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Story Damage Identification of Irregular

Buildings Based on Earthquake Records

Jer-Fu Wang,a) M.EERI, Chi-Chang Lin,b) M.EERI, Ging-Long Lin,c)
and Chun-Hao Yangd)

In this paper, a story damage index was developed to evaluate the damage
condition of a torsionally coupled building based on its dominant modal frequen-
cies and mode shapes. This index has an analytical formula with a calculated
value ranging from 0 (undamaged) to 1.0 (collapsed) to indicate the reduction
of story lateral stiffness. The involved computation is simple once the modal
parameters of any three modes are obtained through system identification tech-
niques from few floor acceleration measurements. The damage region within a
story can also be identified through tracking the change of eccentricity of center
of rigidity. This index was verified by numerical simulations and a data analysis
of the ASCE benchmark model. In addition, it was also applied to the damage
assessment of a four-story reinforced concrete building in Taiwan, which experi-
enced severe damage during the 2006 Taitung Beinan earthquake (M = 6.2). The
results agree fairly well with the visual inspection and show the applicability of
the proposed damage assessment technique. [DOI: 10.1193/1.4000168]

Most modern earthquake-resistant design codes allow a building to experience repairable
damage during moderate and large earthquakes. In consequence, damage is inevitable, and it
is important to acquire damage information for a building’s owner to take immediate and
appropriate actions after a strong earthquake event. Damaged buildings without immediate
retrofit may probably encounter further damage and even collapse in the next extreme event.
Therefore, the development of damage assessment techniques, which are able to detect,
locate, and quantify the damage of a structure, receives considerable attention and becomes
a crucial topic in earthquake engineering research and practice.
Damage assessment can be done in global or in local ways. The latter is called as non-
destructive testing (NDT) which is applied after the location of damage is detected, while the
former is usually referred to as structural health monitoring (SHM). A well-established SHM

Assistant Research Fellow, 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan, National Museum of Natural Science, Wufeng
District, Taichung City, Taiwan 413, R.O.C. Tel: 886-4-23390906 ext 960, E-mail: /
Corresponding author, Distinguished Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, National Chung Hsing
University, Taichung, Taiwan 40227, R.O.C. Tel: 886-4-22840438 ext 225, E-mail:
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Civil Engineering, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung,
Taiwan 40227, R.O.C.
Graduate Student, Department of Civil Engineering, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan
40227, R.O.C.

Earthquake Spectra, Volume 29, No. 3, pages 963–985, August 2013; © 2013, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute

system needs the installation of hardware incorporated with suitable damage assessment
algorithms. Nowadays, hardware technologies for SHM, such as sensor and data acquisition
equipment, are extensively developed, whereas a reliable damage assessment technique
remains unrecognized.
Damage assessment techniques based on vibration responses of structures are considered
to be practical for SHM because damage may alter the dynamic characteristics and then affect
the vibration behavior of structures (Allemang and Brown 1982, Barone et al. 2008, De
Roeck 2003, Elenas and Meskouris 2001, Farrar and Jauregui 1998, Farrar et al. 2001, Hajela
and Soeiro 1990, Hjelmstad and Shin 1997, Hong et al. 2009, Katkhuda and Haldar 2008,
Lieven and Ewins 1988, Pandey et al. 1991, Pandey and Biswas 1994, Park and Ang 1985,
Salawu 1997, Thermou and Pantazopoulou 2011, Xu and Wu 2007, Yan et al. 2007).
Vibration-based techniques usually need to acquire the measurements of structural vibration
responses, such as acceleration, velocity, and energy. Also, the features related to damage
have to be defined and calculated either directly or indirectly from the measurements. More-
over, algorithms based on the obtained features are also the key to a successful damage
assessment. In the studies by Farrar et al. (2001) and by Yan et al. (2007), various
vibration-based damage assessment techniques were summarized and reviewed. The signif-
icance of using modal-based damage indices was also described.
Damage detection of a structural system according to the change of modal frequencies is
instinctive because damage is often accompanied with stiffness loss that may cause the reduc-
tion of modal frequencies. Damage in different locations and components may induce dif-
ferent changes in modal frequencies. Nevertheless, the detection of damage just by observing
the changes of modal frequencies remains some challenges (Salawu 1997). Among the modal
parameters, mode shape is the only one containing the location information. Some mode
shape-based indices with simple expression, such as modal assurance criterion (MAC;
Allemang and Brown 1982), coordinate modal assurance criterion (COMAC; Lieven and
Ewins 1988), and modal curvature index (Farrar and Jauregui 1998, Pandey et al. 1991),
have been broadly applied to detect and locate the damage. However, it has been shown
that these indices were insensitive to damage in some cases (Brasiliano et al. 2004, Ndambi
et al. 2002). Indices—for example, the modal flexibility damage index (MFDI, Pandey and
Biswas 1994), based on both modal frequencies and mode shapes—may be more reliable in
detecting and locating the damage. In addition, some researchers (Di and Law 2007, Gomes
and Silva 2008, Jiang and Mahadevan 2008, Kim and Chun 2004, Kim et al. 2005) developed
more accurate damage indices with complicated mathematical expressions for various types
of structures. Recently, Wang et al. (2007) developed damage indices with simpler expres-
sions and better accuracy. However, all of the above-mentioned damaged indices were devel-
oped for symmetric buildings that can be treated as planar buildings.
The asymmetry of a general building, leading to the center of rigidity (CR) inconsistent
with the center of mass (CM), may not be fully avoided. This induces the coupling of transla-
tional and torsional motions of a building structure during translational ground motions.
Several studies (Chandler and Hutchinson 1986, Chopra 2011, De la Llera and Chopra
1994, Hajal and Chopra 1989, Kan and Chopra 1977a, 1977b, 1981, Lin et al. 2005,
Ueng et al. 2000) have revealed that buildings with this torsionally coupled (TC) effect
have different dynamic characteristics and vibration behavior from symmetric buildings.

