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EGN-5439 The Design of Tall Buildings

Lecture #21

Preparing the Model for Analysis

- The Preliminary Analysis
- The Final (and hopefully, accurate) Analysis

L. A. Prieto-Portar - 2008

1) Approaches to Analysis.
- Preliminary Analyses
- Intermediate and Final Analysis

2) Assumptions.
- Materials
- Participating Components
- Floor Slabs
- Negligible Stiffnesses
- Negligible Deformations
- Cracking

3) High-Rise Behaviour.
4) Modelling for Approximate Analyses.
- Approximate Representation of Bents
- Approximate Modelling of Slabs
- Modelling for Continuum Analyses
5) Modelling for Accurate Analysis.
- Plane Frames
- Plane Shear Walls
- 3-D Frame and Wall Structures
- P- Effects
- The Assembled Model

6) Reduction Techniques.
- Symmetry and Anti-symmetry
- 2-D Models of Non-twisting Structures
- 2-D Models of Structures That Translate and Twist
- Lumping
- Wide-Column Deep-Beam Analogies.

A buildings response to loading is governed by the components that are

stressed as the building deflects.
a) Ideally, for ease of analysis, this would only include structural components;
b) In reality, other non-structural elements, such as staircases, partitions, and
cladding, become stressed and contribute to the buildings behaviour;
c) To simplify analysis, it is assumed that the effects of non-structural
components is small and conservative.

By neglecting consideration of the non-structural and less essential

structural components, the problem of analyzing a tall building can be
reduced to a more viable size.
a) For extremely large or complex structures, it may be necessary to reduce
even further the size of the analysis problem by representing some of the
structures assemblies by simpler analogous components.

Preliminary Analysis:
The analyses for early stages of design are used to:
- Compare the performance of alternative proposals for the structure.
- Determine the deflections and major member forces in a chosen structure so as to allow
it to be properly proportioned.

Formation of the model should be rapid and produce results that are dependable
The simplifications adopted in making a preliminary model include:
- Approximation of members, such as assuming a simple cantilever to represent a
complex bent.
- Simplification of the loading, such as assuming a uniform load across the height of the

Even with the gross approximations made in simplifying the structure and the
loading, it is generally expected that a preliminary analysis should give results for
deflections and main member forces within 15% of that from an accurate analysis.

The preliminary analysis simplifies the initial model by:

a) including only the main structural elements,
- slabs or plates,
- columns, shear walls and core elements,
- girders and beams.
b) ignoring the contribution to the overall stiffness of the secondary structural
- staircases,
- partitions,
- cladding (glazing and facings)
Very tall buildings may require even greater simplifications. Some examples: (1) represent
some structural assemblies by a single simpler element; (2) use numerous hinges
inserted at assumed points of contra-flexure in beams and columns to turn a highly
indeterminate frame into a determinate frame; (3) use a simple cantilever to represent a
complex bent; (4) assume every bent is uniform in height; (5) beams are smeared to
allow for a continuum solution; (6) the lateral load is applied as a continuous
distribution over the height of the structure rather than at discrete connections, etc.
Experience will provide shortcuts (heuristics) that permit a rapid, albeit approximate
determination of the force and deflection magnitudes in each of the elements, in order
to proportion each of them. For example, LeMessurier uses the heuristic that shear
walls increase in thickness by 0.75 per floor (therefore, a thirty story building would
have a preliminary shear wall thickness of 22).
The preliminary analysis must be simple (and cheap) enough to permit the comparison of the
performance of alternative structural systems.

Assumptions for the Preliminary Analysis.

