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Terminology Related to Earthquake:

Measure of the amount of energy released during an earthquake. It is usually

expressed using Richter scale.
Professor Charles Richter noticed that at a constant distance, seismograms records of
earthquake ground vibration of larger earthquake have bigger wave amplitude than those
of smaller earthquakes, and for given earthquake, seismograms at farther distances have
smaller wave amplitude than those at close distances. Now commonly used magnitude
scale, the Richter scale.
There are other magnitude scales viz,
1. Body wave magnitude
2. Surface wave magnitude and
3. Wave energy magnitude.

It is defined as logarithm to the base 10 of the maximum trace amplitude, expressed

in microns, which the standard short-period torsion seismometer would register due to the
earthquake at an epicenter distance of 100 km.

Earth quake are often classified into different groups based on their
magnitude. Table is given by:


Great 8 and Higher

Major 7-7.9

Strong 6-6.9

Moderate 5-5.9

Light 4-4.9

Minor 3-3.9

Very Minor <3.0


Intensity is a qualitative measure of the actual shaking at a location during an

earthquake, and is assigned in Roman Capital Numerical.
It refers to the effects of earthquakes. Modified Mercalli scale is the standard
There are many intensity scales.
Two commonly used, ones are the Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) scale and MSK
scale. Both are quite similar and range from I to XII . These intensity scale are based on
the features of shaking- perception by people and animals, performance of buildings, and
changes to natural surroundings.

Table 2 for Ressi-Forrel scale of earthquake Intensity:

Class Name Effects

1. Imperceptible Recorded by sensitive seismograph
2. Feeble Recorded by seismograph difference may be felt by
number of person at rest.
3. Very slight Felt by several persons at rest, is strong enough for
the duration and direction to be recorded.
4. Slight Disturbs persons in motion movable objected
distributed, creaking of doors and windows.
5. Weak Disturbances of furniture and ringing of bells.
6. Modessrate General awakening of those asleep, stopping of
clocks, visible disturbances of trees.
7. Strong Overthrow of movable objects, fall of plaster,
general panic with out serious damage to building.
8. Very strong Fall of chimneys, cracks in the walls.
9. Severe Partial or total destruction of some buildings.
10. Destructive All structures distributed.

Shaking intensity
as per MSK scale:
Intensity VIII- Destruction of buildings

1. Fright and panic. Also, persons driving motorcars are disturbed. Here and there
branches of trees break off. Even heavy furniture moves and partly overturns.
Hanging lamps are damaged in part.
2. Most buildings of type C suffer damage of Grade 2, and few of grade 3. Most
buildings of Type B suffer damage of Grade 3, and most buildings of Type A
suffer damage of Grade 4. Occasional breaking of pipe seams occurs. Memorials
and monuments move and twist. Stone walls collapse.
3. Small landslips occur in hollows and on banked roads on steep slopes, cracks
develop in ground up to widths of severals centimeters. Water in lakes becomes

turbid. New reservoirs come into existances. Dry wells refill and existing wells
become dry. In many cases, changes in flow and level of water are observed.
Type A - structures- rural constructions.
Type B - Ordinary masonary constructions.
Type C – Well-built structures
Single Few- about 5%
Many – about 50%
Most – about 75%
Grade 1 Damage – Slight damage
Grade 2 moderate damage
Grade 3 Heavy damage
Grade 4 Destruction
Grade 5 Total damage.

The geographical point on the surface of earth vertically above the focus of the

The originating source of the elastic waves inside the earth which cause shakings
of ground due to earthquake. The point of maximum shock/stress release during an
earthquake. Deeper focus earthquakes are often less damaging because the rocks absorb
more energy before the waves hit the surface.

Shallow Focus Earthquake:

Earthquake of focus less than 70 km deep from ground surface are called shallow
focus earthquakess.

A teleseism is an earthquake recorded by a seismograph at a distance. By
international convention the distance is over 1000 Kilometers from the epicentre.
Earthquake originating near the recording station are termed as near earthquake or local

These are more or less continous disturbances in the ground recorded by

Micro earthquake:
Very small earthquake having magnitude less than measurable than three on
Richter scale are called Micro-earthquake. Highly sensitive seismographs are employed
to monitor these for seismological and engineering applications.


The ground acccleration record produced by Accelerograph is called

This is an earthquake-recording device designed to measure the ground motion in
terms of acceleration in the epicentral region of strong shaking. It writes the time wise
history of ground acceleration at a particular site.

Focal distance:
The straight-line distance between the places of recording/observation to the
hypocenter is called the focal distance.

Intermediate Focus Eathquake:

The focus is between 70 to 300 km deep.

Epicentral Distance:
Distance between epicentre and recording station in km.

Fore Shocks:
Smaller earthquake that precede the main earthquake.

After shocks:
Smaller earthquake that follow the main earthquake

The layer of the upper mantle which is close to melting point and behaves in a
semi-plastic way. Convection currents in this layer are believed to influence the
movement of tectonic plates.

Benioff zone:

A region of earthquake activity inclined at an angle underneath a destructive
boundary. Deeper earthquakes occur further from the boundary.

Constructive boundary:
A part of the earth's crust where tectonic plates are moving away from each other,
constructing new crustal material where they part. Associated with basic volcanism and
frequent, shallow earthquakes.

Debris avalanche:
A sudden, large scale avalanche of rock. May be set off by heavy rain or by
earthquake activity.

Destructive boundary:
A part of the earth's crust where tectonic plates move towards one another,
resulting in the seduction of one below the other.

Direct hazard:
A threat to life or property arising from the direct action of a hazard (eg shaking
in an earthquake or blast in a volcano).

A fracture in the rocks along which strain is occasionally released as an
earthquake. By definition, only active faults are associated with earthquakes.

The rigid outer shell of the earth which normally comprises crust (oceanic or
continental) and part of the upper mantle above the asthenosphere.

The process by which sediments and soil collapse, behaving like a thick liquid
when shaken by earthquake waves.

Magnitude/frequency relationship:
The observed relationship (with most hazards) that bigger scale events occur less
frequently while smaller scale events are relatively common.

Richter scale:
A measure of earthquake magnitude allowing an estimate of energy levels

Rossi-Forrel scale:
An observational scale for measuring earthquake intensity. This was improved
and expanded by Mercalli to produce the "Modified Mercalli Scale".

A printout from a seismometer. Studies of seismograph traces can be used to
pinpoint both the epicentre of an earthquake and the nature of the fault movement.

An instrument for detecting and recording earthquake waves.

Seduction zone:
A narrow region along a destructive plate boundary where one plate is consumed
underneath another.

Transform boundary:
A plate boundary where the relative movement is sideways. The classic example
of a transform boundary is in California where the San Andreas fault is a part of a
transform plate boundary.

An earthquake generated sea wave. Can travel thousands of miles and reach many
metres in height when approaching shallow water.


India being a large landmass is particularly prone to earthquakes. The Indian subcontinent
is divided into five seismic zones with respect to the severity of the earthquakes. The
classification of the zones has been done by the geologist and scientist as early as 1956
when a 3-zone (Severe, Light and Minor hazard) Seismic Zoning Map of India was
produced. Since then the issue of seismic hazard has been addressed by different experts
and agencies

The aforementioned map was based on a broad concept of earthquake distribution and
geotectonics. The severe hazard zones are roughly confined to plate boundary regions, ie,
the Himalayan frontal arc in the North, the chaman fault region in the north west and the
indo burma region in the north east. The lower hazard zone is confined to indian shield in
the south and then moderate hazard zone confined to the transitional zone in between the

The bureau of Indian standards is the official agency for publishing the seismic hazard
maps and codes. It has brought out versions of seismic zoning map: a six zone map in
1962, a seven zone map in 1966, and a five zone map 1970/1984. The last of these maps is
currently valid; this map was created based on the values of maximum MM intensities
recorded in various parts of the country, in historic times.

