Estimating floor spectra in multiple degree of freedom systems

  • Calvi, Paolo M. (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto) ;
  • Sullivan, Timothy J. (Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Universita' degli Studi di Pavia)
  • Received : 2013.11.11
  • Accepted : 2014.03.03
  • Published : 2014.07.31


As the desire for high performance buildings increases, it is increasingly evident that engineers require reliable methods for the estimation of seismic demands on both structural and non-structural components. To this extent, improved tools for the prediction of floor spectra would assist in the assessment of acceleration sensitive non-structural and secondary components. Recently, a new procedure was successfully developed and tested for the simplified construction of floor spectra, at various levels of elastic damping, atop single-degree-of-freedom structures. This paper extends the methodology to multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) supporting systems responding in the elastic range, proposing a simplified modal combination approach for floor spectra over upper storeys and accounting for the limited filtering of the ground motion input that occurs over lower storeys. The procedure is tested numerically by comparing predictions with floor spectra obtained from time-history analyses of RC wall structures of 2- to 20-storeys in height. Results demonstrate that the method performs well for MDOF systems responding in the elastic range. Future research should further develop the approach to permit the prediction of floor spectra in MDOF systems that respond in the inelastic range.


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