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Seismic behavior & computer modeling of low-rise steel frame structures Bakhtavar, Mark S.


Recorded motion of structures during recent earthquakes provide valuable information on the performance of various types of the buildings under seismic loading. This information can be used to evaluate the accuracy of structural analysis techniques and the efficiency of the current design methods. The objective of the first part of this study was to extract as much information as possible from the recorded motion of 11 well instrumented low-rise steel frame buildings in California, which experienced the 1987 Whittier, 1989 Loma Prieta, 1992 Landers and 1994 Northridge Earthquakes. The results showed that, in most cases, the periods of the buildings were significantly higher that those estimated by the code empirical formulae. Three of the buildings which had fundamental periods of greater than 1.0 second (with six to seven stories), behaved in a way that is usually expected from high-rise buildings. The second part of this research included computer modeling of one of the above mentioned structures, the Burbank 6-story office building, and comparing the anticipated response of the building using various analysis methods to the actual response, measured during the Whittier and Northridge earthquakes. The results indicated that proper modeling of the structure for a dynamic time-history analysis may predict the seismic response of the structures very accurately. A comparative study was performed to evaluate the accuracy and the efficiency of the various analysis techniques. At the end, Non-Linear Time-History Analysis was used to predict the performance of the Burbank 6-story office building, under higher levels of ground motion.

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