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Seismic Upgrade of Existing Buildings with Fluid Viscous

Dampers: Design Methodologies and Case Study

Tong Guo, M.ASCE 1; Jia Xu 2; Weijie Xu 3; and Zhiqiang Di 4
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Abstract: Existing structures may be in need of seismic upgrading owing to structural deterioration, change in function or use, increased per-
formance requirements, or modified seismic codes. In recent years, fluid viscous (FV) dampers have received increasing attention because of their
notable seismic-reduction capacity and easy installation. This paper outlines the design procedure of seismic upgrading of existing buildings using
FV dampers. Discussions are made on some key issues for seismic upgrading using FV dampers, including the analytical damper-brace model
under large earthquakes and strategies for damper layout. A case study is made, in which a 21-story hotel built in 1991 was seismic upgraded. One
special feature of this project is that only the first six stories can be structurally modified, resulting in limitations on the damper layout. According
to the proposed design procedure, 56 FV dampers are suggested for this project, which provide a supplemental damping ratio of 5.3%. As a result,
the seismic responses of upper stories could be significantly reduced, which avoids damaging the decoration of the building above its sixth story
and enables short and economic construction. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000671. © 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.
Author keywords: Seismic upgrade; High-rise building; Reinforced concrete structure; Fluid viscous damper; Design procedure.

Introduction seismic-reduction methods. The former includes the cross-section

enlarging of structural members, additional supports, externally
Seismic upgrading of constructed facilities is a measure to make the bonded steel plates or fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) plates,
structures more resistant to seismic actions. The significance of seis- and post-tensioning; whereas the latter includes the use of base iso-
mic upgrade is well acknowledged for structures subjected to lation, supplementary dampers, tuned mass dampers, slosh tanks,
material degradation, change in function or use, or increased perfor- and active control systems. Among these techniques, nonlinear
mance requirements. Before the introduction of modern seismic co- fluid viscous (FV) damper has received growing attention for
des in the late 1960s for developed countries (e.g., the United States use in new construction and in retrofit projects (Soong and Dargush
and Japan) and in the late 1970s for many other countries (e.g., China, 1997). It is characterized by a damping reaction force that can be
India, Turkey), many structures were designed without adequate de- expressed as a fractional power of velocity, showing stable damp-
tailing and reinforcements for seismic protection (Robert 2012). ing properties without introducing undesirable stiffness. Other ap-
With better understanding of seismic demand on structures and up- pealing features include easy, fast installation and negligible mass.
dated experiences with large earthquakes, guidelines for seismic as- During the past decades, research efforts were made on non-
sessment, upgrade, and retrofit have been issued worldwide linear FV-damped bracing systems regarding device development
[Building Center of Japan (BSJ) 2000; International Conference (Lee and Taylor 2001), experimental verification (Sorace and
of Building Officials (ICBO) 1997; European Committee for Stand- Terenzi 2006), design strategies (Kim and Choi 2006) and optimal
ardization (CEN) 2004; Standards New Zealand (NZS) 1992; Min- placement and sizing (Whittle et al. 2012; Martinez-Rodrigo and
istry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People’s Romero 2003). Based on these studies, applications have been
Republic of China (MHURD-PRC) 2010a], and these codes are peri- made in seismic retrofits of office, industrial, and hospital buildings
odically updated. As a result, many existing structures may be evalu- (Miyamoto et al. 2007; Luttrell and Ross 2009; Gonzalez et al.
ated as seismically deficient, and upgrading is thus required. 2013; Sarkisian et al. 2013), bridges (Kandemir et al. 2011), and
In general, common seismic upgrading techniques can be water reservoir (Arab et al. 2001). In real applications, the use of
divided into two categories, i.e., the strengthening methods and the dampers for seismic upgrading should be in accordance with the
design codes. However, in some design codes (MHURD-PRC
2009; ICBO 1997), only general requirements are provided, and
Professor, Key Laboratory of Concrete and Prestressed Concrete most engineers are not familiar with the design procedure of FV
Structures, Ministry of Education, Southeast Univ., Nanjing 210096,
dampers, which hampers the FV dampers from a wider use. Based
P.R. China (corresponding author). E-mail:
Structural Engineer, Jiangsu Hongji Science-Technology Co., Ltd., 18
on the writers’ experience in China, this paper outlines the practical
Jialingjiang East St., Apt. 6, Room 801, Nanjing 210018, China. E-mail: procedure and key issues in the design of seismic upgrading for existing buildings using FV dampers. A case study is made, in
Ph.D. Candidate, School of Civil Engineering, Southeast Univ., which a 21-story hotel built in 1991 was seismic upgraded using
Nanjing 210096, P.R. China. E-mail: FV dampers to demonstrate the presented design procedure.
Structural Engineer, Jiangsu Hongji Science-Technology Co., Ltd., 18
Jialingjiang East St., Apt. 6, Room 801, Nanjing 210018, China. E-mail: Fluid Viscous Dampers
Note. This manuscript was submitted on March 31, 2014; approved on
August 6, 2014; published online on October 1, 2014. Discussion period Configuration of a FV Damper
open until March 1, 2015; separate discussions must be submitted for in-
dividual papers. This paper is part of the Journal of Performance of Con- Fig. 1(a) shows the configuration of a typical FV damper, which
structed Facilities, © ASCE, ISSN 0887-3828/04014175(11)/$25.00. consists of a stainless steel piston with a bronze orifice head