To incorporate the TC effect in damage assessment, this study develops an innovative

damage index, called SDITC, which is defined as the reduction of story stiffness. A general
TC building model with multiple floors and two-way eccentricity under bi-directional ground
motions is established. It is attempted to analytically derive this index and express it in terms
of the modal frequencies and mode shapes of structural vibration modes. Besides, it is
expected that the change of CR location, indicating the damaged region within a story
can also be derived based on the same parameters expressing the SDITC.
To demonstrate the advantage of this study, a damage assessment procedure incorporat-
ing the SRIM (System Realization using Information Matrix) system identification technique
(Juang 1997, Lin et al. 2005, Lin et al. 2008) with the SDITC was performed through numer-
ical simulations and experimental data analysis. The SRIM technique is applicable for both
stationary and transient response measurements. In addition, regarding a TC building as two
independent planar buildings in two directions, a planar building-based damage index was
also used to examine the estimated error when the TC effect is ignored. Lastly, a really
damaged building, the Taitung Fire Department Building which experienced severe damage
during the 2006 Taitung Beinan Earthquake, was investigated. The damage assessment
results are compared with visual inspection results to verify the applicability of the proposed
damage assessment technique.



Consider an N-story TC shear building subjected to bi-directional ground motions, ẍg and
ÿg , with mass ml and polar moment of inertia J l at the lth floor and the uncoupled stiffness kxl ,
k yl and kθl in the lth story along x-, y- and θ-directions, respectively, as shown in Figure 1.
The equation of motion of the linear building system can be written in matrix form as

MÜðtÞ þ CUðtÞ
_ þ KUðtÞ ¼ MrÜgðtÞ (1)

where M, C, and K are the 3N  3N mass, damping, and stiffness matrices, respectively. The
3N  1 vector, U(t), represents the floor displacements relative to the ground at time t. r
indicates the 3N  1 influence vector. With the free body diagrams in Figure 2, M, K,
and U(t), can be written as
2 3
M1 ::: ::: 0
6 .. .. 7
6 . M2 . 7
6 7 2 3
6 .. 7
6 . 7 ml 0 0
6 7
M¼6 Ml 7 where M l ¼ 4 0 ml 05 (2a)
6 7

6 .. 7 0 0 Jl
6 . 7
6 . .. 7
4 .. MN1 . 5
0 ::: ::: MN

Figure 1. System model of an N-story torsionally coupled building.


Figure 2. Free body diagrams of (a) the top floor and (b) the ith floor for the TC building.

2 3
K1;1 K1;2 ::: ::: 0
6 .. 7
6 K2;1 K2;2 K2;3 . 7
6 7
6 . .. 7
6 .. 7
6 . 7

Kl;l1 Kl;l Kl;lþ1 7

7 (2b)
6 .. .. 7
6 7
6 . . 7
6 .. 7
4 . KN2;N1 KN1;N1 KN1;N 5
0 ::: ::: KN1;N KN;N

8 9
n o < xl ðtÞ =
UT ðtÞ ¼ U1 ðtÞ U2 ðtÞ ::: Ul ðtÞ ::: UN ðtÞ where Ul ðtÞ ¼ yl ðtÞ (2c)
: ;

