Seismic actions

Methodology for the dynamic analysis of buildings exposed to seismic action, incorporating the effect of non-structural elements and design of the software tool with BIM model

The aim of this R&D&I project is to develop a dynamic analysis method for buildings exposed to seismic action that includes the effect of the construction elements used in the walls and partitions of the building, and their implementation in a software design and analysis tool that satisfies the productivity and safety criteria required for the structural project of the building. It will therefore keep computation times within an acceptable range for use in architectural and engineering studies.

This project is currently being developed by CYPE, with the collaboration of the ‘Centro de Métodos Numéricos en Ingeniería’ (CIMNE) of the ‘Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña'(UPC), financed by the ‘Centro para el Desarollo Tecnológico Industrial’ (CDTI) and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The tool will include:

  • The possibility of considering different seismic standards, both national and international, with the corresponding choice of parameters for generating the seismic design spectrum to be applied.
  • Automatic generation of the dynamic model of the structure, including the effect of non-structural elements (walls and partitions) and the possibility of considering various behaviour models for the building corresponding to different situations or states of the walls and partitions.
  • Modal spectral analysis of the generated models: static and dynamic condensation, calculation of modes and natural vibration frequencies (eigenvectors and eigenvalues), modal expansion and obtaining of participation coefficients for the different analysis directions.
  • Generation of complete justification reports of the calculation method used, verifying that all the international and national seismic code criteria are met.
    A data entry interface allowing data import from the BIM model to the analysis tool.
  • Consideration of the different reinforcement requirements and arrangements for the structural elements, depending on the ductility criteria assigned to them, such as the reinforcement of critical areas.
  • Incorporation of capacity design in the seismic analysis, a requirement which is contemplated in most design standards. The program will carry out previous checks in columns, beams, and nodal zones to ensure plastification will occur at a point in the structure corresponding to global ductile failure mechanisms.
  • Check of the minimum seismic shear at the base of the structure, to control that the maximum dynamic base shear (combination of the modal shears) is greater than or equal to a certain percentage, specified by the code, of the corresponding static base shear.
    Implementation of calculation method for the forces corresponding to the modal combinations.

There are currently no software tools on the market for the structural analysis of buildings which integrate the possibility to consider, in a simple manner, the walls and partitions, even though it has been shown they have a direct impact on the stability, rigidity and safety of the building during an earthquake. Given that the software tool of this RDI project will integrate them, keeping its computation period within a reasonable time, its use in building projects will increase their quality and the safety of their occupants, avoiding both material and human loss after an earthquake.