© ASCE 04014175-1 J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

High-strength Compressible Cylinder W F W F
Seal retainer acetal resin seal silicone fluid Accumulator housing

Damper Damper

Brace Brace
Piston rod Chamber 1 Chamber 2
Piston head Control valve Rod make-up accumulator
with orifices (a) (b)
Seal retainer High-strength seal
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Piston rod Piston head Silicone fluid
with orifices
(b) (c) (d)
Fig. 1. Configuration of two commonly used FV dampers: (a) damper Fig. 2. Illustration of a single-story structure with fluid viscous
with an accumulator; (b) run-through piston rod dampers: (a) diagonal; (b) chevron; (c) toggle; (d) scissor

and an accumulator. The chambers are filled with compressible sil- complex than the diagonal and chevrons and are not widely used
icon oil, and the piston head has specially shaped passages that alter in practice.
the flow characteristics with fluid speed. For the damper in The idealized behavior of the damper-brace system can be math-
Fig. 1(a), the volume of the piston rod in the chamber during its ematically depicted by the simple Maxwell model in Fig. 3(b),
movements should be kept constant; therefore, a rod make-up ac- which consists of a damper and a spring. The spring is used to
cumulator is required to adjust the amount of fluid in the chamber. simulate the brace. Because the damper (with approximate zero
Fig. 1(b) shows another type of FV damper with a run-through stiffness) and the brace are connected in series, the system does not
piston rod, which no longer needs an accumulator, resulting in in- show any stiffness under normal status. Although this model has
creased stability and reliability. The accumulator in Fig. 1(a), on the been widely used for elastic analysis, it is not sufficient for the
other hand, enables more silicone fluid and larger energy dissipa- ultimate limit state analysis under rare earthquakes. A more com-
tion, which benefits the heat dissipation under high-velocity move- prehensive model can be developed, as shown in Fig. 3(c), consist-
ments; furthermore, the accumulator can be used to supplement ing of a hook element and a gap element in parallel. Under frequent
fluid if leakage occurs. earthquakes, this model has the same behavior as that in Fig. 3(b).
The nonlinear force-velocity behavior of a FV damper can be When the piston extension reaches the damper stroke under rare
depicted by Eq. (1) earthquakes (damper in tension), the hook element activates the
stiffness of the piston rod, cylinder wall, and the brace. When the
f ¼ cju̇jα sgnðu̇Þ ð1Þ piston retraction equals the stroke (damper in compression), the gap
element activates the stiffness of the piston rod, cylinder, and the
where c = damping coefficient; α = constant exponent; u̇ = relative brace. In addition, the springs for brace, piston rod, and cylinder are
displacement velocity between the two ends of the damper; sgn all nonlinear ones, including the yielding and rupture behaviors.
denotes the symbolic function; the force output is proportional
to ju̇jα , where u̇ = piston rod velocity; and α = predetermined Equations of Motion
coefficient with a typical range from 0.2 to 1. A design with α ¼ 1
corresponds to a linear viscous damper. For the FV damper, its stiff- The equations of motion for a bare or damped structure subjected to
ness is often neglected for practical purposes. earthquake actions can both be expressed as
½Mfü þ ½Cfu̇ þ ½Kfu ¼ −½Mfüg g ð2Þ
Damper-Brace System where fug, fu̇g, and füg = nodal displacement, velocity, and
Two commonly used damper-brace systems (i.e., the diagonal and acceleration vectors, respectively; füg g = ground acceleration
chevron damper–brace systems) are illustrated in Figs. 2(a and b). vector; and [M], [K], and [C] are the mass, stiffness, and damping
The displacement of dampers is either less than (diagonal brace) or matrixes, respectively. For the damped structure, [M], [K], and [C]
equal to (chevron brace) the drift of the story at which the dampers should be superimposed by the structural matrix and the damper
are installed. Therefore, larger supplemental damping ratios can be matrixes. However, the mass and stiffness matrixes of the damper-
obtained in the latter. Illustrated in Figs. 2(c and d) are the toggle brace system are often neglected in practice.
damper–brace system and scissor damper–brace systems, respec- The damping matrix [C] is expressed as
tively, in which hinged trusses are used to magnify the effect of
the structural drift on the damper displacement and also to magnify X
½C ¼ ½Cs  þ ½Cid  ð3Þ
the small damper force and deliver it to the structural frame. As a i¼1
result, a much larger damping ratio would be obtained compared
with the diagonal and chevron systems (Sarkisian et al. 2013; where ½Cid  = damping matrix of the ith damper element; N = total
Constantinou et al. 2001). However, the two systems are more number of dampers; and ½Cs  = Rayleigh damping matrix of the