θl ðtÞ

where xl ðtÞ, yl ðtÞ, and θl ðtÞ represent displacements of the lth floor in x-, y-, and θ-directions,
respectively. In Equation 2b), 3  3 submatrices K 1;1 , K 2;2 , : : : , K N1;N1 , can be expressed
in detail as
2 3
k xl þ k xlþ1 0 k xl eyl;l  k xlþ1 eyl;lþ1
6 k yl þ k ylþ1 k yl exl;l þ k ylþ1 exl;lþ1 7
Kl;l ¼ 4
0 5 (2d)
k xl eyl;l  k xlþ1 eyl;lþ1 k yl exl;l þ k ylþ1 exl;lþ1 ðk θl þ k θlþ1 þ k xl e2yl;l þ k xlþ1 e2yl;lþ1 þ k yl e2xl;l þ k ylþ1 e2xl;lþ1 Þ

where l = 1, 2, : : : , N-1, and

2 3
k xN 0 k xN eyN;N
6 k yN k yN exN;N 7
EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e2e;41;482 ¼4 0 5 (2e)
k xN eyN;N k yN exN;N ðk θN þ k xN eyN;N þ kyN exN;N Þ
2 2

Moreover, Kl;l1 (where l = 2, 3, : : : , N-1) and Kl;lþ1 (where l = 1, 2, : : : , N) can be

written as
2 3
kx 0 kxl eyl1;l
6 0 l kyl k yl exl1;l 7
EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e2f;41;376 ¼4 5 (2f)
kxl eyl;l k yl exl;l ðkθl  k xl eyl;l eyl1;l  kyl exl;l exl1;l Þ

2 3
k xlþ1 0 kxlþ1 eylþ1;lþ1
6 kylþ1 kylþ1 exlþ1;lþ1 7
EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e2g;41;312 ¼4 0 5 (2g)
kxlþ1 eyl;lþ1 kylþ1 exl;lþ1 ðk θlþ1  kxlþ1 eyl;lþ1 eylþ1;lþ1  kylþ1 exl;lþ1 exlþ1;lþ1 Þ

In Equations 2d–2g, exm;n and eym;n (m, n = l-1, l, or l+1) represent the eccentricity of the
CR from the CM of the mth floor due to the elements providing stiffness in nth story in x- and
y-directions, respectively.
Let ωj and Φj be the jth modal frequency and the 3N  1 vector of jth mode shape,
respectively. The characteristic equation of the building system with proportional damping
can be written as

ðK  ω2j MÞΦj ¼ 0
EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e3a;41;157 (3a)

where the detail of Φj is expressed as


n oT
Φj ¼
ϕx1 j ϕy1 j ϕθ1 j ::: ϕxl j ϕyl j ϕθl j ::: ϕxN j ϕyN j ϕθN j (3b)

From Equation 3a), the relationship between physical parameters and modal parameters of
the building system is established.


Substituting Equations 2a–2g into Equation 3a, the lateral stiffnesses in x and y directions
of the lth story can be analytically derived as

N mϕ
i xj X
N mϕ
i yj
kxl ¼ ω2j i
; kyl ¼ ω2j i
(4a, 4b)

i¼l xl j i¼l yl j

where ϕxi j and ϕyi j represent the ith element of the jth mode shape in x and y directions,
respectively. The constant j can be 1, 2, : : : , or 3N. Moreover,
ϕxl j  ϕCR
xl1 j for l ¼ 2; 3; : : : ; N
Δϕxl j ¼ (5a)
ϕCR for l ¼ 1

xl j

yl j  ϕyl1 j for l ¼ 2; 3; : : : ; N
yl j ¼ (5b)
ϕCR for l ¼ 1

yl j

In Equations (5a) and (5b),

xl1 j ¼ ϕxl1 j  eyl1;l ϕθl1 j ; ϕxl j ¼ ϕxl j  eyl;l ϕθl j
EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e6a;62;335 (6a, 6b)

yl1 j ¼ ϕyl1 j þ exl1;l ϕθl1 j ; ϕyl j ¼ ϕyl j þ exl;l ϕθl j
EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e6c;62;301 (6c, 6d)

The superscript CR in Equations 6a–6d indicates that the right-hand side of each equation
is equivalent to the mode shape value at the CR. In addition, the eccentricities in
Equations 6a–6d can be calculated with the following equations:
exl;l 1 Ax22 Ax13  Ax12 Ax23
¼ (7a)
exl1;l ðAx11 Ax22  Ax21 Ax12 Þ Ax21 Ax13 þ Ax11 Ax23

eyl;l 1 Ay22 Ay13  Ay12 Ay23
¼ (7b)
eyl1;l ðAy11 Ay22  Ay21 Ay12 Þ Ay21 Ay13 þ Ay11 Ay23