An analysis of all aspects of a tall building would be impracticable, if not impossible. Simplifying
assumptions are necessary to reduce the problem to a solvable size.
1) Materials. The materials of the structural components are assumed to be linearly elastic. This is
important, because it allows the use of superposition of forces and deflections.
2) Participating Components. It is assumed that only the primary components participate in the overall
behavior of the building.
3) Floor Slabs. Floor slabs are assumed to be rigid in-plane, thereby causing the horizontal
displacements of all vertical elements at a floor level to be definable in terms of the horizontal plane
rigid-body rotations and translations of the floor slab. This greatly reduces the number of unknown
4) Negligible Stiffnesses. Structural elements with relatively small stiffnesses are neglected. Examples
are the transverse bending stiffness of slabs, the torsional stiffness of columns, beams and walls, and the
minor axis stiffness of shear walls. Care must be exercised, because the lateral resistance of a flat plate
is vital and can not be neglected, etc.
5) Negligible Deformations. Any deformation that is small or of little influence, is neglected. Examples
are the shear and axial deformations of beams, in-plane bending and shear deformations of floor slabs,
the axial deformation of columns, etc.
6) Cracking. The effects of cracking in reinforced concrete elements due to flexural tensile stresses are
assumed to be replaced by a reduced moment of inertia of that element. For example, the moment of
inertia of beams are reduced to 50% of their un-cracked values, whereas columns are reduced to 80% of
original un-cracked values.

A tall building is in essence a vertical cantilever subjected to axial loading by gravity and to
transverse loading by wind and seismic.
The loading starts as gravity upon the slabs (or plates) through tributary areas, and are
transferred horizontally to the vertical columns and walls down to the foundations.
Horizontal loads are applied at each floor level, with a shear force, a moment and a torque.
They have a maximum value at the base of the building.
The resistance of the structure to external moments is provided by the flexure of the vertical
elements and by their axial action acting like the chords of a vertical truss. The trusss
web are the girders, slabs and bracing, that provide the shear connections. The stiffer the
web, the larger the proportion of the external moment carried by axial forces in the vertical
members. In turn, this creates a stiffer and more efficient structure.
The horizontal shear at any level is resisted by shear in the vertical members, and by the
horizontal component of the axial force in the diagonal bracing at that level.
Torsion is also resisted in the vertical members by the horizontal components of the axial force
in any diagonal bracing. Although ignored in the preliminary phase, stairways and service
shafts also help resist shear and warping torque forces.
A buildings resistance to bending and torsion is influenced by the vertical shearing action
between the connected orthogonal bents and walls.

Tips to handle computer processing.


When the FEM software is resident in the companys (or universitys) server, keep the
processing at your computers hard drive. This eliminates the problems of dealing with the
servers firewall, which will slow down, or make impossible, the processing of the building.


Turn off the anti-virus feature (use the small icon on the lower right of the screen) in order
to prevent the anti-virus from checking each output file of the FEM software (eg. ETABS
generates around 150 separate files each time the RUN option is used).


Upgrade the video card, to help the graphical model run faster.


Reduce the size of the mesh by one of the techniques described in this lecture.


Instead of running with the dual screen setup, use a full screen window with only one view.
For example, use only the plan view, and not the 3-D view.


In the view options, uncheck the SHOW EDGES option and use the FILL option.


Also uncheck the VIEW POINT option.


Reduce the MODES SHAPES in the Dynamic Analysis option to only 6 (instead of heuristic
of choosing 1/3 of the number of stories (for example, a 40-story bldg would use 14 mode

Approximate Representation of Bents.

Bents consist of shear walls or of moment-resisting frames, or a combination of both.
An axially concentric shear wall (left-most figure) can be modeled by the next figure as an
equivalent column located on the centroidal axis of the wall. These column segments are assigned
to have the inertias (Ii) and shear areas (Asi) of the corresponding regions of the wall or bents.
Each i represents one or many stories in height.
If the centroidal axis of the wall is not concentric (second figure from the right), the equivalent
columns on their respective axes are connected by horizontal rigid arms (figure on the extreme
right). When using a column equivalent to model a wall, the wall stresses are evaluated by
applying the resulting column moment and shear to the appropriate sectional properties of the