© ASCE 04014175-2 J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

J. Perform. Constr. Facil.


In compression Gap Cylinder

Brace Piston rod
I J In tension
Damper Spring (Brace) Hook Cylinder
(b) (c)
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Fig. 3. Idealized behavior and analytical models of FV damper: (a) idealized force-displacement relation; (b) Maxwell model for elastic analysis;
(c) model for ultimate limit state analysis

structure. Eq. (2) can be solved by the implicit Newmark iterative current status (such as cracks and corrosion). Evaluation should
method or the discrete Fourier transform method (Soong and be made according to the inspection results and the related
Dargush 1997). codes to check whether there are seismically deficient items.
2. The remaining service year of the structure after upgrading
should be determined. A reduction in the static and seismic
Supplemental Damping Ratio
loads in the upgrading design may be accepted with a shorter
In the upgrade design using FV dampers, earthquake time-history remaining service year (MHURD-PRC 2009), which is based
analyses are usually performed. However, such analyses may be on the risk analysis on the predicted earthquake intensity in
time-consuming, especially when there are a number of damper the follow-up years. However, according to the updated
arrangement plans. To make an approximate but fast evaluation performance-based design philosophy or the owner’s request,
on the seismic-reduction effect, the supplemental damping ratio one can also choose a longer remaining service life and the
ξ d of the damped structure can be calculated using modal analysis, corresponding load level.
as shown in Eq. (4) (Hanson and Soong 2001) 3. The upgrade target is determined according to the owner’s re-
P quirements, in which a balance should be kept between the
T 2−α j Cj λf1þα
j ϕ1þα
rj costs and the seismic performance.
ξd ¼ P ð4Þ
ð2πÞ3−α A1−α i mi ϕ2i 4. An analytical model [a finite-element (FE) model, in most
cases] of the bare structure should be established, and a pre-
where T = natural period of the first vibration mode; α = damping liminary analysis should be conducted.
exponent; Cj = damping coefficient of the dampers at the jth story; 5. A preliminary design is conducted based on the FE model,
f j = magnification factor, depending on the installation scheme of including the damper layout, selection of damper parameters
dampers (Hwang et al. 2008, 2013); ϕrj = first modal relative (i.e., C and α), braces and other strengthening measures if
displacement between the ends of the damper j in the horizontal necessary.
direction; mi = mass of the ith story; ϕi = horizontal modal dis- 6. Modal analysis is conducted to evaluate the supplemental
placements of the ith story; A = roof response amplitude corre- damping ratio ξ d . Note that this step is optional and aims
sponding to modal displacement ϕj normalized to a unit value at a fast but preliminary evaluation on the upgrading effect.
at the roof; and λ = parameter, which can be calculated by 7. Time-history analysis is conducted under frequent earth-
quakes, and performance indexes after upgrading should
Γ2 ½1 þ ðα=2Þ
λ ¼ 22þα ð5Þ be checked. Note that in the Chinese code (MHURD-PRC
Γð2 þ αÞ 2010a), a two-step design procedure is recommended, includ-
where Γ = Euler’s gamma function, as shown in Eq. (6) ing the analyses under frequent and rare earthquakes; however,
analysis under the design basis earthquakes (DBE) may be
1Y z −1 1 z required in some other codes.
ΓðzÞ ¼ 1þ 1þ ð6Þ 8. Similar analysis and evaluation should be performed for rare
z n¼1 n n
earthquakes (and for the DBE level earthquakes if required by
A larger ξ d usually leads to a more significant seismic-reduction the code of the country where the project takes place). In this
effect. step, a more complicated analytical model is required to account
for all possible failure modes in the elastoplastic analysis.
9. Cost analysis should be conducted simultaneously with the
Seismic Upgrade of Existing Structures preceding design steps to ensure an acceptable budget.
Such a procedure is summarized in the flowchart shown in
Fig. 4, where adjustments should be made, if any design criterion
Design Procedure is not fully satisfied.
According to the preceding knowledge on the behaviors of damper-
brace systems, the following practical design procedure is proposed
Strategy of the Damper Layout
for seismic upgrading of existing buildings:
1. A seismic inspection should be performed first to obtain Because FV dampers are usually more costly than traditional
the information on material properties, seismic detailing, and strengthening measures and may affect the architectural space