Zone V is the most vulnerable to earthquakes, where historically some of the country's
most powerful shock have occured. This region included the Andaman & Nicobar Islands,
all of North-Eastern India, parts of north-western Bihar, eastern sections of Uttaranchal,
the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh, near the Srinagar area in Jammu & Kashmir and
the Rann of Kutchh in Gujarat. Earthquakes with magnitudes in excess of 7.0 have
occured in these areas, and have had intensities higher than IX.

Much of India lies in Zone III, where a maximum intensity of VII can be expected. Four
of the major metropolitan areas lie in Zone IV, i.e. New Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta.
Only Chennai lies in Zone II. A large section of south-central India lies in Zone I along
with a section stretching from eastern Rajasthan into northern Madhya Pradesh. Some
areas of Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh also lie in Zone I.

In recent years india has been a host to many earthquakes of varying magnitude and
intensity. The following table gives a detailed chronology.

Lat(Deg Long(Deg
N) E)
June 23.6 68.6 KUTCH,GUJARAT 8.0
1869 25 93 NEAR CACHAR, 7.5

MAY 34.1 74.6 SOPOR, J&K 7.0
JUN 26 91 8.7
APR 32.3 76.3 KANGRA, H.P 8.0
JUL 24.5 91.0 7.6
JUL 25.8 90.2 DHUBRI, ASSAM 7.1
JAN 26.6 86.8 8.3
JUN 12.4 92.5 8.1
OCT 26.8 94.0 ASSAM 7.4
AUG 28.5 96.7 PRADESH-CHINA 8.5
JUL 23.3 70.0 ANJAR, GUJARAT 7.0
DEC 17.37 73.75 6.5

JAN 32.38 78.49 KINNAUR, HP 6.2

AUG 25.13 95.15 MYANMAR 6.6
AUG 26.72 86.63 6.4
OCT 30.75 78.86 6.6
1993 LATUR-
SEP 18.07 76.62 OSMANABAD, 6.3
MAY 23.08 80.06 JABALPUR,MP 6.0
MAR 30.41 79.42 6.8



Seismic waves are the vibrations from earthquakes that travel through the Earth;
they are recorded on instruments called seismographs. Seismographs record a zig-zag
trace that shows the varying amplitude of ground oscillations beneath the instrument.
Sensitive seismographs, which greatly magnify these ground motions, can detect strong
earthquakes from sources anywhere in the world. The time, locations, and magnitude of
an earthquake can be determined from the data recorded by seismograph stations. The
Richter magnitude scale was developed in 1935 by Charles F. Richter of the California
Institute of Technology as a mathematical device to compare the size of earthquakes. The
magnitude of an earthquake is determined from the logarithm of the amplitude of waves
recorded by seismographs. Adjustments are included for the variation in the distance
between the various seismographs and the epicenter of the earthquakes. On the Richter
Scale, magnitude is expressed in whole numbers and decimal fractions. For example, a
magnitude 5.3 might be computed for a moderate earthquake, and a strong earthquake
might be rated as magnitude 6.3. Because of the logarithmic basis of the scale, each
whole number increase in magnitude represents a tenfold increase in measured
amplitude; as an estimate of energy, each whole number step in the magnitude scale
corresponds to the release of about 31 times more energy than the amount associated with
the preceding whole number value Earthquakes with magnitude of about 2.0 or less are
usually call micro earthquakes; they are not commonly felt by people and are generally
recorded only on local seismographs. Events with magnitudes of about 4.5 or greater -
there are several thousand such shocks annually - are strong enough to be recorded by
sensitive seismographs all over the world. Great earthquakes, such as the 1964 Good
Friday earthquake in Alaska, have magnitudes of 8.0 or higher. On the average, one

earthquake of such size occurs somewhere in the world each year. Although the Richter
Scale has no upper limit, the largest known shocks have had magnitudes in the 8.8 to 8.9
range. Recently, another scale called the moment magnitude scale has been devised for
more precise study of great earthquakes. The Richter Scale is not used to express damage.
An earthquake in a densely populated area which results in many deaths and
considerable damage may have the same magnitude as a shock in a remote area that does
nothing more than frighten the wildlife. Large-magnitude earthquakes that occur beneath
the oceans may not even be felt by humans.


The design of a seismic resistant building involves the usage of seismic

coefficients. For the purpose manipulating these coefficients the country is divided into
FIVE zones ( as recommended in IS 1897 - 1984)

ZONE 1 Area without any damage

ZONE 2 Area with major damage ( i.e., causing damages to structures with
fundamentally periods greater than 1.0 second ) earthquakes
corresponding to intensities V to VI of MM scale ( MM - Modified
Mercalli Intensity scale )
ZONE 3 Moderate damage corresponding to intensity VII of MM scale
ZONE 4 Major damage corresponding to intensity VII and higher of MM scale.
ZONE 5 Area determines by pro seismically of certain major fault systems.

The observations of structural performances of buildings during earthquakes
provide volumes of information about the merits and demerits of the design and
construction practices in a region since it is based on the actual test on prototype
structures. The study helps in the elevation of strengthening measures of buildings and
modifying the provisions of the modern code of practice with minimum additional
Numerical techniques have made great stride in Earthquake Engineering and it is
important to critically evaluate the validity of these techniques by the experience of
instrumented buildings during actual strong motion earthquakes, which are generally
carried out experimentally using earthquake simulators.
The numerous buildings suffered severe damage in Caracas during the Venezuela
earthquake (1967) which were designed according to modern methods as reported by
Borges et al.(1969) and degenkolb et al.(1969). Similar experiences were observed in
many other earthquakes. This is the cause for great concern and there is a need for better

understanding of the behaviour of buildings during some important earthquakes has been
carried out. Finally, the important lessons from the damage behaviour of buildings during
earthquakes are summarized.
The indirect damages of buildings during earthquakes are some times far greater
than the damages due to earthquake itself, such as, out break of fire, rock fall, landslide,
avalanche and tsunamis. However, these damages are not due to inadequacies in the
design and planning and therefore, not discussed here.

Observations Of Behaviour Of Buildings During Past Earthquakes

A description of behaviour of buildings during different earthquakes the world are
summarized here for simple reason that they provide good engineering information about
the behaviour of structures and helps in evolving its strengthening measures. In many
cases, illustrates the effectiveness of earthquake resistant measures.

Lisbon (Portugal) earthquake of nov.1, 1955:

It has the maximum intensity of X on modified Mercalli (MM) scale of Lisbon.
Nearly 15,000 buildings in the city collapsed and some 60,000 people were killed. The
narrow streets largely aggravated the large-scale disaster where it was practically
impossible to prevent the spread of fires and the pilling up of debris. There were three
shocks in all, the first was the most severe shock and there was not a single stone building
remained intact, thirty-to monasteries and 53 palaces were also destroyed;(Poliyakov,

Rann of kutch earthquake of June 16th, 1819:

This devastating earthquake occurred on 16th June 1819 between 6.45 and 6.50
pm resulting in nearly 1543 deaths and huge loss of property. It was felt in Ahmedabad,
Porbondar, Jaisalmer, and Bhuj etc. In Bhuj alone more than 7000 houses were damaged.
The houses built on low rocky ridges suffered less damage whereas houses founded on a
slope leading to plain of spring and swamps were completely ruined. The Anjar
earthquake of 21st July 1956 of magnitude 7 in this region also caused considerable
property damage. There was total devastation for kutcha-pucca construction.

Bihar-Nepal earthquake of August26, 1833:

A violent earthquake of magnitude 7.0-7.5 struck on August 26, 1833 between
5.30 and 6.00 pm (IST) killing 414people in Nepal and several hundred in India with
severe damage at Katmandu, Bhatgaon, Khokha and Patan in Nepal, and Monghyer and
Purnea district in India. At Bhatgaon, a loss of 2000 houses (i.e.42%) was reported. The
maximum intensity reported was IX.

