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Innovative Seismic Design

1.4 CEUs | Thursday–Friday, March 24–25


Praveen K. Malhotra, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE  

Purpose and background 

The primary goal of seismic design is to protect lives by minimizing the risk of collapse of structures. The lateral strength, deformability, and damping of a structure play equal roles in collapse prevention. The strength of a fully-yielded structure is greater than its elastic strength. The deformability of a fully-yielded structure is greater than its elastic deformation, and damping of a fully-yielded structure is greater than its elastic damping. A routine seismic analysis is performed by using the elastic properties of a structure. The elastic force is then divided by an empirical R factor to obtain the design strength. The use of a single R factor to account for over-strength, inelastic deformation, and damping makes the routine seismic design arbitrary and lacking innovation. This class describes seismic design based on the true properties of a structure. Innovative solutions are presented for efficient and transparent seismic design of buildings, nonbuilding structures, and equipment. An intuitive approach is used to describe complex ideas. Questions and discussions are encouraged throughout the class. 

Learning outcomes 

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Gain state-of-the-art knowledge in seismic performance 
  • Quantify seismic performance of structures to specific ground motion 
  • Explain the pros and cons of linear, nonlinear, static, and dynamic methods of analysis 
  • Appreciate roles of damping and deformability in seismic design 
  • Identify important sources of damping and deformability in structures 
  • Conduct performance-based seismic design 
  • Conduct seismic design without the use of R factors 
  • Explain acceptable level of seismic risk  

Benefits for participants  

  • An intuitive understanding of complex ideas in seismic design 
  • An opportunity to ask questions on a variety of topics related to seismic performance 
  • A condensed knowledge of ground motions and seismic performance  

Assessment of learning outcomes  

Learning objectives are assessed through class participation, discussion, and a short post-test. 

Who should attend? 

Structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, architects, regulators, building officials, owners, operators, geologists, seismologists, insurers, educators, and students 

Course outline 

Day 1  

Session 1: ground motions from past earthquakes 

  • Acceleration, velocity, and displacement histories  
  • Response spectrum of ground motion  
  • Acceleration-deformation response spectrum (ADRS)  

Session 2: seismic design ground motions 

  • Site-specific response spectra for static analyses  
  • Site-specific ground motion histories for dynamic analyses  

Session 3: one-story building structures 

  • Moment frames 
  • Effect of plastic yielding on deformability and damping 
  • Braced frames  
  • Plastic rotations, strain hardening, P-Delta effect  
  • Effect of torsional-irregularity  

Session 4: multi-story building structures  

  • Moment frames  
  • Braced frames  
  • Effect of soft-story (vertical irregularity)  

Day 2  

Session 5: sliding response of unanchored equipment 

  • Nonlinear-static analysis  
  • Nonlinear-dynamic analysis 
  • Effect of friction on sliding response  

Session 6: rocking response of unanchored equipment 

  • Nonlinear-static analysis  
  • Nonlinear-dynamic analysis  
  • Toppling response spectrum of ground motion  

Session 7: storage racks 

  • Sliding of pallets in cross-aisle direction  
  • Collapse of racks in the down-aisle direction  
  • Cyclic tests of beam-column moment connections  
  • P-Delta effect  

Session 8: liquid-storage tanks  

  • Sloshing response of liquid  
  • Uplifting, sliding, and plastic rotation at the base of tank  
  • Elephant-foot buckling  
  • Soil-structure interaction (SSI)    

Decided which seminars you want to take? Registration opens soon!

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