© ASCE 04014175-3 J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

Start X
m X
Minimized C ¼ ½Cd;i ðc; α; NÞ þ ½Cs;j ðX j Þ
Seismic inspection & evaluation i¼1 j¼1
Remaining service year ? max ðPk Þf ≤ ½Pk f ðk ¼ 1; : : : ; lÞ
Subject to
Adjust max ðPk Þr ≤ ½Pk r ðk ¼ 1; : : : ; lÞ
Determine upgrade target
where the objective is to obtain a minimized total cost C;
FE modeling & preliminary analysis
Cd;i ðc; α; NÞ denotes the cost of the ith type of dampers with
Damper design and/or Strengthening design variables of c, α, and N (e.g., the number of dampers in
the ith type); m and n = number of damper types and the
Modal analysis: d number of other strengthening types, respectively; Cs;j ðX j Þ
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No denotes the cost of companying strengthening measures with

design variable vector X j ; and ðPk Þf and ðPk Þr denote the kth
Yes performance index subjected to frequent and rare earthquakes,
FE analysis and check on reinforcements
(frequent earthquakes, elastic) respectively, which should be within the threshold values
(i.e., ½Pk f and ½Pk r ).
No Meet the No
FE analysis and check on reinforcements
Case Study: Seismic Upgrade of Anhui Hotel
(Rare earthquakes, elastoplastic)
Project Description
No Meet the No
requirement? The Anhui Hotel is a high-rise reinforced concrete shear wall struc-
Yes ture built in 1991, and it was the first four-star hotel in the capital
Cost analysis city (i.e., Hefei) of Anhui Province, China. There are two stories
No underground and nineteen stories above ground. The length, the
Yes width, and the height above ground are 51.0 , 24.3, and 63.4 m,
End respectively. The shear walls in each story are placed in a reverse
symmetrical way, as shown in Fig. 5. In 2013, the owner decided to
Fig. 4. Design flowchart for seismic upgrade upgrade the hotel to five-stars, and the first basement would be-
come the new first story (only one story remains as a basement),
increasing the total height of the superstructure as shown in Fig. 6.
In addition, cutting holes in the shear walls for exits in the new first
story is needed, as shown in Fig. 5(a). However, this building was
more or less, they should be installed most effectively. designed according to the code issued in 1978; and until now, the
Some general principles for the damper installation are as code has been modified or amended in 1989, 1993, 2001, 2008, and
follows: 2010. According to the seismic inspection and evaluation, both the
1. The dampers should be placed at the story that has a relatively seismic capacity and detailing of the building are insufficient, and
large story drift. For example, a typical frame structure has a the reinforcements in some structural members are 15–40% less
shear-type lateral deformation with the interstory drifts de- than required. Therefore, structural strengthening is required by
creasing from the first to the top floor. Therefore, the dampers the city government.
should be placed primarily in the bottom stories. However, One special feature of this project is that the inner decoration of
attention should be paid to the possible newly formed weak- the stories above six was already upgraded in the 2000s. The com-
est story after damper installation, and the interstory drifts parative retrofit design using traditional strengthening methods
along the building height are usually checked to ensure (i.e., externally bonded steel plates, cross section enlargement)
that all the interstory drifts after damper installation are shows that damage to interior decoration is inevitable, and both
acceptable. the budget and construction period are unacceptable. For other
2. The influence of damper arrangement on the architectural seismic mitigation methods, such as the buckling restrained braces
appearance, space, and function of the building should be (BRB) that are frequently used in structural strengthening, addi-
minimized. tional stiffness might be introduced, resulting in undesirable seis-
3. The dampers are usually placed in two orthogonal directions mic loads added to the primary structure. Therefore, the writers of
of the building so that the seismic-reduction effect could be this paper suggested that FV dampers may be used in the lower
realized in both directions. For geometrically irregular build- stories to eliminate the necessity of strengthening in the upper sto-
ings, the dampers should be placed so that the torsion defor- ries and to reduce the amount of strengthening in the lower stories.
mation of the building under an earthquake is minimized. As They provide significant damping to the structure without introduc-
specified in the Chinese code (MHURD-PRC 2010b), to at- ing any stiffness to effectively mitigate the seismic demand.
tenuate the torsion effect, the ratio of the largest horizontal A three-dimensional finite-element (FE) model of the bare build-
displacement over the mean displacement of the story is sug- ing was developed, as shown in Fig. 7(a), using the FE program
gested to be within 1.2, subject to frequent earthquakes. The SAP2000. Modal analysis reveals that the periods of the first three
seismic-reduction effect should also be checked on the skewed vibration modes, i.e., the first tansversal, longitudinal, and torsional
walls or columns. vibration modes, are 1.15, 0.88, and 0.85 s, respectively. Illustrated
4. An optimization on the damper layout and other design para- in Fig. 7(b) are the interstory drifts in the transversal and longitudinal
meters could be helpful, which is usually solved through a directions, respectively, subject to the Chi-Chi earthquake ground
constrained optimization model as follows: motion scaled to the frequent earthquake level where the former