Assam (India) earthquake of June 12,1897:

The magnitude was estimated to be greater than 8.5 and responsible for 1542
deaths. It occurred at 5.15 local time. The peak ground acceleration was estimated to
have reached 50 of gravity. It is one of the greatest earthquakes of the world. All the
stone and brick buildings were destroyed over an area of 3,70,000 sq.kms. (Tandon and
Srivastava, 1974). Some of the buildings sank into the ground up to their roofs due to

liquefaction of soil. The traditional lkra type of construction of building of Assam
showed good performance.

Great Kangra earthquake of April 4, 1905:

This earthquake of magnitude greater than 8.0 occurred at 6.0 hrs20.0m (IST)
with its epicenter at 32.25N, 76.25E.The maximum MM intensity X was observed in the
epicentral region had taken a total 20,000 lives. The buildings were built of sun-dried
bricks and some times with stone foundations raised about 15 cm above ground. Roofs
were normally of slates but thatch was also used. The damage were severe, the houses
became a heap of sun-dried bricks, slates and rafter.

San Francisco (California, USA) earthquake of April 18, 1906:

The earthquake had a magnitude of 8.3 and about 700 and 800 people died.
Buildings on hard ground received comparatively minor damage such as collapsed
chimneys, shattered windows. However load bearing structural elements were not
seriously damaged. Structures erected on soft ground were severely damaged.
Destruction of brick buildings was very severe with walls and entire sections collapsing.
Damage to structures on filled up ground was especially severe due to differential
settlements. The tall buildings resting on piles withstood the earthquake well and it
provided the first test of multistorey steel frame buildings. Extensive nonstructural
damage was common but none of these multistorey buildings so heavily damaged so as to
be unsafe. Wood frame construction performed very well. Unreinforced sand-lime mortar
brick bearing walls performed poorly. During the earthquake, most of the fire station
buildings in the city were destroyed. The fires that were caused by the destruction of
burning stoves and short circuits in electric wires lasted three days.

Messina (Sicily) earthquake of December 28,1908:

It has the maximum intensity of x on MM scale. Peak ground acceleration was
208 of gravity. In the past this city had been repeatedly subjected to severe earthquakes.
During this earthquake, 1,00,000 people (according to some data-1, 60,000) were killed,
98 percent of the buildings were completely.
The reason for such disastrous consequences was primarily very poor quality of
construction. The walls of the buildings were made of quarry stone laid in a weak lime
mortar; no special earthquake proof measures had been taken. The ground conditions
were not also suitable. The buildings were erected on loose alluvium and highly
weathered crystalline rock.

Kanto (Japan) earthquake of September 1, 1923:

The peak ground acceleration was about 50% of gravity. It destroyed the Tokyo
and Yokohama cities. The earthquake and the fires that followed caused the death of
cover 1,40,000 people with just as many injured. The numbers of buildings destroyed
were 12,86,261 and 4,47,128 buildings were destroyed by fire. Damage was especially

severe in places where structures were built on loose alluvium and appreciably less on
firm ground.
This earthquake illustrates the great influence of ground on the intensity of
earthquake. The advantages of structural frame systems and serious shortcoming of brick
construction were clearly established. Thus, for example, out of 710 reinforced concrete
frame buildings, which were carefully investigated by Japanese specialists, 69 buildings
(9.7%) was damaged and 16 buildings (2.2%) were collapsed. Where as out of 485 brick
buildings with load bearing brick walls 47 buildings (9.7%) were completely destroyed
and 383 buildings (79%) were severely damaged. On the basis of these studies, the
maximum height of brick buildings was limited to 9m in Japan.

Great Bihar earthquake of January 15, 1934:

This disastrous earthquake of magnitude 8.4 occurred at 2.00 pm with its
epicenter at 26.5N, 86.5E in which nearly 11,000 lives were lost. The areas affected have
been found scattered within a region of 48,60,000 sq.km. There was complete damage to
all the masonry buildings. Landslides have occurred in the mountain areas near
Katmandu, Udaipur, Garji and eastern Nepal. Large-scale liquefaction was also reported
in purnea where houses have been tilted and sunk into the ground. At many places sand
and water fountains erupted.

Fukui (Japan) earthquake of June 28, 1948:

The earthquake of magnitude 7.2 occurred at 4.00 am. The peak ground
acceleration of 0.6 g was observed and the focal depth of 15 kms was estimated. During
the earthquake 5268 people were killed and 35,437 structures were destroyed. Forty-six
out of forty seven reinforced concrete frame (cast in-situ) buildings up to 9 stories high
survived the earthquake well. One building, which was completely destroyed, was
attributed to errors in calculations (Okamoto 1973).

Great Assam earthquake of 1950:

The devastating earthquake of magnitude 8.5 on Richter scale occurred at 14hrs
09m 30s(GMT) with epicenter 28.5N,97.0E having a depth of focus of about 15km in
area of nearly 46,000 square km suffered extensive damage. The epicenter of the shock
was located on the uninhabited part just outside the northeast boundary of India. It caused
great destruction to property in northeastern Assam.

Chile (South America) earthquake of May1960:

The series of shocks began on May 21 with the largest shock of magnitude 7.5.
This was followed by several more shocks, four of the largest having magnitude from 6.5
to 7.8. On May 22, a larger shock occurred with magnitude 8.5. During the following
month there were 50 shocks with magnitudes form 5 to 7.
A total of 450,000 buildings were severely damaged of which 45,000 were
completely destroyed and more than 1000 persons were killed. It was possible to study
the performance of the modern buildings, which were designed according to country’s
earthquake resistant construction regulations.

The severe damages were due to old buildings with plain brick walls, which were
apparently weakened by the previous earthquakes. Such wall construction in Chile is not
permitted by current regulations. Buildings with reinforced brick and concrete walls
behaved much better. Better earthquake resistance of reinforced concrete frame walls
with brick cladding and wood frame walls were observed.
The performance of steel framed three storeys building presented considerable
interest. In longitudinal and transverse directions provision was made for diagonal
bracing (on the first storey in both directions). During the May 22, tremor, the building
was without bracing as a result of which its rigidity was sharply reduced (The
fundamental time period changed from 0.8 to 1.06s). Despite the decrease in stiffness of
the building in horizontal direction it did not receive any damage during another stronger
earthquake. It was apparently the reduced rigidity of the building, which attract3ed less
inertia forces, and consequently survived the earthquake.

Nilgata (Japan) earthquake of 1964:

The earthquake (M=7.5 h=40 km D=50 km) has caused considerable destruction
in the city of Nilgata, which was primarily due to very poor ground conditions. The
predominant time period of the soil layers of city of Nilgata varied from 0.25s to 0.5s. IT
was observed that the damages to the buildings were heavy on soil having predominant
time periods close to 0.5s and less otherwise, (Mawasumi, 1968).
The main cause of damage was the liquefaction of soil underneath. The rigid
reinforced concrete buildings under gone large settlement and tilting. One such building
completely toppled over. Among the 1500 reinforced concrete buildings in Nilgata, 310
suffered damage, with two thirds of them settling or tilting without noticeable damage to
above ground structural elements. Serious damage occurred to closely spaced building
due to mutual pounding during seismic shocks, this should be taken into account in
designing the expansion joints. In areas of well-consolidated ground, there was no
Examination of foundations showed destruction in many cases of reinforced
concrete piles. Buildings erected on short piles drived to poorly compacted soils
underwent considerable tilting and settlement. Above ground structural elements of
buildings erected on piles driven on hard soils were not damaged. Buildings with
basements suffered considerably less tilting then buildings on shallow strip footing
Anchorage (Alaska) earthquake of March27, 1964:
It was one of the greatest earthquake (M=8.4,h=20km, D=130km at anchorage) in
the history. The damage to the structures was heaviest, and many of the buildings were
completely demolished. The predominant period of the soil layer was estimated to be
near 0.5s. This was possibly the reason that the tall buildings in the city with natural
periods close to the predominant periods suffered more damage than lower buildings.
Residential wood frame buildings exhibited fairly good earthquake resistance except in
some cases when their foundations were destroyed. Least damage was sustained by wood
structures built on firm ground (Kunze et al., 1965;Steinburge, 1965 and Wiegel, 1970).
The Anchorage earthquake also provided a number of examples of the behaviour
of Precast, prestressed reinforced concrete structural elements. The Precast elements were
jointed by welding. A large number of the buildings collapsed. Other Precast reinforced

concrete buildings also suffered serious damage. It was observed, that in all cases
destruction and damage to Precast, prestressed structural elements were caused by poor
behaviour of joints of supports. The Precast, prestressed elements as a rule were not

