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Dynamics Analysis

Hi All,

I would like to ask about the dynamics analysis particularly using ETABS :

(1) Modal Analysis

In most if not all codes, it is mentioned that the 1st mode must be
dominantly in translation.

- Does it mean when we analyze our building in ETABS as a 3D structure

there musn't be Rz for the 1st mode? Or if it is

allowed, to what value?

- How about the 2nd mode, can it be in torsion?

(2) Response Spectrum Analysis

I read from one of the ETABS manual, when we do this analysis, to get the
scale factor = (9.81 x base shear of EQ (static

lateral force) / base shear of SPEC). Is it true? Why when we do dynamics

analysis we still need to refer to the result from

static analysis?

Thanks and regards,


RE: Dynamics Analysis

Maybe You are doing some kind of confusion between analysis You're telling,
let's say :

static ( equivalent ) analysis get out displacements from lateral loads that
are directly proportionals to the each floor masses

and based on Your national code; can be done when building has regular
shape and masses along height

dynamic calculates displacement from a modal analysis ( mode shape - the

own way to shake of the building ) and must be
done before the spectral one . By response spectra (based on code You have
to use)You can calibrate seismic forces just

fitted for the building area.

By Etabs (but others too) You can carry both analysis and compare results,
You should setup Seismic Static Conditions or

Response Spectra Conditions (for modal analysis )

Commonly people say that by the first tree modes the most of the building
masses should be moved, in the most of cases

it's true, but not always, just check how many percent of the masses has
been moved ; total sum should be near to 85-90% at least.


RE: Dynamics Analysis

Dear Yulius,

In modal analysis, the mode shapes are based on mass and stiffness
distribution in structure.

Meaning that you can even have rotational mode shape in first mode, if for
example columns rotational stiffness got small values, which is not
practically possible! Thats the matter of regularity and irregularity of

But why most of codes considered the first mode in translation ?

Because in practice, in each floor, distribution of the weight is uniform (slab

thk. is the same , beam and col sizes approximately the same and . . .) and
stiffness is also symmetric and that will result a translational first mode.

(Or can say, they are not too far to make a rotational first mode !)

In other word, in most of structures, rotational first mode is nearly


- The other issue is , you can have Rz , even if the 1st mode is traslational.

It depents on the Eccentricity between the center of mass and center of

Rz is zero when ex and ey are zero.

In case of rotational mode shapes will have Rz, even if ex=ey=0.

About Response Spectrum Analysis ,

Yes, we have to scale the Spec's base shear with the static base shear ( and
its not refering to the result from static analysis


Because all those coefficients in static base shear equation ( in typical form
of V=Z.I.C.W/R) are based on many researches

and statistical studies and improved for different zones in ur country.

The shear coefficient is standardized to evaluate a reasonable value of base

shear ( considering nonlinearity, soil layers,

damping . . .) which the structure will experience in earthquake and its based
on the Design spectrum.

If you use an ordinary spec data, which is came from a time history record
(most probably recorded in a different seismic

area) and is not necessarily that resonable value bacause those

considerations are not fulfiled !!! then u will need to scale

the base shear to make it equal or closer to the static base shear.

RE: Dynamics Analysis

The proper system will behave in proper way such that the

First and second mode shape are transition and the third mode shape is

But participation from torsion may be found in the first or second mode in
small values

The major contribution in first and second modes should be from transition.

In cases where the fundamental mode shape is torsion or torsion has major
contribution that is tell you that your proposed

supporting system need to be modified to achieve the proper behavior.

For the scale factor just make the dynamic base shear equal from 80-100%
according to the code condition all mentioned in

Etabs manual is indicative values after running analysis you just make the
scale factor as 1 then adjust in load combination

the proper scale factor for seismic after running the analysis

RE: Dynamics Analysis

Dear Yulius,

First and foremost, if you are analysing a quite simple structure (Regular
stiffness and mass, among other parameters) the

modal shapes will also be quite regular.

Usually, the first and second modal shapes are translational, meanwhile the
third is rotational. This "rule" doesn't apply all

the time.

The modal shapes are based on the stiffness and mass of structures. If your
structures is irregualar the modal shapes won't

be quite normal.

Depending on the irregularity level, the first modal shape will be rotational.
This one indicates your structural configuration

could behave in a non proper way during an earthquake, for instance, and
some structural members could be subjected to

high stresses levels, requiring greater cross sections and reinforcement


In cases where the period of modal shapes are quite close each other, you
need to apply the complete cuadratic

combination (CQC) instead the square root of summary of squares (SRSS) in

order to determine the modal response.

About the second ask, the spectral function used to consider the sismic
effects are expressed in terms of gravity

acceleration. Thus, it's necessary multiply by 9.81 m/s2.

This value could be modify because of the minimum base shear required in
most earthquake resistant codes.

Best regards,