the University of British Columbia. The dynamic response of the frame was recorded for each base storey design, fixed base or base isolated. The base isolation system consisted of steel roller bearings with parallel, ductile steel energy absorbers(yield rings). These absorbers limit excessive displacement and absorb energy during severe earthquake excitation. They also provide restraint against wind loads and mild earthquake excitation. The new design of the base storey is aimed at eliminating the blind base storey or double foundation. The experimental tests show ways of better design methods and analytical studies are following to optimize them. Uncoupling of buildings from earthquake ground motion is relatively simple to achieve. However a base isolation system requires a certain restraint against minor horizontal loads such as wind loads which can be accomplished by energy absorbers. A new type of solid state energy absorber was used in the described tests. The newly proposed base storey is substantially different from conventional solutions used by other base isolation systems and results in a less expensive but safe design.

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