Tashkent (USSR) earthquake of April 26, 1966:

The earthquake (M=5.4 h=8 km D=0) though small caused severe damages. The
location of the epicenter was right under the city that accounted for the large vertical
component of ground movement, which was the reason for devastation. The predominant
period of ground was estimated to 0.1s, (Polyakov, 1974).
Nearly all the brick buildings were damaged to some degree. But many old sun
dried brick buildings in the center of the city were damaged so badly that they had to be

Hindukush (India) earthquake of June 6, 1966:

No accelerograph was located in the area; however, few response recorders were
actuated, which have indicated a maximum acceleration of about 0.055 g, (Krishna and
Arya, 1966). The old building construction of timber encased in masonry walls showed
vertical cracks at the corners. In some cases separation of walls, cracking of jack arches
over door opening, tilting of walls etc., were also observed. The timber joints were found
to be deteriorated.
Six stories r.c. Frame building, showed some shear cracks in the roof beams and
longitudinal cracks in the slab between the beams. The main reason for these shear cracks
in beams appears to be the earthquake forces applied at roof level on the mass of the roof
as well as on the mass of some non structural elements standing on the roof for
architectural regions.
The two-storied hospital building constructed in 1:1:1 lime sand and surkhi
mortar. The building has performed well except the crack where it widens in section.
These cracks may be attributed to significant change in stiffness of the building. A
similar two storey Medical college building in lime sand surkhi survived with very minor
cracks in the walls.

Anantnag Earthquake of February20, 1967:

This earthquake of Magnitude 5.3-5.7 with a depth of focus of 24 kn struck at
nearly 8.49 pm (IST). A total of 786 houses were totally damaged and nearly 25,000
houses were partially damaged [Gosain and Arya (1960)]
Kashmir valley has been shake by many severe earthquakes in the past. The
earthquakes of 22.6.1969; June 6,1828,May 30, 1885 and September 2, 1963 were the
severest. The earthquake of 30th May 1885 was one of the most disastrous earthquakes in
Kashmir valley. During this earthquake about 6000 people were killed.

Koyna earthquake of Dec. 11, 1967:

The Magnitude of the earthquake was recorded as 6.5 and the depth of focus w as
about 8 km with its epicenter at 1722.4N, 7344.8E. It occurred at 22 hrs 51m 19s (GMT).

The maximum MM intensity of VIII was observed. The area was considered seismically
inactive. Earthquake has damaged 40,000 houses and 177 persons lost their lives. The
peak acceleration recorded was 0.67 g[Arya, Chandrasekaran and Srivastave(1968)].
The traditional construction in the area was non seismic and had little resistance
against lateral forces. Most of the building structures in the area were single storied built
in masonry. The Koynanagar experience very heavy shocks resulting in severe damages.
The cladding wall timber framework buildings failed, whereas, modern random rubble
masonry buildings suffered heavy damage. Stone masonry was also heavily damaged
than the brick masonry. At Koyna a hundreds of failures was due to bulging out of wall
that caused the fall of stone on one face while on the other face standing intact. The
outside face many not be able to withstand the tension with the result that the stones
would get loosened and fall down. The buildings were mostly founded on murum and
there were hardly any failure of foundations.
The epicenter of the earthquake was very close to the Koyna dam. The
accelerograph installed within the dam provided the most valuable instrumental data.

Off Tokachi(Japan) earthquake of May 16, 1968:

The earthquake of magnitude 7.9 occurred under sea 170 kms east of the city of
Hachinobe. The damage of reinforced concrete buildings was severe which consists of
destruction of city Han, public library, technical high school at Hachinobe and Hakodate

Broach Earthquake of March 23, 1970:

A shallow earthquake of Magnitude6.0 occurred at Broach in the early hours of
March 23, 1970. The epicenter was at 21.7N, 72.9E. Twenty-three persons were reported
to have died and about 250 persons were injured. About 115 houses badly damaged or
collapsed while 2500 houses were partially damaged [Bulsari and Thakkar (1970)]

Kinnaur earthquake of Jan. 19,1975:

The magnitude of the earthquake was estimated as 6.7 and the maximum
observed intensity in the region was IX on MM scale. The earthquake caused death of
sixty people and several hundred severely injured. The traditional construction in the area
was non seismic and had little resistance against the lateral forces. Nearly 2,000
dwellings were heavily damaged, (Singhet. Al. 1975). The random rubble masonry and
dressed stone masonry construction with heavy flat roofs suffered extensive damage.
Buildings constructed in hollow concrete blocks or dressed stone masonry in cement
mortar developed small cracks in walls. Light structures made of corrugated iron sheets
nailed to tikber frames and arches did not suffer any damage. The temples, monasteries
and monuments also suffered badly.

Indo-Nepal earthquake of May 21, 1979:

The magnitude of earthquake was 6.0 on Ritcher scale and the maximum intensity
was VI on the MM scale, (ashwani et al., 1981).
The quality of construction in the region was poor. The maximum damage
occurred to the houses of random rubble stone masonry (RRsm) in mud mortar having

foundation on loose soil. Partial or complete collapse of mud walls has been notice.
Dressed stone masonry building with cement mortar developed wall cracks.

Western Nepal –India earthquake of July 29, 1980:

The main shock with estimated magnitude ranging from 6.2 to 6.5 caused
considerable damage to buildings and loss of life. The maximum intensity estimated was
VIII on MM scale, (Satyendra and Ashok, 1981).
Due to remoteness of the region, almost all the village buildings are constructed of stacks
of random rocks pieces (without any mortar) wet mud plaster on their interior sides and
covered with a sloping roof of slabs resting on timber beams and rafters. The majority of
new construction use mud mortar. However, few use cement mortar. The traditional
construction as described offers little or no resistance to lateral forces during earthquakes
and thus suffered severe damage.
Random rubble stone masonry showed complete collapse. The gable end walls
collapsed resulting in partial collapse of the adjacent structure. Failure of timber posts
and rafters also resulted in collapse of some roofs. Dressed stone masonry in the absence
of any mortar developed cracked in the cement plaster. Poor bonding at the junctions
resulted in loss of contact between the cross walls. Reinforce concrete construction did
not suffer any damage. Dry packed stone masonry walls w9th continuous lintel band over
openings and cross walls did not suffer any damage.

Jammu and Kashmir (India) earthquake of August 24, 1980:

The earthquake has been assigned magnitude 5.2 on the Richter scale and the
maximum intensity was recorded VIII on MM intensity scale. Eighty percent of the
houses were either damaged or totally collapsed. The traditional construction is
predominantly random rubble stone masonry with mud mortar. Mud houses in the
Bhaddo area suffered heavy damage and so as the random rubble masonry. A large size
bounding stone, known as Dasalu in local dialect, is used at some places particularly at
corners made of two walls. Where Dasalu is not used properly, the corners of the walls
opened out resulting in the collapse of building. Lightweight structure made of
corrugated iron sheets mailed in limber trusses did not suffer any damage, [(Prakash and
Mam, 1981)].
The bonding stone Dasalu is found to be effective in the walls constructed of
random rubble masonry. For its effectiveness the spacing of these should be about 1.0 to
1.5 meters both horizontally and vertically.
Great Nicobar (India) earthquake of Jan. 20,1982:
The earthquake of Richter magnitude 6.3 occurred at the east coast of Great
Nicobar Island. The focal depth was estimated to 28 kms,(Agarwal,1982).
The houses of Nicobar founded on multiple deep piles of 10 to 15 cm dia
separated from ground, have not damaged. The timber cum hollow block masonry
construction also faired well with minor damages. Buildings on fills have shown damage.