A multi-bay rigid frame (left figure) is accurately modeled by the equivalent single-bay rigid frame on
its right.
The criteria for equivalence are that the racking shear rigidities GA, are defined by the column and beam
flexural inertias, the sum of the column inertias Ii, and the overall flexural inertia Is, as defined by the
column sectional areas (where G = E / 2(1+); for concrete =0.2, therefore G = 0.42 E). These
parameters at each level are the same in the equivalent single-bay frame as they are in the multi-bay

Rigid-frame bents and braced frame bents can also be represented in a very approximate way by an
equivalent single column models seen at left.
In the equivalent column model, the shear area of the analogous column is assigned to provide the
same shear rigidity GA as the racking shear rigidity GA of the bent. The flexural inertia of the
equivalent column is assigned to have the same value as the inertia of the column areas about their
common centroidal axis in the braced or the rigid frame.
The single curvature flexure of the equivalent columns is neglected, since it typically has a minor
influence on the frames overall behavior.

In structures where a shear wall has beams connecting to it in-plane, causing it to interact
vertically and horizontally with another shear wall, the wall can be modeled by an analogous
wide column. This equivalent wide column is placed at the walls centroidal axis, and is
assigned to have the walls inertia and axial area. In addition, it has rigid arms that join the
column to the connecting beams at each framing level. In this model the rotations and the
vertical displacements at the edges of the wall are transferred to the connecting beams.

In the case of non-planar assemblies of shear walls, for example, elevator cores, that have lateral
deflections but not rotation, these can be modeled by a single column (figure at extreme right) located at
the shear center of the section, and assigned to have the principal second moments of area of the core
If the closed box shear walls (figure at center) also rotate, the single column should in addition be
assigned the torsional constant J of the core.

Modeling open core structures that translate horizontally and also rotate require a slightly more complex
solution, such as the two-column representation on the right that gives an approximate solution of all the
bending and torsional properties of the complex assembly.

Plan view of an asymmetrical slab.

The Approximate Modeling of Slabs.

Representation of slab diaphragm action.

In-Plane Effects. Slab are usually assumed to act as a rigid diaphragm to distribute the
horizontal loads to the vertical elements, and hold the buildings plan shape as the structure
translates horizontally and rotates. The slab then serves to constrain the horizontal
displacements of the vertical components of each floor to be related to the horizontal two
displacements and rotation of the slab. For the slab at top, the in-plane rigidity of the slab can be
represented at each floor by a horizontal frame of rigid beams joining the vertical elements.

Transverse Bending Effects. For flat plates and shear walls coupled by slabs, the
transverse bending stiffness of the plates and slabs are part of the lateral loadresisting system. This is similar to the function of the girders of a rigid frame, or the
in-plane rigidity of the slabs to hold the plan shape of the building.
In these structures, modeling the bending action of a slab between in-line columns or
walls can be represented by a connecting beam of equivalent flexural stiffness. This
model will result in the correct horizontal deflections, and forces in the vertical
members, but is gives only the concentrated moments and shears applied to the slabs.

The Modeling for a Continuum.

All the previous models were for discrete members, to prepare them for a solution via a stiffness matrix.
However, some structures have uniform properties, for example, over their height. A continuum analogy
model can be formulated such that it can be analyzed by a closed form solution of the characteristic
differential equation. In the continuum model the horizontal slabs and beams connecting the vertical
members are assumed to be smeared as a continuous connecting membrane, or continuum, having
the equivalent distributed stiffness properties.
The figures on the left are a coupled shear wall structure and its equivalent continuum model, where the
connecting beams are the continuum with equivalent bending and shear properties. The figures on the
right are a shear wall-frame structure, where the connecting links between the wall and the frame are
represented by a horizontally incompressible medium, while the beams in the frame are smeared into the
general shear property of the equivalent shear column.

Modeling an Accurate Final Analysis

Intermediate and Final Analysis.

