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Practical performance-based design of friction pendulum bearings for a seismically isolated steel top story spanning two RC towers

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A case study of performance-based design is presented for a seismically isolated steel structure that rests on top of two adjacent high-rise reinforced concrete towers, the latter separated by means of an expansion joint. The isolation system comprises Friction Pendulum Bearings (FPBs) that are designed to accommodate two salient characteristics of the system. First, the isolated top floor is subjected to narrow-band floor acceleration histories as the ground motion excitation is filtered by the dynamic response of the supporting towers. Second, the displacement demands imposed to the FPBs are affected by the in-phase or out-of-phase movement of the supporting structures, with the latter case potentially giving rise to higher displacement capacity requirements for the bearings. In a search for a solution beyond conventional design norms, the probability of bearing failure associated with a wide range of FPB displacement capacities was determined via an explicitly risk-consistent performance-based seismic design. Overall, the case-specific design approach is shown to be able to meet any desired performance objective, consistently determining the final compromise between safety, cost-efficiency and practicability.

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adapted from Giardini et al. 2016)

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The authors would like to thank A. Antoniou (design engineer), K. Papanikolaou (QuakeGuard Cyprus Ltd), and M. Karantzikis (ENKA Technologies) for providing the drawings, the design data and in-depth technical information for the structures. We would also like to thank M.C. Constantinou, R.O. Hamburger, K. Miyamoto, J. Eidinger, R. Ludke, A. Wada, Y. Bozorgnia and V. Zayas for their constructive criticism and helpful discussions on collapse safety targets for buildings.


Financial support has been provided by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programs “PANOPTIS–Development of a decision support system for increasing the resilience of transportation infrastructure based on combined use of terrestrial and airborne sensors and advanced modelling tools”, Grant Agreement number 769129, and “HYPERION–Development of a decision support system for improved resilience & sustainable reconstruction of historic areas to cope with climate change & extreme events based on novel sensors and modelling tools”, Grant Agreement number 821054.

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Kazantzi, A.K., Vamvatsikos, D. Practical performance-based design of friction pendulum bearings for a seismically isolated steel top story spanning two RC towers. Bull Earthquake Eng 19, 1231–1248 (2021).

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