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EQTip10

EQTip10

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Published by: raj_ferrari on Apr 29, 2010
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11/06/2012

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How Flexibility of Buildings Affects their Earthquake Response? 
Earthquake Tip 
10
LearningEarthquake DesignandConstruction
Oscillations of Flexible Buildings
 When the ground shakes, the base of a buildingmoves with the ground, and the building swings back-and-forth. If the building were rigid, then every pointin it would move by the same amount as the ground.But, most buildings are flexible, and different partsmove back-and-forth by different amounts.Take a fat coir rope and tie one end of it to the roofof a building and its other end to a motorized vehicle(say a tractor). Next, start the tractor and pull thebuilding; it will move in the direction of pull (Figure1a). For the same amount of pull force, the movementis larger for a more flexible building. Now, cut therope! The building will oscillate back-and-forthhorizontally and after some time come back to theoriginal position (Figure 1b); these oscillations areperiodic. The time taken (
in seconds
) for each completecycle of oscillation (
i.e.,
one complete
back-and-forth
motion) is the same and is called
Fundamental NaturalPeriod T 
of the building. Value of
depends on thebuilding flexibility and mass; more the flexibility, thelonger is the
, and more the mass, the longer is the
.In general, taller buildings are more flexible and havelarger mass, and therefore have a longer
. On thecontrary, low- to medium-rise buildings generallyhave shorter T (less than 0.4 sec).Fundamental natural period
is an inherentproperty of a building. Any alterations made to thebuilding will change its
. Fundamental naturalperiods
of normal single storey to
20
storeybuildings are usually in the range
0.05-2.00 sec
. Someexamples of natural periods of different structures areshown in Figure 2.
Figure 1: Free vibration response of a building:
the back-and-forth motion is periodic 
.
Roof Displacement 
 Inverted Pendulum Model 
 
Time
 
 
 
 
 
(a) Building pulled with a rope tied at its roof (b) Oscillation of building on cutting the rope
Figure 2: Fundamental natural periods of structures differ over a large range.
Thenatural period values are only indicative;depending on actual properties of the structure,natural period may vary considerably.
Adapted from
:Newmark, (1970)
,
Current trends in the Seismic  Analysis and Design of High Rise Structures
, Chapter 16, inWiegel, (1970),
Earthquake Engineering 
, Prentice Hall, USA
.
 
Suspension Bridge:
6 sec 
LargeConcrete Gravity Dam:
0.8 sec 
Elevated Water Tank:
4 sec 
Reinforced ConcreteChimney:
2 sec 
Single Storey Building:
0.05 sec 
Low-riseBuilding:
0.4 sec 
15 Storey Building:
1 sec 

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