Project Overview

The objective of this research project is to advance knowledge toward the development of innovative floor anchorage systems that reduce inertial forces during earthquakes and maintain a centered floor afterward. This new knowledge will be generated through a combination of analytical and experimental research, including nonlinear transient dynamic analysis, and using the equipment and tools available at two George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) facilities: the large scale structural and hybrid testing laboratory at Lehigh University and shake table testing at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The project will first explore new knowledge of the dynamic behavior of building structures with inertial force-limiting floor anchorage systems. With this knowledge, the project will determine the appropriate design parameters for this system to produce optimal seismic performance for a variety of building geometries and properties. The ultimate goal of the research will be to produce a feasible prototype design for one or more candidate structures that can be used in dissemination of the concept to the practice. Data from the project will be archived and made available to the public through the NEES Project Warehouse/data repository, available at http://www.nees.org. This project is a collaborative effort among researchers from the University of Arizona, Lehigh University, UCSD, and Universita di Roma, La Sapienza, and practitioners from two seismic design firms.

The concept has the potential for producing more economical and safer seismic designs with application to a wide array of construction types and building systems. The benefits of such a system include: (1) reduced seismic forces; (2) reduced structural lateral drift; (3) reduced structural damage; (4) reduced nonstructural and contents damage; and (5) a higher factor of safety against collapse. If successful, this research can transform the manner in which structures are designed to resist earthquakes by modifying the response to strong ground motion and thereby significantly impacting the cost-effectiveness of the U.S. construction industry.