Intermediate and final analyses should give as accurately as possible results for
deflections and member forces.
-The model should be as detailed as the analysis program and computer will allow.
- All major modes of action and interaction should be incorporated, and include all walls,
columns, cores, slabs and beams.
- Except where a structure is symmetrical in plan and loading, the effects of twisting
should be included.

Certain reductions in the size or complexity of the model might be acceptable, such
-If the structure and loading are symmetrical, a 3-D analysis of a half-structure model, or
even a 2-D analysis of a fully interactive 2-D model would be acceptable.
- If repetitive regions up the height of a structure can be simplified by a lumping
technique would be acceptable.

Beam element.

Quadrilateral membrane element.

Truss element.

Quadrilateral plate bending element.

Final models are becoming increasingly accurate due to the availability of inexpensive powerful
computers and refined software (specifically, the finite element method) that can analyze very large and
complex structural models, whereas the models used in the preliminary phase are not suitable for sizing
individual elements because of their simplifying assumptions. The final model, prepared for a 3-D FEM,
require beam elements (a) and membrane elements (b). The beam element is used for beams, girders and
columns. It is modified to a truss member by releasing their end rotations. Membrane elements are used
for shear walls and wall assemblies. Separate truss elements (c) are also available, and (d) is a
quadrilateral plate element, which is commonly used for slabs in bending and shear walls subjected to
out of plane bending.

Plane Frames.
A plane rigid frame shown here is the most
common model, with both beams and
columns using the same beam FE element.
Shear deformations of the members are
normally neglected except for beams with
span-to-depth ratios of less than 5. The
output includes vertical and horizontal
displacements, and the plane rotations of the
nodes. Also, each members axial force,
shear force and bending moments.

A rigid frame using beam elements.

Plane Frames (continued).

This figure is a braced frame using both truss
and beam elements. The braces are
represented by truss elements, the columns by
beam elements, and the beams also by beam
elements with their end rotations released.
The output of the truss elements only give
axial forces.

Braced frame using truss and beam elements.

Shear walls, at left, a membrane element model, and at right, the equivalent analogous frame model.
Plane Shear Walls.
Tall and slender shear walls can still be accurately modeled with the techniques already discussed for
the preliminary analysis. However, shear walls with openings, or not slender, are best modeled using the
assembly of plane-stress membrane elements shown in the left figure. The output includes the horizontal
and vertical displacements of the nodes, and the vertical and horizontal direct stresses and shear stresses
at either the corners or the mid-sides of the element.
An alternative is an equivalent beam elements frame, shown at the right, that gives the same result with
only an error of about 2% compared to the membrane elements.

Membrane elements.

Connection of beams to membrane elements.

Other shear walls, such as the non-rectangular shear walls shown on the left can be modeled
using quadrilateral elements. The mesh can be refined in regions where stress changes are
expected. A common rule in FEM is that elements must be roughly proportioned equally in all
directions. If not, poor convergence will provide unstable solutions.
A special case is shown on the right figure, when shear walls are modeled with membrane
elements, and are connected with in-plane beams. Since membrane elements do not have a degree
of freedom to represent an in-plane rotation of their corners, a beam element connected to a node
of the membrane is in essence effectively connected only by a hinge at that point. A remedy is to
add a fictitious, flexurally rigid, auxiliary beam to the edge wall element. Therefore, the rotation
of the shear wall, as defined by the relative transverse displacements of the ends of the auxiliary
beam, and a moment, are transferred to the external beam.

3-D rigid frame model using beam


Three-Dimensional Rigid Frame and Shear Walls.

The rigid-frame building above, with moment-resisting joints, has its columns and
beams modeled using 3-D beam (brick) elements. These elements deform axially, have
shear and bending in two transverse axis, and they rotate. Therefore, they must be
assigned axial areas, two shear areas, two flexural inertias and a torsion constant. In
some structures it is reasonable to neglect the shear deformations of the columns and
beams, and the axial deformation of the beams. The output will therefore include, the
translations and rotations of the nodes, the shear forces, the bending moments and the
axial force in the columns. Also, it gives the shear forces and moments in the beams.

