Seismic response of building façade system with energy absorbing connections

Hareer, Rahila Wardak (2007) Seismic response of building façade system with energy absorbing connections. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Facades are popular in modern buildings and are made of different materials such as pre-cast concrete, glass, aluminium, granite or marble and steel. During recent times seismic activity in densely populated areas has resulted in damage and a consequent loss of life. There were many types of building failure, including failure of building facade systems. Facade systems are highly vulnerable and fail more frequently than the buildings themselves with significant devastating effects. During an earthquake building frames suffer large interstorey drifts, causing racking of the building facade systems. The facade systems may not be able to cater for such large deformations and this can result in either functional or total failure at the facade connections or damage by pounding (impact) with adjacent facade panels. Façade failure and collapse can cause serious damage to buildings and injury to people in the vicinity. Moreover, facade represent between 10- 20 % or more of the total building cost depending on the size and importance of the facility and facade material (Facades1980).

Considering the cost and safety issues, the importance of a well designed facade system on a building needs to be emphasised. In modern buildings, energy absorbing passive damping devices are very commonly used for energy absorption in order to manage the vibration response of multistorey buildings in an earthquake event. A number of manufactured dampers such as Viscoelastic and viscous, friction and yielding dampers are available. These dampers use a range of materials and designs in order to achieve diverse levels of damping and stiffness.

This thesis is an investigation of the seismic behaviour of building facade systems and studies the effects of facade and connection properties on this response. The objectives with energy absorbing connections of the study are to determine and control facade distortions and to establish the required connection properties. Finite Element techniques have been used for modelling and analysis of the building frame, facade and connections. Time history analyses under earthquake loadings were carried out to determine the system response in terms of inter-storey drifts, facade distortions, differential displacement between facades and frames and the axial force in horizontal connections. Connection properties with respect to stiffness and energy absorption capability (or damping) have been modelled and varied to obtain the desired response. Findings illustrate the influence of these connection properties on system response and show that it is possible to control facade distortions to within acceptable limits. They also demonstrate that energy absorbing connections are able to reduce inter-storey drifts and mitigate the detrimental seismic effects on the entire building facade system.

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ID Code: 16537
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Thambiratnam, David, Perera, Nimal, & Nasir, Azhar
Keywords: earthquake, facades, buildings, time histories, connection, stiffness, damping, inter-storey drift, distortion, finite element
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Rahila Wardak Hareer
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:05
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2016 04:25

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