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Pushover Analysis (Basic Concept)

The expectation PO analysis:

Pushover analysis will provide adequate
information on seismic demands imposed by the
design ground motion on the structural system
and its components.
In an ideal world there would be no debate
about the proper method of demand
prediction and performance evaluation at
low performance levels.
Pushover Analysis (Basic Concept)

• Clearly, inelastic time history analysis that predicts with sufficient

reliability the forces and cumulative deformation (damage)
demands in every element of the structural system is the final
• The implementation of this solution requires the availability of a set
of ground motion records (each with three components) that
account for the uncertainties and differences in severity, frequency
characteristics, and duration due to rupture characteristics and
distances of the various faults that may cause motions at the site
• Further it requires the capability to model adequately the cyclic
load deformation characteristics of all important elements of the
three-dimensional soil-foundation structure system, and the
availability of efficient tools to implement the solution process
within the time and financial constraints imposed on an engineering
Purpose of PO Analysis
• The purpose of the pushover analysis is to evaluate the expected
performance of a structural system by estimating its strength and
deformation demands in design earthquakes by means of a static
inelastic analysis, and comparing these demands to available
capacities at the performance levels of interest
• The evaluation is based on an assessment of important
performance parameters, including global drift, interstory drift,
inelastic element deformations (either absolute or normalized with
respect to a yield value), deformations between elements, and
element and connection forces (for elements and connections that
cannot sustain inelastic deformations).
Background to pushover analysis

• PO analysis is based on the assumption that the response

of the structure can be related to the response of an
equivalent single degree-of-freedom (SDOF) system. This
implies that the response is controlled by a single mode,
and that the shape of this mode remains constant
throughout the time history response.
• Clearly, both assumptions are incorrect,
• But pilot studies carried out by several investigators have
indicated that these assumptions lead to rather good
predictions of the maximum seismic response of multi
degree-of-freedom (MDOF) structures, provided their
response is dominated by a single mode.
Target displacement?

• The target displacement is an estimate of the global

displacement of the structure which is expected to experience
in a design earthquake.
• MDOF displacement is controlled by a single shape vector
without regards to higher mode effects.
• If the seismic input is represented by a time history record, the
inelastic displacement demand can be computed directly
through a single time history analysis using the equivalent
SDOF system with properly modeled hysteretic
Lateral Load Patterns

• Invariant

• If an invariant load pattern is used, the basic assumptions

are that the distribution of inertia forces will be reasonably
constant throughout the earthquake and that the
maximum deformations obtained from this invariant load
pattern will be comparable to those expected in the design
• They are likely to be reasonable if:
• (a) the structure response is not severely affected by
higher mode effects; or
• (b) the structure has only a single load yielding mechanism
that can be detected by an invariant load pattern.
• Since no single load pattern can capture the variations in the
local demands expected in a design earthquake, the use of at
least two load patterns that are expected to bound inertia
force distributions is recommended.
i) ‘Uniform' load pattern (story forces proportional to story masses),
ii) ‘Modal’ load pattern
iii) ‘Linear’ load pattern
• Clearly, none of these invariant load patterns can account for
a redistribution of inertia forces, which may occur when a
local mechanism forms and the dynamic properties of the
structure change accordingly.
• it is attractive to utilize adaptive load patterns
that follow more closely the time variant
distribution of inertia forces.

• it needs to be recognized that in some cases it

may provide a false feeling of security if its
shortcomings and pitfalls are not recognized.

• It must be emphasized that the pushover analysis is approximate in

nature and is based on static loading.
• Inelastic dynamic response may differ significantly from predictions
based on invariant or adaptive static load patterns, particularly if
higher mode effects become important.

• Limitations are imposed also by the load pattern choices

• Regular structures
• Higher mode effect
• In general, these limitations do not apply to low-rise structures (2-
and 5-stories), but show up in increasing magnitude as the structures
become taller, i.e. as the higher mode effects become more