Assam earthquake of August 6th, 1988:

The earthquake of magnitude of 7.2 occurred at 6.36 hours (IST) on August 6 th,
1988 with its epicenter at 25.14 N, 95.12 E. the focal depth was estimated to 96 KM.
Guwahati, Jorhat , Sibsagar and Silchar were shaken. No deaths were reported because

the epicenter of the earthquake was in a remote area and possibly Assam houses (Ikra and
bamboo houses) are able to resist earthquake much better.

Bihar Nepal Earthquake of August 21, 1988:

The earthquake of magnitude 6.6 struck at 4 hrs 39 m 11.25 sec (IST) with its
epicenter in Nepal near the Bihar Nepal border (Lat 26.775 and long 86.609) in close
proximity to 1934 earthquake epicenter. The focal depth is estimated to be 71 KM. The
maximum intensity of VIII+ was observed at Darbhanga and Munghyer in Bihar and
Dharan in Nepal. This earthquake has taken 281 lives in Bihar and nearly 650 lives in
Nepal. The total number of injured persons in Bihar is 3767. It damaged / collapsed 1.5
lacks houses/ buildings in Bihar alone.
At Darbhanga the high intensity was mainly attributed to the soft alluvial soil and
liquefaction resulting in large-scale subsidence of soil while in Dharan the high intensity
is attributed to amplification of ground acceleration due to hill and hill slope. The recent
R.C.C constructions with codal; provision has shown better performance while old and
poorly built load bearing unreinforced masonry brick buildings performed badly. Large-
scale liquefaction of ground was observed in the Gangetic plane resulting in ground
subsidence. Mud houses and brick houses laid in mud mortar was affected most in the
villages. Severe damage to old masonry buildings having jack arch construction was
observed. Framed construction has shown better performance.

Uttarkashi Earthquake of October 20, 1991:

The earthquake of magnitude 6.6 rocked the Uttarkashi region at 2.53 hrs (IST)
with its epicenter at village Agora (30.75 N, 78.68 E) and focal depth 12 Km. The
maximum intensity in epicentral track was observed IX on Modified Mercalli scale. The
earthquake caused enormous destruction of houses and loss of life, killing nearly 770
people and injured nearly 5000, mostly all due to collapse of random rubble residential
houses. The affected region lies between seismic zone IV and V according to seismic
zoning map of India. The maximum affected area was Uttarkashi, Tehri and Chamoli
districts. Telecommunication and power supply were badly effected due to damaged
telephone and electric poles. Rubble stone masonry houses in mud mortar close to the
severely effected area were totally collapsed and others got severe damage. Many school
and health buildings were also damaged.
Many bridges were severely damaged / collapsed. Gawana steel lattice bridge
located about 6 Km from Uttarkashi on road to Gangotri collapsed, severely affecting the
relief and rescue operations immediately after the earthquake. Widespread rock falls
landslides / rockslides were observed mostly along the road causing heavy damage to
hilly roads and blocking it.

The Latur (Killari) earthquake of sept 30, 1993:

The moderate shallow focus earthquake of magnitude 6.4 occurred in peninsular
India with its epicenter near Killari created Havoc. The peninsular India has been
considered seismically stable. The earthquake caused strong ground shaking in the region
of Latur, Osmanabad, Sholapur, Gulberga and Bidar. There was heavy damage in a
localized area of 15 km close to Killari, which is on the northern side of river Terna. The
maximum intensity in the epicentral track was VIII+ on Modified Mercalli scale. It

destroyed more than 28,700 houses damaging about 1,70,000 houses and killing about
9,000 people. The random rubble stone houses in mud mortar totally destroyed. The
heavy roofs and thick walls with little shear and no tensile strength were the main reasons
for the failure.
The most common construction of random rubble stone walls laid in mud mortar
are made thick (70 to 180 cm) with small openings for the doors and windows. The
foundations of these houses are taken to a depth varying from 60 to 250 cm below the top
cover of black cotton soil. The roof consists of timber rafters in two perpendicular
directions over which wooden planks and a thick layer of mud is laid. The mud layer on
roof varies between 30 to 80 cm making very heavy. The walls did not have the
interlocking stones and the houses did not have any earthquake resistant features.

The Jabalpur earthquake of May 21,1997:

The earthquake of magnitude 6.1 occurred on May 21,1997 at 04hrs 22s in
southern India with its epicenter near Jabalpur with its focus at 33.0 km. The earthquake
lasted 20 secs. The maximum intensity on MM intensity scale is estimated to be VIII.
The latitude and longitude were 23.18 N, 80.02 E. The southern India has been
considered seismically stable. The earthquake caused strong ground shaking in the region
of Jabalpur, Seoni, Mandla and other towns in the Narmada belt of Madhyapradesh.
About 25 people were killed and more than 100 injured. Most deaths were due to collapse
of houses. There was wide spread damage in Ragchi, Garha and Sarafa areas on the cities
outskirts. In Jabal, some buildings in Khumeria cantonment, which was the countries
oldest factory, developed cracks. Water supply was disrupted at many places in the city
as pipelines burst. Telephone lines and electricity supply were also affected.

Bhuj earthquake of January 26, 2001:

The earthquake of magnitude 6.9 occurred on January 26, 2001 and has caused
widespread damage to variety of buildings and many of them have collapsed. Total
deaths reported were 19,500. For the first time in India large number of urban buildings
including the multistorey buildings at Bhuj, Ahmedabad, Gandhidham and other places
have damaged / collapsed. The mushrooming of multistorey buildings without any
consideration of earthquake resistant design and construction practices has generated a
countrywide debate about its seismic safety. It has caused damage to the common type of
load bearing buildings and RCC framed buildings.
Most of the rural construction of mud, adobe, burnt brick and stone masonry
either in mud or cement mortar have shown severe damage or collapsed. The stone
masonry buildings undergo severe damage resulting in complete collapse and pile up in a
heap of stones. The inertia forces due to roof / floor is transmitted to the top of the walls
and where the roofing material is improperly tied to the wall, it will be dislodged. The
weak roof support connection is the cause of separation of roof from the support and
leads to complete collapse. At many places the height of random rubble stone masonry
walls in mud mortar / poor cement mortar was about 5 m. These were provided with
earthquake band at only lintel level and therefore, damage was observed in the high walls
between the lintel and the roof level. The failure of bottom chord of roof truss may also
cause complete collapse of truss as well as the whole building. The Bhuj earthquake has

