Structural types and behaviour factors

There are essentially three main structural steel frame systems used to resist horizontal seismic actions, namely moment resisting, concentrically braced and eccentrically braced frames. Other systems such as hybrid and dual configurations can be used and are referred to in EC8, but are not dealt with in detail herein. It should also be noted that other configurations such as those incorporating buckling restrained braces or special plate shear walls, which are covered in the most recent North American Provisions (AISC, 2005), are not directly addressed in the current version of EC8.

As noted before, unless the complexity or importance of a structure dictates the use of non-linear dynamic analysis, regular structures are designed using the procedures of capacity design and specified behaviour factors. hese factors (also referred to as force reduction factors) are recommended by codes of practice based on background research involving extensive analytical and experimental investigations. Before discussing the behaviour of each type of frame, it is useful to start by indicating the structural classification and reference behaviour factors (q) stipulated in EC 8 as this provides a general idea about the ductility and energy dissipation capability of various configurations. Table 6.1 shows the main structural types together with the associated dissipative zones according to the provisions and classification of EC8 (described in Section 6.3 of EN 1998-1). The upper values of q allowed for each system, provided that regularity criteria are met, are also shown in Table 6.1. The ability of the structure to dissipate energy is quantified by the behaviour factor; the higher the behaviour factor, the higher is the expected energy dissipation as well as the ductility demand on critical zones.

The multiplier a /a depends on the failure/first plasticity resistance ratio of the structure. A reasonable estimate of this value may be determined from conventional non-linear 'pushover' analysis, but should not exceed 1.6. In the absence of detailed calculations, the approximate values of this multiplier given in Table 6.1 may be used. If the building is irregular in elevation, the listed values should be reduced by 20 per cent.

he values of the structural behaviour factor given in the code should be considered as an upper bound even if in some cases non-linear dynamic analysis indicates higher q factors. For regular structures in areas of low seismicity having standard structural systems with sections of standard sizes, a behaviour factor of 1.5-2.0 may be adopted (except for K-bracing) by satisfying only the resistance requirements of EN 1993-1 (2005, EC3).

Although a direct code comparison between codes can only be reliable if it involves the full design procedure, the reference q factors in E8 appear to be generally lower than R values in US provisions (ASCE/SEI, 2005) for similar frame configurations. It is also important to note that the same force-based behaviour factors (q) are proposed as displacement amplification factors (qd). This is not the case in US provisions where specific seismic drift amplification factors (Cd) are suggested; these values are generally lower than the corresponding R factors for all frame types.

Table 6.1 Structural types and behaviour factors

Table 6.1 Structural types and behaviour factors

Earthquake Force Frame

178 A.Y. Elghazouli and J.M. Castro Table 6.1 continued

Structural Type q-factor

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