(a) Open-section shear-wall assembly; (b) partially-enclosed shear wall; (c) non-planar walls connected by beams.

Three-dimensioned assemblies of shear walls, such as shown above, are the most important major
lateral load resisting component of a tall building. The left assembly is a multi-branch open
sectional shape; the middle is a closed section, and the right, is a beam-connected sectional shape.

Membrane element and auxiliary

beam element.

Model for beam-connected shear walls.

Beam-connected wall assemblies: membrane elements representing beams.

All the 3-D shear wall shapes shown in the previous slide have in common the principal
actions of the individual walls, which are in-plane shear and flexure, and the principal
interaction of the walls of the assembly is the vertical shear along the joints. Therefore,
the plane stress membrane element is the most suitable choice for modeling 3-D shear
walls as shown in the left and center figures. These elements can be very large; in fact,
story-height and wall-width seem to give acceptably accurate results.
However, plane stress elements alone are not enough for 3-D work because they lack the
transverse stiffness necessary at orthogonal wall connections to allow a stiffness matrix
analysis. A horizontal frame of fictitious, rigid auxiliary beams are added to each nodal
level (left). In-plane walls are connected with auxiliary beams (center) to transfer the
moments. Alternatively, shell elements could be used.
Slide 28 is an alternative model, where the in-plane connected shear walls have their
connecting beams represented by story-height membrane elements with a vertical
shearing stiffness equal to the vertical-displacement stiffness of the represented beam.
Note that auxiliary beams are still used.

(a) P-Delta negative shear column model;

(b) P-Delta negative inertia column model.

P-Delta Effects.
The second-order translational P-Delta effects of gravity loading can be included in a computer
analysis by adding to the first-order 2-D model a fictitious shear column with a negative stiffness
(see figure on left). The shear column is connected to the model by rigid links at the framing
levels. The column is issued a negative shear area to simulate the lateral softening of the structure
due to gravity loading. The column is assumed to be rigid in flexure. An alternative scheme is
shown at right, by using a flexural column with its rotation restrained at the framing levels and
its inertia assigned a negative value. The column is specified to be rigid in shear. The resulting
deflections and member forces in the model then include the P-Delta effects of gravity loading. In
a full 3-D analysis of an asymmetric building, the P-Delta of twisting must be considered. A
similar fictitious negative stiffness column can be used, following the discussion above.

The Assembled Final Model.

The combination of some or all of the previous techniques will yield the completed 3-D
final model.
If the bending resistance of the slabs contributes to the lateral load resistance of the
building, it is usual to model the slabs by beams of an equivalent flexural stiffness
connecting the vertical members. A more accurate solution is to represent each slab as an
assembly of plate elements, although the price to pay is a much larger stiffness matrix.
In summary, in the completed model, the beam elements are used for beams and columns.
Large, story-height plane stress membrane elements are used to represent shear walls and
cores. At all floor levels an auxiliary beam is added to the top of each membrane element.
These auxiliary beams, and the real beams, are assigned extremely large axial areas and
horizontal bending inertias in order to simulate the rigid diaphragm effect of the slab.
Auxiliary beams are also used at each floor level to interconnect frames, shear walls and
cores, as well as any isolated columns. Where a real beam connects in plane with a wall, the
auxiliary beam on the connected wall element is assigned to be rigid in the vertical, as well
as the horizontal, plane so as to transfer moment between the wall and the external beam.
For each open section shear wall assembly, an auxiliary column is assigned to have the
walls torsion constant, and is added to the assembly.

Reduction Techniques
- Symmetry and anti-symmetry
- 2-D non-twisting
- 2-D twisting
- Lumping
- Wide-Column and Deep-Beam Analogies

Extremely complex structures may be so large that processing becomes impracticable. There are
some techniques of simplification, called reduction methods, that are used by structural designers
in order to simplify the model without an appreciable loss of accuracy. Some are discussed here.