Ax11 ¼ ϕθl j1 F yl j2  ϕθl j2 F yl j1 ; Ax12 ¼ ϕθl1 j2 F yl j1  ϕθl1 j1 F yl j2
EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e7c;62;117 (7c, 7d)

Ax13 ¼ ðϕyl j2  ϕyl1 j2 ÞF yl j1  ðϕyl j1  ϕyl1 j1 ÞF yl j2

EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e7e;41;640 (7e)

Ax21 ¼ ϕθl k1 F yl k2  ϕθl k2 F yl k1 ; Ax22 ¼ ϕθl1 k2 F yl k1  ϕθl1 k1 F yl k2

EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e7f;41;616 (7f, 7g)

Ax23 ¼ ðϕyl k2  ϕyl1 k2 ÞF yl k1  ðϕyl k1  ϕyl1 k1 ÞF yl k2

EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e7h;41;589 (7h)

Ay11 ¼ ϕθl j2 F xl j1  ϕθl j1 F xl j2 ; Ay12 ¼ ϕθl1 j1 F xl j2  ϕθl1 j2 F xl j1

EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e7i;41;561 (7i, 7j)

Ay13 ¼ ðϕxl j2  ϕxl1 j2 ÞF xl j1  ðϕxl j1  ϕxl1 j1 ÞF xl j2

EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e7k;41;534 (7k)

Ay21 ¼ ϕθl k2 F xl k1  ϕθl k1 F xl k2 ; Ay22 ¼ ϕθl1 k1 F xl k2  ϕθl1 k2 F xl k1

EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e7l;41;506 (7l, 7m)

Ay23 ¼ ðϕxl k2  ϕxl1 k2 ÞF xl k1  ðϕxl k1  ϕxl1 k1 ÞF xl k2

EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e7n;41;479 (7n)

are functions of floor masses and modal parameters, and

F xl m ¼
EQ-TARGET;temp:intralink-;e8;41;439 ω2m mi ϕxi m ; F xl n ¼ ω2n mi ϕyi n (8)
i¼l i¼l

In Equation 8, m ¼ j1 or j2 , and n ¼ k 1 or k2 , which indicate specific structural vibration

modes. To make Equations 7a and 7b solvable, j1 and j2 has to be different. k1 and k2 cannot
be identical, either.
To interpret Equation 4 from a physical point of view, one can imagine a building vibrat-
ing in x direction and in its jth mode. In this condition, the vibration frequency of the building
is the jth modal frequency, ωj , and mode shape value, ϕxl j , can be regarded as the displace-
ment of the lth floor in x direction. Therefore, the lth floor acceleration in x direction equals to
ω2j ϕxl j . Also, the inertial force of the lth floor in x direction is equal to the mass multiplied by
the acceleration and expressed as ml ω2j ϕxl j according to Newton’s second law. The resultant
force applying to the lth story is the summation of the inertial force above the story,
m ω2 ϕ . In addition, the lateral resisting force in the lth story is equal to the relative
i¼l i j xi j
displacement between CRs of the lth and the (l–1)th floors, ΔϕCR xl j , times the lth story stiffness
kxl according to Hook’s law. Equating the resultant force and the resisting force, kxl is
obtained and identical to Equation 4a.


Define the reduction of lateral story stiffness in each horizontal direction as the damage of
a building. Suppose there is no mass loss after damage. According to Equation 4a, the
damage index of the lth story in x direction, termed SDITCxl , can be expressed as

N mi ϕxi j
kxl ω2
j i¼l
ml ΔϕCR
xl j
SDITCxl ¼ 1  ¼1 2 N (9)
k xl ωj X mi ϕxi j

ml ΔϕCR
xl j

where the superscript asterisk (*) denotes the damage state. Similarly, SDITCyl can be
obtained by replacing x with y in Equation 9). Both SDITCxl and SDITCyl ranges from 0
(undamaged) and 1 (collapsed), which provides a convenient way to measure the degree
of story damage.
The value of SDITC mainly expresses the reduction in story stiffness, which is provided
by columns, shear walls (structural components), and partition walls (nonstructural compo-
nents). The correlation of the level of damage with the index values is case by case. For
example, buildings with same structural components but different amounts of partition
walls have different lateral stiffnesses. Structural component failure is a significant damage.
However, nonstructural component failure is repairable. So, same index value would mean
different level of damage. The values of SDITC can be applied in damage alarming.
However, visual inspection and further damage assessment are still needed to determine
the physical damage.