© ASCE 04014175-4 J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

Hole No.1
(W=2m, H=2.7m)

Shear wall

Hole No.2 floor
(W=1.2m, H=2.1m) Hole No.6
(W=1.2m, H=2.1m)
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Beam Hole No.5

(W=1.5m, H=2.1m)

Hole No.3 Hole No.4

(W=1m, H=2.1m) (W=1.5m, H=2.4m)

Shear wall




Fig. 5. Plan view of the building: (a) original first basement; (b) original first floor

are larger than the latter. The distribution of interstory drifts along the component TAR000 of the Landers earthquake (1992). The two
building height, however, is not the bending type that is typical artificial waves are the Nanjing wave and the Suqian wave. Table 1
for shear-wall structures, but a shear-bending type, especially in tabulates the properties of these waves, and Fig. 9 shows the accel-
the longitudinal direction. This is because some walls are slender eration spectra of these ground motions, which were adjusted to
and behave like columns; therefore, the building has the interstory match the target design spectrum corresponding to the frequent
drift profiles similar to those of a frame-shear wall structure.
Based on the FE model of the bare strcutre, FV dampers are si-
mulated using the nonlinear Damper element in SAP2000.
According to the procedure depicted in Fig. 4, fifty chevron-brace
dampers and six diagonal-brace dampers are suggested to be used
in the first through sixth stories, as shown in Fig. 7(c) and Fig. 8.
It might not be most effective to place the dampers in these bottom
stories according to the interstory drift pattern in Fig. 7(b); therefore,
With nice
such a damper layout is subjected to the limitations in this particular inner decoration
project. The damping coefficient C and the exponent α are separated
1,800 kN · m=s and 0.25, respectively. These dampers have a maxi- Structurally
mum damping force of 1,000 kN and the stroke is 100 mm.
Five far-field ground motion records and two artificial waves
were selected for seismic analyses according to the soil type of
the construction site, as required by MHURD-PRC (2010a). The allowed
five records include the component KAU045-N of the Chi-Chi
earthquake (1999), the component ATS300 of the Ducze earth- Original 1st basement
quake (1999), the component 0546a360 of the CABaja (2002),
Fig. 6. Profile of the Anhui Hotel before upgrading (image by Tong Guo)
the component FUK090 of the Kobe earthquake (1995), and the

© ASCE 04014175-5 J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

J. Perform. Constr. Facil.




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0.0001 0.0002
Interstory drift ratio
(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 7. Finite-element model of the Anhui Hotel and interstory drift ratios: (a) without dampers; (b) interstory drift ratios; (c) with dampers


A A A Section A

Section B


Section C
(b) (c)

Fig. 8. Suggested damper layout: (a) second and third floors; (b) fourth through sixth floors; (c) Sections A, B, and C

earthquakes. Thereafter, the modified spectra were transferred back Hotel has been in use for more than 20 years, the remaining service
into time-history data for seismic analyses (Hancock et al. 2006). time is considered to be 30 years. Accordingly, a coefficient of 0.75
According to the Chinese code (MHURD-PRC 2009), the de- is multiplied to the acceleration time-histories (MHURD-PRC
sign service time of a new building is 50 years. Because the Anhui 2009), so that the peak accelerations under frequent earthquakes

© ASCE 04014175-6 J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

Table 1. Properties of the Selected Ground Motions
Earthquake Ground motion components Surface-wave magnitude (Ms) Epicentral distance (km) Duration (s) Peak acceleration (g)
Landers (1992) TAR000 7.3 193 60 0.051
Kobe (1995) FUK090 6.9 196 41 0.038
Chi-Chi (1999) KAU045-N 7.6 144 60 0.010
Ducze (1999) ATS300 7.1 188 85 0.025
CABaja (2002) 0546a360 5.3 99.4 41 0.006
Nanjing (artificial) Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable 16 0.380
Suqian (artificial) Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable 19.4 0.370
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0.10 concrete structure is usually assumed to be 5%, and the total damp-
Design spectrum ing ratio of the structure may be doubled after upgrading. Fig. 10
0.08 CABaja shows the interstory drift ratios before and after seismic upgrading
under frequent earthquakes. All the story drifts are reduced more or
Acceleration (g)