Plan symmetric structure with symmetric loading; (b) half-structure model.

Symmetry and Anti-symmetry.

A structure that is symmetric in plan about the axis of horizontal loading (left figure) can be
simplified and analyzed as a half-structure, to one side of the line of symmetry, subjected to half the
loads (right figure). Note that the ends that are cut must be constrained, in order to represent the
omitted half. This constraint must be against rotation and horizontal displacement in the plane
perpendicular to the direction of loading, and against rotation about a vertical axis, while
simultaneously being free to displace vertically and to translate in the direction of the loading. The
resulting deflections and forces will be applied symmetrically to the omitted half of the building.

(a) Anti-symmetrically behaving structure; (b) half-structure model.

A structure that is symmetric in plan about a horizontal axis perpendicular to the axis of
horizontal loading (left figure), behaves anti-symmetrically about the axis of symmetry. In
this case, only the half of the structure, to one side of the axis of symmetry, and subjected to
loads of half value needs to be analyzed. The ends of the cut members are constrained on
the line of symmetry to represent their connection to the omitted anti-symmetrically
behaving other half of the structure. They are constrained against vertical displacements, but
are free to rotate in the vertical plane parallel to the direction of loading. The values of the
results apply anti-symmetrically to the omitted half-structure.

(a) Symmetric structure with parallel bents.

(b) equivalent two-dimensional model.

Two-Dimensional Models of Non-twisting Structures.
Floor slabs are assumed to be rigid in plane, which permits its horizontal translation and rotation
to be the same for all the vertical elements. This permits 3-D structures to be represented by a 2D model. In the figure above, a structure that is symmetric in plan and loading does not twist. This
structure has all the bents in parallel. Since the slab is rigid in-plane, all horizontal displacements
are identical for all vertical elements. Only one-half of the structure needs to be analyzed, by
spreading out the bents as shown in (b). Horizontal constraints are provided at each level, by
using sets of nodes, one in each bent, to have the same horizontal displacements.

Structures that consist of an orthogonal system of connected bents (as shown in the
figure of the previous slide), which are symmetrically located about the axis of
horizontal loading can be modeled by an extension of the method discussed on the
previous slide.
Again, by taking a half-structure, and observing that bents have negligible stiffness
perpendicular to their plane, the structures shear resistance in the direction of
loading is provided by bents AB and CD, as they displace horizontally in their
planes parallel to the direction of loading. Bents AE and BF are perpendicular to
the loading, and do not displace horizontally in their planes, but intersect vertically
with bents AB and CD along their lines of connection A, B, C and D.
This vertical interaction causes the perpendicular bents to act as flanges to the
parallel bent webs as part of the structures overall flexural action.

Displacement of Bending and Twisting Structures.

Two-Dimensional Models of Twisting and Translating Structures.

The common assumption for analysis that the floor slabs are rigid in their planes implies that for
an arbitrary origin and a pair of axes parallel to the orthogonally oriented bents of a laterally
loaded structure (figure above), the resulting displaced location of any floor slab can be defined
in terms of the rotation of the slab about the origin, and two displacements parallel to the axes.
Horizontal equilibrium of the slab requires that the external forces in the X and Y directions on
the slab, and their combined moments, must be equal to the reactions from the bents and their
resultant moments about the origin.

Plan of non-symmetric structure.

Consider the figure in the upper left, representing a structure that is a planasymmetric system of orthogonal bents that are stiff in their planes but have zero
transverse and torsional stiffness. To find an equivalent 2-D model, first select an
arbitrary origin O. Bents AB and CD are parallel to, and at distances x1 and x2 from
the Y-axis, while orthogonal bents AC and BD are parallel to, and at y1 and y2 from
the X-axis. Now form the 2-D model by assembling all the bents in the same plane
with the X-direction bents in one group and the Y-direction bents in the other (figure
on right side). To make the viewed faces of the bents consistent with the location of
the origin as specified above, the bents are displayed looking negatively along the X
and Y axes respectively (that is, A to the left of B in bent AB, and C to the left of A in
bent CA). A more detailed explanation of this complex model will follow in a future

Equivalent Loading on Model.