For a symmetric building, Wang et al. (2007) derived a story damage index, ASDIl to
evaluate the damage degree of the lth story with the assumption of uniform floor masses. The
equation of ASDIl takes the form as
ASDIl ¼ 1  (10)

Δϕ lj

It is obviously seen that Equation 10 can be reduced from Equation 9. In this study, ASDI is
also be implemented to assess the damage of a TC building with the neglect of floor eccen-
tricity. The results are compared with those by SDITC and the error of Equation 10 are

For a real building, its modal data could be obtained through system identification tech-
niques based on its vibration responses. Practically, vibration sensors, such as acceler-
ometers, are deployed to measure the dynamic responses of the building at some specific
locations. To apply the proposed SDITC index, three horizontal uni-axial sensors (two sen-
sors aligned to one direction and the third one perpendicular to the first two sensors) are
needed to acquire the two lateral and one torsional mode shape components at the CM
of each floor, which is assumed to be rigid in plan. Therefore, for an N-story building,

at least 3(N + 1) sensors are required when an input/output system identification technique is
employed. For incomplete measurements due to limited number of sensors, mode shape
interpolation scheme (Ueng et al. 2000) is required to obtain full mode shape information.

A one-story steel TC building with L-shape plan in bird’s-eye view was modeled using the
software ETABS, as shown in Figure 3. This model is designed to verify the proposed technique
in detecting the damage region within a specific story and evaluating the accuracy of SDITC.
The length of each bay is 1,800 cm. There are two diagonal bracings: one at bay A-B on
grid line 4; another at bay 1-2 on grid line D. According to the output data of ETABS, the
eccentricity of CR in both x and y directions is 398 cm, about 22% of the building width, as
illustrated in Figure 4. The floor is assumed to be a rigid diaphragm so that the mode shape of
the building can be represented with the mode shape at CM
Five consecutive damage scenarios are set. The first four damage scenarios are simulated
by releasing the moment at the tops of some columns, indicating the formation of plastic
hinges. At the final stage, in addition to the damage of columns, one bracing is totally
removed. In Figure 4, the numbers represent the scenario stage sequence, and their locations
indicate where the damage are set. It can be seen that the damage progresses along one leg of
the L shape. In each scenario, the modal frequencies, mode shapes, and eccentricities of CR
in x- and y-directions are analyzed by the ETABS software.
Table 1 presents the modal parameters of the three modes of the building at undamaged
and five damaged states. Note that each column of the 3  3 mode shape matrix indicates

Figure 3. A one-story TC building model and assumed five-stage damaged sequence (dots at
joints represent plastic hinge; dot at element indicates removal of that element; numbers indicate
damage states).

Figure 4. True and predicted center of rigidity of the one-story TC building at different damaged
states (“0” indicates undamaged state).
Table 1. Comparison of true modal parameters and damage assessment results of a one-
story TC building at five damage states

True modal parameters Damage assessment results

Damaged frequency Mode shape (ex ; ey ) kx (ex ; ey )
state (Hz) ( 1st 2nd 3rd ) (cm) kx (cm)
8 9 8 9
< 3.453 = < 3.4432 3.7210 1.4114 = ky
Intact 4.075 3.4432 3.7210 1.4114 (398, 398) 1 (390, 390) ASDIy SDITCy
: ; : ; ky
6.738 0.0025 0.0000 0.0061
8 9 8 9
< 3.084 = < 3.3921 3.7220 1.5281 =
State 1 3.918 3.3941 3.7200 1.5281 (485,484) 0.076 (479, 479) 0.20 0.076
: ; : ;
6.695 0.0027 0.0000 0.0060 0.076 0.076 0.076
8 9 8 9
< 2.973 = < 3.3217 3.7004 1.5127 =
State 2 3.858 3.4507 3.6501 1.5697 (521, 501) 0.10 (524, 489) 0.26 0.11
: ; : ;
6.686 0.0027 0.0001 0.0060 0.10 0.10 0.10
8 9 8 9
< 2:858 = < 3.3810 3.7210 1.5541 =
State 3 3:797 3.3810 3.7210 1.5541 (539, 539) 0.13 (534, 534) 0.32 0.13
: ; : ;
6:677 0.0027 0.0000 0.0060 0.13 0.13 0.13
8 9 8 9
< 2:408 = < 2.6745 4.3466 1.2836 =
State 4 3:497 3.9229 2.9664 1.8722 (732, 500) 0.26 (727,497) 0.51 0.26
: ; : ;
6:385 0.0028 0.0000 0.0059 0.26 0.26 0.27
8 9 8 9
< 0:608 = <1.8214 4.9254 0.3735 =
State 5 1:993 3.9942 1.6995 2.9761 (1058, 0.78 (1057, 0.97 0.78
: ; : ;
5:230 0.0036 0.0009 0.0054 −451) 0.44 −451) 0.76 0.43

different vibration mode with ascending order from left to right. The first, second, and third
rows of the matrix represent the mode shape values in x, y, and θ directions, respectively. The
true k x and k x are obtained by forcing the model to move only in x-z plane and then dividing
the applied x-direction force by the x-direction displacement at roof. The true ky and k y can