0.06 Kobe less after the damper installation, whereas FV damper significantly
Landers reduces the drifts of upper stories and the transversal interstory
drifts are generally larger than longitudinal ones. Notably, these
0.04 drifts are in general small and all within the threshold value
(i.e., 0.001) specified in the code (MHURD-PRC 2010a, b). After
0.02 seismic upgrading, drift ratios above the seventh floor in the lon-
gitudinal direction reduced to 82.1–94.6% (with a mean value of
0.00 90.4%) of those before upgrading. In the transversal direction, drift
0 1 2 3 4 ratios are reduced to 85.1–94.7% (with a mean value of 90.2%) of
Period (s) those before upgrading.
To further evaluate the effect of upgrading, the seismic reduction
Fig. 9. Acceleration spectra of selected ground motions and the cor-
coefficient η is defined as follows:
responding design spectrum (frequent earthquakes)
η¼ ð8Þ
were taken as 26.25 (i.e., 35 × 0.75) cm · s−2 . Under such earth- where V B and V A = interstory shear forces before and after upgrad-
quakes, the structures are expected to behave elastically, and the ing, respectively. Under the frequent earthquakes, the seismic re-
largest interstory drift should be no larger than 1=1,000 for duction coefficient η above the seventh floor in the longitudinal
shear-wall structures (MHURD-PRC 2010a, b). Under rare earth- direction ranges from 0.091 to 0.308, with a mean value of 0.147;
quakes, the peak accelerations are taken as 165 (i.e., 220 × 0.75) whereas in the transversal direction, η ranges from 0.095 to 0.341,
cm · s−2 , and the largest interstory drift should be no larger than with a mean value of 0.167. In the second to the sixth stories, η
1=120 for shear-wall structures. The return periods of the two ranges from 0.084 to 0.127 in the longitudinal direction, with a
reduced levels of earthquakes are 30 and 1,485 years, respectively. mean value of 0.114; whereas it ranges from 0.080 to 0.118, with
a mean value of 0.103 in the transversal direction. The seismic re-
duction effect seems more significant in higher stories than the
Seismic Responses under Frequent Earthquakes
lower stories, which is desirable for this project. After checking
According to MHURD-PRC (2010a), in the elastic earthquake the required reinforcements, most structural members above the
time-history analyses, the base shear force of each ground motion seventh story no longer require any strengthening, which is a result
should be no less than 65% that of the mode decomposition re- of the use of FV dampers and reduced seismic intensity owing to
sponse spectrum analysis, and the mean base shear forces of multi- the shorter remaining service time (30 years).
ple ground motions should be no less than 80% that of the mode In addition, although the shear walls in each story are placed in a
decomposition response spectrum analysis. Otherwise, the ground reverse symmetrical way, the torsion effect is insignificant. For ex-
motions should be reselected. Table 2 shows the base shear forces ample, subject to the Chi-Chi ground motion scaled to the frequent
of the damped building under frequent earthquakes, in which the earthquake level, the ratios of the largest horizontal displacement
aforementioned criteria are satisfied in the transversal, longitudinal over the mean displacement of each story prior to damper instal-
direction as well as the in-plane direction of the skewed walls. lation are no larger than 1.10; after damper installation, the ratios
According to Eqs. (4)–(6), the supplemental damping ratios ξ d have a small reduction, and the largest one is only 1.06, showing
in the transversal and longitudinal directions are 5.3 and 6.5%, that the torsion effect is further reduced by the dampers. Table 3
respectively. The intrinsic damping ratio of the bare reinforced shows the mean acceleration reduction ratios of each story in

Table 2. Base Shear Forces under Frequent Earthquakes

Base shear forces (kN) Response spectrum CABaja Chi-Chi Duzce Kobe Landers Nanjing Suqian Mean
Transversal 6,119 6,398 5,818 6,608 6,752 5,379 7,223 6,209 6,341
Longitudinal 5,462 4,884 5,653 5,212 6,350 4,260 6,184 5,079 5,374
In-plane direction of skewed walls 7,038 6,646 7,478 6,979 7,684 5,638 8,314 6,450 7,027
Note: Forces in kN.

© ASCE 04014175-7 J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

20 20 20
B(L) B(L) B(L)
A(L) A(L) A(L)
B(T) B(T) B(T)
15 A(T) 15 A(T) 15 A(T)


10 10 10

5 5 5
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0 0 0
0.0001 0.0002 0.0001 0.0002 0.0001 0.0002
Interstory drift ratio Interstory drift ratio Interstory drift ratio
(a) (b) (c)

20 20 20
B(L) B(L) B(L)
A(L) A(L) A(L)
B(T) B(T) B(T)
15 A(T) 15 A(T) 15 A(T)


10 10 10

5 5 5

0 0 0
0.0001 0.0002 0.0001 0.0002 0.0001 0.0002
Interstory drift ratio Interstory drift ratio Interstory drift ratio
(d) (e) (f)
A = after; B = before; L = longitudinal direction; T = transversal direction

Fig. 10. Interstory drift ratios before and after seismic upgrading (under frequent earthquakes): (a) CABaja; (b) Chi-Chi; (c) Duzce; (d) Kobe;
(e) Landers; (f) Nanjing