again showed that stone houses are most vulnerable to earthquakes as it was observed in
Uttarkashi, Killari and Chamoli earthquakes.
As the prosperity of Gujarat state flourished, multistorey buildings started
mushrooming. In the last 10 years many four storey and ten storey multistorey buildings
were constructed. The multistorey buildings with out a lift were constructed up to four
storey and buildings with lift were constructed up to ten storey. Unscrupulous builders
and architects unaware of any earthquake resistant provisions have been constructing
buildings. The collapse of newly built apartments and office blocks prove this point. The
modern RCC frame construction consist of bare RCC beam column frame and the
masonry infill. The masonry infill varies from dressed stone in mud mortar, clay brick in
cement mortar, cement concrete block masonry in mud/cement mortar. Most of the
multistorey buildings in Ahmedabad and Ghandhinagar were of RCC frame constructions
with bricks / cement concrete block masonry in cement mortar as infill material. Most of
these type of construction was of Stilt type i.e., soft storey construction. In this type of
construction either very few or no infill walls are provided in the ground floor and is left
open for parking the vehicles of the residents.
The damage to multistorey buildings in Bhuj is found to be wide spread. It is
interesting to note that multi storey buildings have also damaged as far distances as
Ahmedabad, Gandhidham and Surat. Whereas well designed and well constructed RCC
framed buildings following the Indian standard code of practice have performed very
well during the earthquake. Most of the buildings constructed by CPWD, Post and
Telegraph and other government agencies have performed well.
The damage in RC framed buildings is mostly due to failure of infill, or failure of
columns or beams. The column may have damaged by cracking or buckling due to
excessive bending combined with dead load. The buckling of columns is significant when
the columns are slender and the spacing of the stirrup in the column is large. Severe crack
occurs near the rigid joints of frame due to shearing action, which may lead to complete
collapse. Most of the damage occurred at the beam column junction. Widespread damage
was also observed at the inter face of stone or brick masonry infill and RCC frame. In
most of the cases diagonal cracks appeared in the stone or brick infill. The buildings
resisting on soft ground storey columns without or with very few infill walls have
undergone severe damage and many have collapsed.

Performance Of Various Type Of Buildings

Different types of buildings suffer different degrees of damage during
earthquakes and the same has been studied here.

1.Mud and adobe houses:

Unburnt sun dried bricks laid in mud mortar are called adobe construction. Mud
houses are the traditional construction, for poor and most suitable in view of their initial
cost, easy availability, low level skill for construction and excellent insulation against
heat and cold. More than 100 million people in India live in these type of houses. There
are numerous examples of complete collapse of such buildings in 1906 Assam, 1948
Ashkhabad, 1960 Agadir, 1966 Tashkent, 1967 Koyna, 1975 Kinnaur, 1979 Indo-Nepal,
1980 Jammu and Kashmir and 1982 Dhamar earthquakes. It is very weak in shear,
tension and compression. Separation of walls at corner and junctions takes place easily

under ground shaking. The cracks pass through the poor joints. After the walls fail either
due to bending or shearing in combination with the compressive loads, the whole house
crashes down. Extensive damage was observed during earthquake especially if it occurs
after a rainfall, (Krishna and Chandra, 1983).
Better performance is obtained by mixing the mud with clay to provide the
cohesive strength. The mixing of straw improves the tensile strength. Coating the outer
wall with waterproof substance such as bitumen improves against weathering. The
strength of mud walls can be improved significantly by spilt bamboo or timber
reinforcement. Timber frame or horizontal timber runners at lintel level with vertical
members at corners further improves its resistance to lateral forces which has been
observed during the earthquakes.

2.Masonry buildings:
Masonry buildings of brick and stone are superior with respect to durability, fire
resistance, heat resistance and formative effects. Masonry buildings consist of various
material and sizes (i) Large block (block size >50 cm)-concrete blocks, rock blocks or
lime stones;(ii) concrete brick-solid and hollow; (iii) Natural stone masonry. Because of
its easy availability, economic reasons and the merits mentioned above this type of
construction are widely used. In very remote areas in Himalayas buildings are
constructed of stacks of random rock pieces without any mortar. The majority of new
construction use mud mortar, however, few use cement mortar also.
Causes of failure of masonry buildings:
These buildings are very heavy and attract large inertia forces. Unreinforced
masonry walls are weak against tension (Horizontal forces) and shear, and therefore,
perform rather poor during earthquakes. These buildings have large in plane rigidity and
therefore have low time periods of vibration, which results in large seismic force. These
buildings fall apart and collapsed because of lack of integrity. The lack of structural
integrity could be due to lack of ‘through’ stones, absence of bonding between cross
walls, absence of diaphragm action of roofs and lack of box light action.

Common type of damage in masonry building:

All of them undergo severe damage resulting in complete collapse and pileup ina
heap of stones. The inertia forces due to roof or floor is transmitted to the top of the walls
and if the roofing material is improperly tied to the wall, it will be dislodged. The weak
roof support connection is the cause of separation of roof from the support and leads to
complete collapse. The failure of bottom chord of roof truss may also cause complete
collapse of truss as well as the whole building.
If the roof/floor material is properly tied to the top walls causing it to shear of
diagonally in the direction motion through the bedding joints. The cracks usually initiate
at the corners of the openings. The failure of pier occurs due to combined action of
flexure and shear. Near vertical cracks near corner wall joint occur indicating separations
of walls.
For motion perpendicular to the walls, the bending moment at the ends result in cracking
and separation of the walls due to poor bonding. Generally gable end wall collapses. Due
to large inertia forces acting on the walls, the Wythe of masonry is either bulge outward
or inward. The falling away of half the wall thickness on the bulged side is common

feature. The bonding stone is found to be effective as in Jammu Kashmir earthquake of
August 24, 1980. Unreinforced dressed rubble masonry (DRM) has shown slightly better
performance than random rubble masonry. The most common damage is due to cracks in
the walls. The masonry with lower unit mass and greater bond strength shows better
performance. The unreinforced masonry as a rule should be avoided as a construction
material as far as possible in seismic area.

3.Reinforced masonry buildings:

Reinforced masonry buildings have withstood earthquakes well, without
appreciable damage. For horizontal bending, a tough member capable of taking bending
if found to perform better during earthquakes. If the corner sections or opening are
reinforced with steel bars even greater strength is attained. Even dry packed stone
masonry wall with continuous lintel band over openings and cross walls did not undergo
any damage.

4.Brick-R.C. frame buildings:

This type of building consists of RC frame structures and brick lay in cement
mortar as infill. This type of construction is suitable in seismic areas.
Causes of failure of RC frame buildings:
The failures are due to mainly lack of good design of beams /columns frame
action and foundation. Poor quality of construction inadequate detailing or laying of
reinforcement in various components particularly at joints and in columns /beams for
ductility. Inadequate diaphragm action of roof and floors. Inadequate treatment of
masonry walls.
Common type of damage in RC frame buildings:
The damage is mostly due to failure of infill, or failure of columns or beams.
Spalling of concrete in columns. Cracking or buckling due to excessive bending
combined with dead load may damage the column. The buckling of columns are
significant when the columns are slender and the spacing of stirrup in the column is large.
Severe crack occurs near rigid joints of frame due to shearing action, which may
lead to complete collapse. The differential settlement also causes excessive moments in
the frame and may lead to failure. Design of frame should be such that the plastic hinge is
confined to beam only, because beam failure is less damaging than the common failure.

5.Wooden buildings:
This is also most common type of construction in areas of high seismicity. It is
also most suitable material for earthquake resistant construction due to its light weight
and shear strength across the grains as observed in 1933 Long beach, 1952 Kern country,
1963 Skopje, and 1964 Anchorage earthquake. However during off- Tokachi earthquake
(1968), more than 4,000 wooden buildings were either totally pr partially damaged. In
addition there were failure due to sliding and caving in due to softness of ground. The
main reason of failure was its low rigidity joints, which acts as a hinge. Failure is also
due to deterioration of wood with passage of time. Wood frames without walls have
almost no resistants against horizontal forces. Resistant is highest for diagonal braced
wall. Buildings with diagonal bracing in both vertical and horizontal plane perform much
better. The traditional wood frame Ikra construction of Assam and houses of Nicobars

founded on wooden piles separated from ground have performed very well during
earthquakes. Wood houses are generally suitable up to two storeys.

