Yield Frequency Spectra and seismic design of code-compatible RC structures: an illustrative example

Evangelos Katsanos, Dimitrios Vamvatsikos

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    The seismic design of an 8-story reinforced concrete space frame building is undertaken using a Yield Frequency Spectra (YFS) performance-based approach. YFS offer a visual representation of the entire range of a system’s performance in terms of the mean annual frequency (MAF) of exceeding arbitrary global ductility or displacement levels versus the base shear strength. As such, the YFS framework can establish the required base shear and corresponding first-mode period to satisfy arbitrary performance objectives for any structure that may be approximated by a single-degree-of-freedom system with given yield displacement and capacity curve shape. For the 8-story case study building, deformation checking is the governing limit state. A conventional code-based design was performed using seismic intensities tied to the desired MAF for safety checking. Then, the YFS-based approach was employed to redesign the resulting structure working backwards from the desired MAF of response (rather than intensity) to estimate an appropriate value of seismic intensity for use within a typical engineering design process. For this high-seismicity and high-importance midrise building, a stiffer system with higher base shear strength was thus derived. Moreover, performance assessment via incremental dynamic analysis showed that while the code-design did not meet the required performance objective, the YFS-based redesign needed only pushover analysis results to offer a near-optimal design outcome. The rapid convergence of the method in a single design/analysis iteration emphasized its efficiency and practicability as a design aid for practical application.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEarthquake Engineering & Structural Dynamics
    Number of pages19
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Performance-based seismic design
    • Seismic code
    • Nonlinear analysis
    • Yield frequency spectra
    • Reinforced concrete
    • Multi-story space frame building


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