Table 3. Mean Acceleration Reduction Ratios under Frequent and Rare two orthogonal directions under the seven ground motions scaled to
Earthquakes the frequent earthquakes level, in which the ratio ranges from 11.3
Frequent earthquake (%) Rare earthquake (%)
to 55.8%, showing the reduction in acceleration is significant.
Southeast Northwest Southeast Northwest
Story direction direction direction direction Seismic Response under Rare Earthquakes
20 36.4 43.7 37.3 43.7 Subjected to the rare earthquakes, the building may no longer be-
19 31.0 35.3 31.7 35.3 have elastically. Therefore, in addition to the nonlinear properties of
18 25.5 25.8 25.9 26.0 dampers, nonlinear material properties of concrete and steel should
17 20.2 15.9 20.5 16.4 be taken into account, as shown in Fig. 11. Fig. 12 shows the in-
16 16.4 11.3 16.6 10.3 terstory drift ratios before and after seismic upgrading, in which the
15 17.1 18.9 17.0 17.8 drift ratios are much larger than those in the frequent earthquakes.
14 21.0 27.3 20.2 27.3 However, they are all within the limit of 1=120. After seismic
13 26.3 36.1 25.4 35.1
upgrading, drift ratios above the seventh floor in the longitudinal
12 33.9 43.5 32.8 41.9
11 40.6 49.5 39.4 48.0 direction reduced to 60–76.6% (with a mean value of 66.7%) of
10 46.3 54.2 44.8 53.1 those before upgrading. In the transversal direction, drift ratios
9 50.9 55.8 49.1 54.8 are reduced to 66.8–83.9% (with a mean value of 74.7%) of those
8 52.3 55.4 51.3 54.7 before upgrading. Slightly larger seismic reduction is observed in
7 51.8 53.2 52.0 52.1 the longitudinal direction than in the transversal direction.
6 49.8 49.0 51.4 49.2 Under the rare earthquakes, the seismic reduction coefficient η
5 45.5 45.4 47.6 45.7 above the seventh floor in the longitudinal direction ranges from
4 39.2 39.4 41.8 39.8 0.146 to 0.351, with a mean value of 0.197; whereas η ranges from
3 32.5 33.6 35.0 34.1 0.120 to 0.364 in the transversal direction, with a mean value of
2 20.8 24.1 22.6 24.5
0.196. In the second to sixth stories, η ranges from 0.132 to 0.186

© ASCE 04014175-8 J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

J. Perform. Constr. Facil.



Stress (MPa)
Stress (MPa) -10


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-0.004 -0.003 -0.002 -0.001 0.000 0.001 -0.12 -0.08 -0.04 0.00 0.04 0.08 0.12
-3 -3
(a) Strain (10 ) (b) Strain (10 )

Fig. 11. Stress-strain relationships: (a) concrete; (b) steel

20 20 20

15 15 15

B(L) B(L) B(L)



10 A(L) 10 A(L) 10 A(L)

B(T) B(T) B(T)
A(T) A(T) A(T)

5 5 5

0 0 0
0.0005 0.0010 0.0015 0.0005 0.0010 0.0015 0.0005 0.0010 0.0015
Interstory drift ratio Interstory drift ratio Interstory drift ratio
(a) (b) (c)
20 20 20

15 15 15



B(L) B(L) B(L)

10 A(L) 10 A(L) 10 A(L)
B(T) B(T) B(T)
A(T) A(T) A(T)

5 5 5

0 0 0
0.0005 0.0010 0.0015 0.0005 0.0010 0.0005 0.0010 0.0015
Interstory drift ratio Interstory drift ratio Interstory drift ratio

(d) (e) (f)

A = after; B = before; L = longitudinal direction; T = transversal direction

Fig. 12. Interstory drift ratios before and after seismic upgrading (under rare earthquakes): (a) CABaja; (b) Chi-Chi; (c) Duzce; (d) Kobe; (e) Landers;
(f) Nanjing

in the longitudinal direction, with a mean value of 0.167; whereas Fig. 13 shows the chevron and diagonal damper-brace systems
in the transversal direction, it ranges from 0.113 to 0.158, with a installed on the building. To ensure the load transfer, the damper-
mean value of 0.141. Compared with the values under frequent wall and brace-wall connections were strengthened using bolted
earthquakes, the seismic reduction effect is much more significant steel plates, as shown in the magnified view in Fig. 13(a). For the
under rare earthquakes. Similar to the case in frequent earthquake chevron-brace dampers, to increase the antibulking capacity of bra-
analyses, the reduction in accelerations after damper installation is ces, the out-plane deformation at the top of braces were restrained
significant under the rare earthquakes, as shown in Table 3. without introducing in-plane restraints to the braces, as shown in