Figure 5. The absolute acceleration time traces of the floor at 4-A node in x-direction, 1-A node
in x-direction, and 1-D node in the y-direction of the intact and five damaged models. (Each row
of graphs corresponds to the model state labeled at the right; each column of graphs corresponds
to the location and direction.)

also be obtained in the similar way. It is observed that the more the columns that lose moment
resistance, the smaller the modal frequencies as well as the lateral stiffnesses. Because the
column moment is released in two directions simultaneously, it is found that lateral stiffness
reductions in x and y directions remain the same from the first to the fourth damaged stages.
In the final stage, it can be seen that the x-directional stiffness is significantly reduced due to
the removal of bracing. The eccentricities of CR, ex and ey, corresponding to each damaged
state are also provided, as shown in Table 1 and in Figure 4 by hollow circles.
To demonstrate the damage assessment procedure, the intact and the five-state damaged
buildings are excited by the E-W and the N-S ground accelerations recorded at the campus of
National Chung Hsing University during the 1999 Taiwan Chi-Chi earthquake. The time
histories of absolute acceleration at 4-A and 1-A nodes along the x-axis and at 1-D node
along the y-axis, as shown in Figure 5, are collected as output responses of the building.
With the input and output accelerations, the SRIM identification technique is employed
to identify the state matrix and output matrix of the state-space system. Then, by solving
eigen-problem and coordinate transformation, the modal frequencies and mode shapes at
CM can be obtained. Using the formulas in Equations 7a and 7b, the predicted (ex and
ey) are firstly obtained. The results are presented in Table 1 and Figure 4, which show
good agreements with the true ex and ey. Figure 6 shows that each predicted CR moves con-
sistently toward the opposite side in which the damage is developed. With the predicted
eccentricities and identified modal parameters before and after damage, the SDITC values
in x and y directions are calculated and presented in Table 1. For comparison, the ASDI
values are given as well based on the first modal parameters in both directions. It can be
seen that most of the SDITC values are same as the true story stiffness reductions in
two decimal digits. It is seen that the index ASDI could overestimate the damage severity
when the eccentricity in the evaluated direction is significant.


In view of difficult situation of comparing the merits of different SHM techniques, a series
of benchmark studies were sponsored by the International Association for Structural Control
(IASC)—ASCE Task Group on Structural Health Monitoring, beginning with a relatively
simple benchmark problem and proceeding on to more realistic problems, to provide a com-
mon basis for the comparison of different techniques (Ching and Beck 2004). The benchmark
studies consist of Phases I and II simulated and experimental benchmark problems. The bench-
mark model is a four-story, two-bay by two-bay steel-frame scaled-down building built in the
Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory at the University of British Columbia (UBC),
Canada. Phase II of the experimental benchmark studies conducted on 4–7 August 2002, fol-
lowed previous numerical and experimental benchmark problems developed by the ASCE
Task Group. Various configurations were considered where damage was simulated by remov-
ing bracing or loosening bolts in the benchmark model. Config. 1, as illustrated in Figure 7, is
the reference (undamaged) case in which x-direction is the strong direction of the columns and
each bay of outer frame is braced with a steel bar. Three types of excitation—electrodynamic
shaker, impact hammer, and ambient vibration—were considered. Accelerometers were
placed throughout the structure to provide horizontal response measurements.

Figure 6. Moving direction of floor eccentricity for each damage state.

To demonstrate the accuracy of index SDITC, this study chose two other configurations
(see Figure 7) of Phase II benchmark model as damaged buildings, that is, (1) Config. 3:
removal of the left-hand side brace in each story on the –y face, (2) Config. 7: removal
of all braces. The SRIM system identification technique was employed to extract the
modal parameters from ambient vibration data. Since each floor is instrumented with 3 hor-
izontal sensors, this building model has full measurement to record its shear deformation.
Beginning with modal parameter identifications for Configs. 1 and 7 respectively, the
identified first modal frequencies in x- and y-directions are summarized in Table 2. It is
shown that the fundamental frequency along the y (weak) axis is actually larger than

Figure 7. Configurations of the chosen Phase II experimental benchmark model.