6. Reinforced Concrete Buildings:

This type of construction consists of shear walls and frames of concrete.
Substantial damage to reinforced concrete buildings was seen in the Kanto (1923)
earthquake. Later in Niigata (1964), Off-Tokachi (1968) and Venezuela (1967)
earthquake it suffered heavy damages. The damage to reinforced concrete buildings may
be divided broadly into vibratory failure and tilting or uneven settlement. When a
reinforced concrete building is constructed on comparatively hard ground vibratory
failure is seen, while on soft ground tilting, uneven settlement or sinking is observed.
In case of vibratory failure the causes of damage may be considered to be
different for each case, but basically, the seismic forces, which acted on a building during
the earthquake, exceeded the loads considered in the design, and the buildings did not
have adequate resistance and ductility to withstand them. In general these buildings
performed well as observed in Skopje (1963) and Kern country (1952) earthquakes.
The shear walls are fond to be effective to provide adequate strength to the
buildings. Severe damage to spandrel wall between the vertical openings is observed.
Tilting and singing of reinforced concrete buildings during earthquakes were seen
in the Kanto and Niigata earthquakes. Most failed because the dead weights could not be
supported after the settling of the ground. Such damage is peculiar to buildings in soft
ground, the damage becomes higher in the following order: pile foundation, mat
foundation, continuous foundation and independent foundation.

The hollow concrete block buildings with steel reinforcement in selected grout
filled cells have shown good performance. The Precast and prestressed reinforced
concrete buildings also suffered severe damage mostly because of poor behaviour of
joints or supports. The Precast and prestressed element as a rule were not destroyed as
observed in 1952 Kern country and 1964 Anchorage earthquakes.

6. Steel Skeleton Buildings:

Buildings with steel skeleton construction differ greatly according to shapes of
cross sections and method of connection. They many be broadly divided into two
varieties, those employing braces as earthquake resistant elements and those which are
rigid frame structures. The former is used in low building while the later is used in high-
rise buildings.
When braces are used as earthquake resistant elements, it is normal to design so
that all horizontal forces will be borne by the braces. This type of building is generally
light and influence of wind loads are dominant in most cases. However, there are many
cases in which the braces have shown breaking or buckling in which joints have failed
(Wiegel, 1970).
Steel skeleton construction, particularly the structural type in which frames are
comprised of beams and columns consisting of single member H-beams, is often used in
high-rise buildings. The non-structural damage is common but none of these building
severely damages as observed in 1906 San Francisco earthquake

7.Steel and Reinforced Concrete Composite Structures:
Steel and Reinforced Concrete Composite Structures are composed of steel
skeleton and reinforced concrete and have the dynamic characteristics of both. It is better
with respect to fire resistance and safety against buckling as compared to steel skeleton.
Whereas compared to reinforced concrete structures it has better ductility after yielding.
As these features are the properties, which are effective for making a building earthquake
resistant and are, found to perform better during earthquakes (Wiegel, 1970).



A Building frame is subjected the horizontal forces due to wind pressure and seismic
pressure and seismic effects. These horizontal forces cause axial forces in columns and
bending moment in all members of the frame. As stated earlier, a building frame is all highly
indeterminate structure. The degree of indeterminacy of the building bent (Fig1) is found by
providing a cut near mid-span of each beam. Each cut beam will thus have three unknown
reaction components: Moment (M), Shear (F) and Axial thrust (H). Each column with its cut
beams will act as a cantilever, which is statically determinate structure. Thus, if n is the number
of beams in a bent, the degree of indeterminacy will be 3n for the building bent shown in
figure1, there are 8 beams and hence the bent is statically indeterminate up to 24 th degree. An
ordinary 20 storey building with 20 storeys and 5 stacks of columns has 80 beams, thus having
the degree of indeterminacy of 240.



Fig 1
Due to this reason, suitable assumptions are made so that the frame subjected to
horizontal forces can be analysed by using simple principles of mechanics. Following
approximate methods are commonly used for the analysis of building frames subjected to
lateral forces:
i. Portal method
ii. Cantilever method.

(i) Portal method:

For the purpose of analysis, it is assumed that the horizontal forces are acting on the
joints. The portal method is based on the following two important assumptions:
a) The point of contra flexure in al the members lie at their mid points.
b) The horizontal shear taken by each interior column is double the horizontal
shear taken by each exterior column.
A1 B1 C1 D1

Top storey
A2 B2 C2 D2

2nd storey Fig .2

A3 B3 C3 D3

1st storey

A4 B4 C4 D4

Figure 2 shows a three storey-building frame with three spans. Let P1, P2 and P3 be the
external horizontal forces acting on the joints of the wall columns. Under the action of
horizontal forces, the frame will deflect. The point of contra flexure will lie at the middle of
each member. Only horizontal shears will act at these points of contra flexure, since bending
moment will be zero at these points.
Consider the top story having vertical members A1 A2, B1 B2, C1 C2 and D1 D2. the
horizontal shear for the outer columns A1 A2 and D1 D2 will be P each while that for the inner
columns B1 B2 and C1 C2 will be 2P each, as marked.

The value of P is given by

P1 = P + 2P + 2P + P
P = (1/6) P1

Similarly consider the second story, where the exterior columns A2 A3 and D2 D3 have shear Q.
the value of shear Q is found by
P1 + P2 = Q + 2Q + 2Q + Q
Q = (1/6) (P1 + P2)
Similarly for the bottom story, the shear R is given by
P1 + P2 + P3 = R + 2R + 2R + R
R = (1/6) (P1 + P2 + P3)
Knowing the horizontal shear at the point of contra flexure, the bending moment in the column
can be easily found.
A1 B1 C1 D1
P 2P 2P
A2 m m B2 m, m C2 m m D2+
Q 2Q 2Q Q

A3 L B3 L C3 L D3


Let us consider the floor A2 B2 C2 D2 between 3rd and 2nd story. The shear acting at the
point of contra flexure is as shown in figure 3. The joint A2 is subjected to clockwise moment
of Ph/2 at A2 in the column A2 A3. The beam A2 B2 is thus required to resist a clockwise

moment of m = (P + Q)*h/2 at A2. Similarly at the joint B, there will be a clockwise moment
equal to (2P + 2Q)*h/2. But there are two beams to resist this. Hence clockwise moment in
each beam will be (P + Q)*h/2.Thus the ends of the beam receive the same clockwise moment
of (P + Q)*h/2, with the result that the points of contra flexure will lie in the middle of the
The moment m acting at each end of the beam A2 B2, B2 C2, C2 D2 give rise to vertical
reactions in columns, if L is the span of these beams, each beam will impose an upward pull of
2m/L on wind ward column and a push of 2m/L n leeward column connected to the beam, for
each span. The vertical reactions will neutralize for any intermediate column, provided span of
beams on either side are equal. Only the end columns will experience vertical reactions. The
windward columns will have an upward pull of 2m/L and the leeward column will have a
downward push of 2m/L.

(ii)Cantilever Method:
The cantilever method is based on the following assumptions:
1) The point of contra flexure in each member lies at its mid span or mid
2) The direct stresses (Axial stresses) in the columns, due to horizontal
forces, are directly to their distance from the centroidal vertical axis of the frame.

Fig 4a


Figure 4a shows a building frame subjected to horizontal forces. Figure 4b shows the
top story up to the points of contra flexure of the columns. The reactions at the point of contra-
flexure will be direct and shear forces only. Let V1, V2, V3 and V4 be the axial forces in the
columns AE, BF, CG and DF, having areas of cross sections a1, a2, a3 and a4 respectively.

L1 L2 L3
H1 H2 H3 H4
Fig 4b
V1 V2 V3 V4
x2 x3 Plane of section
x1 x4

Centroidal axis

From statics we have
P = H1 + H2 + H3 + H4  (1)
From assumption 2, we have
V1/a1 V2/a2 V3/a3 V4/a4
------ = ------ = ------ = ------  (2)
X1 X2 X3 X4

Where X1, X2, X3, X4 are the centroidal distances of the columns from vertical
centroidal axes of the frame.
By taking moments about the mid point of intersection of the vertical centroidal axes
and top beam, we get
(H1 + H2 + H3 + H4)*h/2 = V1.X1 + V2.X2 + V3.X3 + V4.X4
or V1.X1 + V2.X2 + V3.X3 + V4.X4 = P h/2  (3)
from 2 and 3, the axial forces V1, V2, V3 and V4 can be determined.