© ASCE 04014175-9 J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

J. Perform. Constr. Facil.


A Steel plates

Steel plate Epoxy

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PEFT plate Top beam
Section A of brace
(a) (b)

Fig. 13. Damper-brace systems during construction (images by Tong Guo): (a) Chevron-brace dampers; (b) diagonal-brace dampers

Section A of Fig. 13(a), where polytetrafluoroethylene (PEFT) A more rational modeling method and experimental validation
sliding plates were attached to the steel plates of the top beam may still be needed in future study for investigation purposes.
of braces.
According to the FE analysis, the dampers do not significantly
reduce the seismic responses in the bottom stories. Therefore, Acknowledgments
externally bonded steel-plate strengthening was still adopted in
the first to the sixth stories to increase the seismic capacity of walls, The financial support from the Natural Science Foundation of
especially at the wall ends and new holes for exits. However, the China (NSFC) under Grant No. 51378107 and the Natural Science
amount of steel-plate strengthening was reduced, as compared with Foundation of Jiangsu under Grant No. BK2011611 is gratefully
the original strengthening design using traditional methods. The appreciated.
seismic upgrading was completed in about 3 months with a cost
of approximately 3 million RMB.

Conclusions Arab, A. A., Panahshahi, N., Siegfried, D. L., and Darvish, J. (2001).
“Rehabilitation of a St. Louis water reservoir for immediate occupancy
This study outlines the design methodologies for the seismic up- for a 2500 year earthquake event using nonlinear seismic dampers.”
grade of existing buildings with fluid viscous dampers, and a case Structures 2001, ASCE, Reston, VA, 1–11.
Building Center of Japan (BSJ). (2000). Building standard law, Tokyo
study is made for the purpose of demonstration. Based on the
(in Japanese).
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1. With the updated knowledge on seismic effect and/or modifi- “Toggle-brace-damper seismic energy dissipation systems.” J. Struct.
cation of architectural functions, many existing buildings are Eng., 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9445(2001)127:2(105), 105–112.
in need of seismic upgrading. In such situations, FV dampers European Committee for Standardization (CEN). (2004). “Design of struc-
can provide a cost-effective and fast solution without introdu- tures for earthquake resistance. 1: General rules, seismic actions and
cing significant weight and stiffness to the structure. rules for buildings.” Eurocode 8, E.N. Brussels, Belgium.
2. The design procedure and principles proposed in this study Gonzalez, D., Ash, C., Brown, W., Ahlport, J., and Abdi, M. (2013). “Seis-
may be used as a guideline or reference to the upgrading of mic retrofit of a 1960’s steel-frame industrial building in Washington
seismically deficient buildings. Various limitations inevitably State using viscous dampers.” Structures Congress 2013: Bridging
Your Passion with Your Profession, ASCE, Reston, VA, 1046–1057.
exist in real applications; therefore, consideration should be
Hancock, J., et al. (2006). “An improved method of matching response
given to the damper layout on architectural appearance, struc- spectra of recorded earthquake ground motion using wavelets.”
tural functions, and required performance level as well as the J. Earthquake Eng., 10(S1), 67–89.
construction budget. Hanson, R. D., and Soong, T. T. (2001). Seismic design with supplemental
3. In the presented case study, the suggested damper arrangement energy dissipation devices, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute,
significantly reduces the interstory drifts and shear forces of Oakland, CA.
the upper stories of the Anhui Hotel. In conjunction with a Hwang, J. S., Huang, Y., Yi, S., and Ho, S. (2008). “Design formulations
proper remaining service period, structural strengthening is no for supplemental viscous dampers to building structures.” J. Struct.
longer mandatory for the upper stories with nice interior dec- Eng., 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9445(2008)134:1(22), 22–31.
oration, and a considerable savings on the construction cost Hwang, J. S., Lin, W. C., and Wu, N. J. (2013). “Comparison of distribution
methods for viscous damping coefficients to buildings.” Struct. Infra-
can thus be realized. According to the analyses, the seismic-
struct. Eng., 9(1), 28–41.
reduction effect is more significant under rare earthquakes International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO). (1997). Uniform
than that under frequent earthquakes. building code, Whittier, CA.
4. Notably, the seismic fragility analysis under large and uncer- Kandemir, E. C., Mazda, T., Nurui, H., and Miyamoto, H. (2011). “Seismic
tain earthquakes are highly complex, and the FE modeling retrofit of an existing steel arch bridge using viscous damper.” Procedia
adopted in this study is primarily aimed at the practical design. Eng., 14, 2301–2306.

© ASCE 04014175-10 J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

J. Perform. Constr. Facil.

Kim, J., and Choi, H. (2006). “Displacement-based design of supplemental Structures Congress: New Horizons and Better Practices, ASCE,
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J. Perform. Constr. Facil.