Table 2. Identified modal frequencies and damage indices (SDITC and ASDI) of the
Phase II experimental benchmark model for Config. 1 and Config. 7

Parameters x-direction y-direction

Model configuration Config. 1 / Config. 7 Config. 1 / Config. 7

ω1 ∕ω1 (Hz) 7.57 / 2.62 8.15 / 3.70

1  12 0.88 0.79
4 0.88 (0.88) 0.88 (0.88) 0.82 (0.80) 0.82 (0.80)
3 0.89 (0.88) 0.89 (0.88) 0.81 (0.80) 0.81 (0.80)
2 0.89 (0.88) 0.89 (0.88) 0.79 (0.80) 0.79 (0.80)
1 0.87 (0.88) 0.87 (0.88) 0.74 (0.80) 0.74 (0.80)

Config. 1: Full braced; Config. 7: No braced

The value in parentheses shows the actual story damage degree

that along the x (strong) axis. Moreover, removal of all braces makes the fundamental fre-
quency of the model structure reduce significantly. The SDITC and ASDI indices of the first
to fourth stories for both x- and y-directions are illustrated in Table 2. The reduction ratio of
squared frequency, which represents the stiffness reduction ratio of entire building model,
was also calculated. Because the mode shape and eccentricity between Config. 1 model and
Config. 7 model are identical, the SDITC and ASDI indices (one to four stories) for each
story are same as the reduction ratio of squared frequency. In addition, the damage degrees of
88% and 80% show that each of four story braces provides 12% and 20% of lateral story
stiffness in x- and y-directions, respectively. The greater damage degree in x-direction
reflects that the braces have more contribution to the stiffness in stronger axis of a building.
From these results, it is also concluded that the brace acting like an in-filled wall provided
most of the lateral stiffness of a story even though its cross section area is quite smaller than
that of the column.
The results for the second configuration pair (Configs. 1 and 3) are illustrated in Table 3.
Because each story has a 20% stiffness reduction in the y-direction, large eccentricity in
Config. 3 model was expected. The TC effect makes the fundamental frequency of the
model structure smaller than that without TC effect. Thus, the ASDI indices in y-direction over-
estimated the story damage degree due to the over-evaluation of squared-frequency reduc-
tion ratio.
Above investigations on Phase II benchmark model have shown that the damage degree
by SDITC is more reasonable than that by the planar damage index ASDI. On the other hand,
by calculating the eccentricities, the moving directions of CR at each floor for Config. 1 and
Config. 3 are shown in Figure 8. It is seen that each predicted CR moves consistently toward
the opposite side in which the damage is developed. The discrepancies between predicted and
actual eccentricities were caused by the inaccuracy of identified mode shapes due to noisy
measurements. This result reveals that tracking the change of CR location is helpful in locat-
ing the damage region.

Table 3. Identified modal frequencies and damage indices (SDITC and ASDI) of the
Phase II experimental benchmark model for Config. 1 and Config. 3

Parameters x-direction y-direction

Model configuration Config. 1 / Config. 3 Config. 1 / Config. 3

ω1 ∕ω1 (Hz) 7.57 / 7.61 8.15 / 6.84

1  12 −0.01 0.30
4 0.00 (0.00) 0.00 (0.00) 0.15 (0.20) 0.31 (0.20)
3 0.00 (0.00) 0.00 (0.00) 0.18 (0.20) 0.27 (0.20)
2 0.00 (0.00) 0.00 (0.00) 0.20 (0.20) 0.25 (0.20)
1 0.00 (0.00) 0.00 (0.00) 0.18 (0.20) 0.24 (0.20)

Config. 1: Full braced

Config. 3: Removal of the left-hand side brace in each story on the –y face
The value in parentheses shows the actual story damage degree

Figure 8. Moving directions of floor eccentricities for Config. 1 and Config. 3.


To better understand the seismic behavior of structures, the Taiwan Central Weather
Bureau (CWB) initiated a strong-motion instrumentation program in 1993. Nowadays, 52
buildings and 17 bridges have been installed with accelerometers. Among them, the Taitung
Fire Department (TFD) building was severely damaged by the 2006 Taitung Beinan earth-
quake (M = 6.2). The acceleration responses of the building before, during, and after the
damage event were completely recorded.
The TFD building is a four-story reinforced concrete building with partial basement. The
story height above the second floor is 3.5 meters. However, the first story is 5 meter high with

Figure 9. Photo of the Taitung Fire Department Building.

walls fewer than the other stories for the purposes of parking fire fighting trucks and storing
essential equipments, as shown in Figure 9. Since the outer and partition walls above the
second floor contribute a great amount of stiffness, it is expected that the lateral deformation
of the building centers on the soft first story. Consequently, the first story would probably
suffer significant damage while the other stories might remain intact because the ductility at
the first story might be smaller than the actual ductility demand.
Twenty-two accelerometers are instrumented throughout the free field, ground level
(GL), second floor (2F), and roof (RF), as shown in Figure 10. From the architectural draw-
ings (Figure 11), it is shown that the plan shape and the lateral resisting elements are not

Figure 10. Accelerograph locations and directions in the Taitung Fire Department Building.

