This dissertation pursues three main objectives: (1) to investigate the seismic response of tall reinforced concrete core wall buildings, designed following current building codes, subjected to pulse type near-fault ground motion, with special focus on the relation between the characteristics of the ground motion and the higher-modes of response; (2) to determine the characteristics of a base isolation system that results in nominally elastic response of the superstructure of a tall reinforced concrete core wall building at the maximum considered earthquake level of shaking; and (3) to demonstrate that the seismic performance, cost, and constructability of a base-isolated tall reinforced concrete core wall building can be significantly improved by incorporating a rocking core-wall in the design.
First, this dissertation investigates the seismic response of tall cantilever wall buildings subjected to pulse type ground motion, with special focus on the relation between the characteristics of ground motion and the higher-modes of response. Buildings 10, 20, and 40 stories high were designed such that inelastic deformation was concentrated at a single flexural plastic hinge at their base. Using nonlinear response history analysis, the buildings were subjected to near-fault seismic ground motions as well as simple close-form pulses, which represented distinct pulses within the ground motions. Euler-Bernoulli beam models with lumped mass and lumped plasticity were used to model the buildings. The response of the buildings to the close-form pulses fairly matched that of the near-fault records. Subsequently, a parametric study was conducted for the buildings subjected to three types of close-form pulses with a broad range of periods and amplitudes. The results of the parametric study demonstrate the importance of the ratio of the fundamental period of the structure to the period of the pulse to the excitation of higher modes. The study shows that if the modal response spectrum analysis approach is used--considering the first four modes with a uniform yield reduction factor for all modes and with the square root of sum of squares modal combination rule--it significantly underestimates bending moment and shear force responses. A response spectrum analysis method that uses different yield reduction factors for the first and the higher modes is presented.
Next, this dissertation investigates numerically the seismic response of six seismically base-isolated (BI) 20-story reinforced concrete buildings and compares their response to that of a fixed-base (FB) building with a similar structural system above ground. Located in Berkeley, California, 2 km from the Hayward fault, the buildings are designed with a core wall that provides most of the lateral force resistance above ground. For the BI buildings, the following are investigated: two isolation systems (both implemented below a three-story basement), isolation periods equal to 4, 5, and 6 s, and two levels of flexural strength of the wall. The first isolation system combines tension-resistant friction pendulum bearings and nonlinear fluid viscous dampers (NFVDs); the second combines low-friction tension-resistant cross-linear bearings, lead-rubber bearings, and NFVDs. The designs of all buildings satisfy ASCE 7-10 requirements, except that one component of horizontal excitation is used in the two-dimensional nonlinear response history analysis. Analysis is performed for a set of ground motions scaled to the design earthquake (DE) and to the maximum considered earthquake (MCE). At both the DE and the MCE, the FB building develops large inelastic deformations and shear forces in the wall and large floor accelerations. At the MCE, four of the BI buildings experience nominally elastic response of the wall, with floor accelerations and shear forces being 0.25 to 0.55 times those experienced by the FB building. The response of the FB and four of the BI buildings to four unscaled historical pulse-like near-fault ground motions is also studied.
Finally, this dissertation investigates the seismic response of four 20-story buildings hypothetically located in the San Francisco Bay Area, 0.5 km from the San Andreas fault. One of the four studied buildings is fixed-base (FB), two are base-isolated (BI), and one uses a combination of base isolation and a rocking core wall (BIRW). Above the ground level, a reinforced concrete core wall provides the majority of the lateral force resistance in all four buildings. The FB and BI buildings satisfy requirements of ASCE 7-10. The BI and BIRW buildings use the same isolation system, which combines tension-resistant friction pendulum bearings and nonlinear fluid viscous dampers. The rocking core-wall includes post-tensioning steel, buckling-restrained devices, and at its base is encased in a steel shell to maximize confinement of the concrete core. The total amount of longitudinal steel in the wall of the BIRW building is 0.71 to 0.87 times that used in the BI buildings. Response history two-dimensional analysis is performed, including the vertical components of excitation, for a set of ground motions scaled to the design earthquake and to the maximum considered earthquake (MCE). While the FB building at MCE level of shaking develops inelastic deformations and shear stresses in the wall that may correspond to irreparable damage, the BI and the BIRW buildings experience nominally elastic response of the wall, with floor accelerations and shear forces which are 0.36 to 0.55 times those experienced by the FB building. The response of the four buildings to two historical and two simulated near-fault ground motions is also studied, demonstrating that the BIRW building has the largest deformation capacity at the onset of structural damage.