Lumping means the combination of several of a structures similar components
(or assemblies of components) into an equivalent single component, in order to
reduce the size of the model for analysis. The resulting forces in the equivalent
component (or assembly) are subsequently distributed to give the forces in the
original components. An example of lateral lumping is shown in the figure below,
for a non-twisting (symmetrical) structure that consists of two shear walls and
three identical rigid frames. The walls can be lumped laterally into a single wall
with twice the inertia of an individual wall, and the frames lumped into a single
frame with member properties three times those of an individual frame. The
lumped wall and frame can then be assembled as a planar model and analyzed
very easily.

Symmetric structure with repetitive bents.

Equivalent lumped model.

(a) Coupled walls with repetitive bents; (b) Equivalent lumped beam model; (c) equivalent membrane element
reduced model.

Lumping is typically used for the vertical lumping of tall multistory coupled-wall structures,
provided the story heights and the beam sizes are repetitive (as shown above). These structures can
be simplified by vertically combining groups of three or five beams into single beams placed at the
middle beam location, and assigning to them the lumped properties of inertia and shear area. The
bottom one or two beams and the top one or two beams are not touched because of their greater
importance. When lumping beams that connect shear walls, the sectional properties of the
membrane elements, or the analogous wide columns, representing the walls would be the same in
the lumped model as in the non-lumped model, because of the predominantly single-curvature
behavior of the walls.

Rigid frame with repetitive beams; equivalent lumped beam model.

In this model for a lumped rigid-frame, the predominantly story-height double-curvature
bending of the columns would require their inertias to be increased in the lumped model with its
increased story heights, to make the lateral racking stiffness of the two models identical. The
axial areas of the columns in the two models are the same. The lateral loads are also lumped and
applied at the lumped beam levels.

Wide-Column and Deep-Beam Analogies.

Horizontally loaded shear walls connected by beams (figure at left) can be modeled by equivalent
wide columns that consist of a column on the centroidal axis of the wall, with rigid arms at the
beam levels to represent the effects of the walls width (center figure). Some frame analysis
programs include a rigid-end member option that includes the wide-column effects and therefore,
allows the beam to be considered as a single member between the column axes. An alternative is
to simplify the rigid-end beam to a full-span uniform beam (right figure) with an increased
inertia to allow for the wide-column effects.

Wide-Column Deep-Beam Analogies.

In rigid-frame buildings with deep beams (left figure, for example, the World Trade Center
towers) the stiffening effect of the deep beam depth on the columns can be represented by rigid
vertical arms (center figure), and applied to the model through a rigid-end member option.
Alternatively, the rigid-end column can be replaced in the model by a uniform full-height column
between the beam axes (right figure) with modified stiffness properties to allow for the deep
beam effect.

These prefabricated 3-story steel Vierendeel

truss elements at the WTC show their large
spandrels (deep beams).

A frame that combines both wide columns and deep beams (left figure) such as a reinforced concrete
frame tube (eg. Petronas Towers), or in steel (eg. Taipei 101), can be represented either by an analogous
wide-column deep-beam frame (center figure) or more simply, by a frame of equivalent full length
beams and columns with appropriately increased stiffness (right figure).

1) Tall Building Structures, Smith B.S. and Coull A., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York,
2) ETABS 3-D Analysis of Building systems, Computer and Structures, Inc., Berkeley, CA,
3) Stafford Smith B., Cruvellier M., Planar Modeling Techniques for Asymmetric Building
Systems, Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers, part 2, 89, March 1990.
4) Macleod I.A., Structural Analysis of Wall Systems, Structural Engineer 55, 1977.

Wild Carnations.