Figure 11. Architectural drawings of TFD building: (a) GL; (b) 2F; (c) 3F; (d) 4F.

regularly arranged, which leads to the TC effect. Because each instrumented floor has four
accelerometers, the translational accelerations along x- and y-axes and torsional acceleration
about z-axis at the CM of each floor are available.

During the 2006 Taitung Beinan earthquake, many columns and walls in the first story
were severely damaged. It is seen from Figure 12 that most damages occurred at the north-
side columns and east-side walls. For the damaged columns, moment failure near beam-
column joint and shear failure due to short-column effect were observed. As to the

Figure 12. Wall and column damage locations in the first story and damage pictures from three
different views.

walls, typical X-shape shear cracks appeared. For the stories above second floor, no sig-
nificant damage was found.
To evaluate the TFD building, the earthquake records of December 28, 2005, and after-
shocks of the Taitung Beinan earthquake were used. Because this building has a soft bottom
story, the SDITC was calculated only for the first story. Table 4 presents the identified modal

Table 4. Identified modal parameters of the Taitung Fire Department building before and
after the 2006 Benan earthquake

Earthquake event 12/28/2005 4/1/2006

Peak base x: 0.40 x: 8.90
acceleration (gal) y: 0.53 y: 12.7
8 9 8 9
< 3.3350 = < 1.5129 =
Modal 4.6480 2.6968
: ; : ;
frequency (Hz) 6.7563 5.5340
Mode shape 2F-x 8 9 8 9
>0.7312 0.1948 0.2196 >
> >
>0.8375 0.7817 0.1032 >
2F-y >
> > > >
> 0.3033 0.5379 0.1327 >
> 0.6582 0.5436 0.1370 >
2F-θ < = < =
0.0002 0.0002 0.0004 0.0004 0.0003 0.0004
RF-x >1.0000 0.4216 0.4516 > >1.0000 1.0000 0.2678 >
> >
> >
> >
RF-y >
> 0.2670 1.0000 1.0000 >
> >
> 0.6170 0.7443 1.0000 >
: >
; >
: >
RF-θ 0.0002 0.0003 0.0008 0.0004 0.0003 0.0008

Table 5. Damage index SDITC of the Taitung Fire Department building after the 2006
Beinan earthquake

Damage index EW-direction (x) NS-direction (y)

Changes of eccentricities −369 cm −433 cm
SDITC1 0.66 0.49
ASDI1 0.81 0.70

parameters of the first three modes before and after the main earthquake event using the
SRIM system identification technique. The large reduction of fundamental modal frequencies
(55% in the first mode and 42% in the second mode) reflects the occurrence of serious
damage of the building. The changes of eccentricities in x- and y-directions and the
SDITC index were calculated as shown in Table 5. It is seen that the CR moved toward
southwestern direction indicating that the damage is located at the northeastern region of
the building. It agrees well with the results of field inspections as shown in Figure 12. More-
over, the (SDITC1)EW is larger than (SDITC1)NS, representing that the damage in EW direction
is more severe than that in NS direction. The results are expected because a wall contributes
large lateral stiffness and more wall damages encountered along the EW-direction. For
comparison, the ASDI1 is also presented in Table 5. The results indicate that 81% of the
EW-direction stiffness was reduced, which is overestimated due to large torsion coupling

Damage assessment of a building after a strong earthquake is essential for post-earthquake
recovery and has received great interest from researchers and engineers in recent decades.
This study derives a story damage index for irregular buildings, named SDITC, expressed
with closed form in terms of modal frequencies and mode shapes of three selected vibration
modes. This index was demonstrated to be a good damage indicator in the numerical study
and the ASCE benchmark model data analysis. It also proves that without considering the
TC effect, the damage could be overestimated. Applying the damage assessment of the
Taitung Fire Department Building based on real earthquake records, SDITC shows its
accuracy and applicability in evaluating the damage degree and identifying the damage
region within a particular story in comparison with the visual inspection results. This
study also proves that when the TC effect is significant, damage assessment based on
planar-based damage index may overestimate the damage degree and SDITC is more

This work was supported by the National Science Council of the Republic of China under
Grant NSC 97-2625-M-005-004 and by the Central Weather Bureau under Grant MOTC-
CWB-97-E-10. These supports are greatly appreciated.

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(Received 30 May 2011; accepted 21 March 2012)