P A M1 B P A B M2 C
L1 L2/2
h /2 L1/2 Fig 5
H1 H2
V1 V1 V2

In order to determine H1, take the moments about point of contraflexure M1 in the beam AB.
(Figure 5)
H1 * h/2 = V1 * L1/2
H1 = V1.L1/h  (a)
Similarly, taking moments about point of contra flexure M2 in the beam BC
H1 * h/2 + H2 *h/2 = V1 (L1 + (L2/2)) + V2 (L2/2)
H1 + H2 = 2[V1.L1 + (V1 + V2) L2/2] / h  (b)
Since H1 is known from a, H2 can be determined. In the similar manner H3 and H4 can
be determined.
Example 1:
Analyse the building frame, subjected to horizontal forces, as shown in fig. Use
portal method.

120kN A B C D

180 KN E F G H

7m 3.5m 5m

1. Horizontal shear

Let the horizontal shears in the exterior columns be P and in the interior columns be
2P for the top storey. Similarly, for the bottom storey, let the shears be R and 2R for the
exterior and interior columns.

For the top storey, we have

∴ P = 120 / 6 = 20 kN.
For the bottom storey, we have
R+ 2R + 2R + R = 120 + 180
∴ R= 300 / 6 = 50 kN

2. Moments at the ends of columns

For the top storey,
MEA=MAE=MHD=MDH = PX h/2 = 20X3.5/2=35 kN-m
MFB=MBF=MGC=MCG} =2PXh/2=20X3.5=70 kN-m.
For the bottom storey,
MIE=MEI=MLH=MHL =RXh/2=50X3.5/2=87.5 kN-m -
MJF=MFJ=MKG=MGK=2R.h/2 +=50X3.5=175 kN-m.
3. Moments at the ends of the beams
First floor beams
MEF=MEI=35+87.5=122.5 kN-m
Simi1arly, MFE =MFG=MGF=MHG=122.5,
Since the point of contraflexure lies at the middle of each span.
In general, m= (P+R) h/2=(20+50) X3.5/2=122.5
Roof beams
=20X3.5/2=35 kN-m.
4. Shear in beams
Since no external vertical force is acting on the beam, shear F’
is given by
Where m1 and m3 are the moments at ends of the beam of span L.
Thus, FEF=122.5+122.5/7=35 KN↑

FFE=35 KN↓
FFG =FGF =122.5+122.5/3.5=70kN
FGH=FHG=122.5+122.5/5=49 kN

5. Axial force in columns

The axial forces in the columns will be as under:
Column AE= shear in beam AB= 10kN↑
Column EI=axial force in AE+ shear in EF = 10+35=45 kN↑
Column DH==shear in beam DC= l4kN↑
Column HL=axial force in DH+ shear in HG
=14+49=63 kN↑

Since the spans are not equal, interior columns will also have
axial forces,
Column BF=FBA—FBC=10-2=-10 KN (i.e.↑)
Column FJ= (—10) + (FFE-FFG)=(—l0)+(35—70)=-45 kN (i.e. ↑)

Alternatively, axial force in BF

=2m’/L1- 2m’/L2= 2x35/7- 2x35/3.5=-10 Kn

and axial force in column

=—45 kN (i.e. ↑)

Axial force in CG=3m’/L2-2m’/L3


Axial force in column GK

=6+(2*122.5/3.6-2*122.5/5) =27↑

Check: Total axial force at the base


Example 2.
Re-analyze the frame of example 1 by cantilever method, assuming that all the
columns have the same area of cross-section.

120kN A B C D
X1= 8.25m X4=7.25m
M x2 X3 M
180 KN E F G H


7m 3.5m 5m

1. Location of centroidal axis of the columns
Let the centroidal axis be at a distance x from the windward column AEI. Taking
moment of areas of the columns about AEI, we get
X=(2X0)+(2X7)+(2X 10.5)+(2 X 15.5)/8= 8.25 m
X1=8.25(=X);X2=8.25-7=1.25 m
X3=3.5-1.25=2.25 m
X4=(7+3.5+5)-8.25=7.25 m
2. Axial forces in columns of first storey
Let the axial force in column EI=V1=V
Since the areas are equal, The axial forces in other columns

will be in proportion to their distances from the centroidal axis.
V2=V.X2/X1=1.25/8.25 V=0.1515V(↑)
V3=V.X3/X1=2.25/8.25 V=0.2727 V (↑)
V4=V.X4/X1=7.25/8.25 V=0.8788 V(↑)
120kN A B C D
X1= 8.25m X4=7.25m
x2 X3
180 KN E F G H

H1 H2 H3 H4
V1 V2 V3 V4
7m 3.5m 5m

Taking moments of all forces about the point of contraflexure N of the leeward column,
we get
(120x 5.25)+(180X1.75)-(VX15.5)—(0.1515 VX8.5)+(0.2727 VX5)=0
which gives
V—V1=61.267 kN (↓)
V2=0.1515X61.267=9.282 (↓)
V3=0.2727X61.267=16.707 (↑)
V4=0.8788X61.267=53.842 (↑)
Check: ∑V=61.267+9.282-16.707-53.842=0.

2. Axial forces in the columns of second storey

120kN A B C D
X1= 8.25m X4=7.25m
x2 X3
H1’ H2’ H3’ H4’

V1’ V2’ V3’ V4’

7m 3.5m 5m

Let V1=V’=axial force in column AF
V2=0.1515 V’;V3’=0.2727 V’ and V4=0.8788 V’

Taking moments about point of contraflexure M, we get

(120Xl.75) —(V’X15.5)-(0.1515 V’X8.5)+(0.2727 V’X5)=0
From which V’=V’1=13.615 (↓)
V2’=0.1515 X13.615=2.063 (↓)
V3’=0.2727X13.615=3.713 (↑)
V4’=0.8788X13.615=11.965 (↑)

Check: ∑V=13.615+2.063-3.713-11.965=0.

4. Shears at ends of beams

The shears at the ends of beams can be determined from the axial forces in the
columns at various joints. Let us assume downward force as negative.
Joint E: FEE=V’1-V1=13.615-61.267=-47.652
Joint F: FFG=-47.652+2.063-9.282=-54.871
Joint G : FGH=-54.871-3.713+16.707=-41.877
Joint A: FAB=-13.615
Joint B: FBC=-13.615-2.063=-15.678
Joint C: FCD=-15.678+3.713=-11.965.

5. Moments at the ends of beams

The shears at he ends of beams can be determined from the axial forces in the
columns at various joints. Let us assume downward force as negative.
(a) First floor
MEF=MFE=FFEXL1/2=47.652X7/2=166.8 kN-m

(b) Second floor

MAB=MBA=13.615X7/2=47.6 kN-m


6. Moments at the ends of columns

(a) Top storey
MAB = MAB=47.6 kN-m
Since there is point of contraflexure at the middle of column,
MEA=47.6 kN-m
MBF==MBA+MBC=47.6+27.4=75 kN-m
MCG=MCD=27.4 +29.9=57.3
MDH=MDC=29.9 kN-m
(b) Bottom storey
∴ MEI= MEF-MEA=166.8-47.6=119’2 kN-m
MIE=119.2 Kn-m
MJF=187.8 kN-m
MKG=143.2 kN-m
Alternatively, the moment at the column ends at the can be found by first determining
horizontal shears (H) at the point of contraflexure and multiplying there by half the height
of the column.

Thus, MAE =H1’Xh/2;MBF=H1’Xh/2etc.

Similarly, MEI =Xh/2;Mfj=H2Xh/2etc.

The method - of determining horizontal shears have been explained in 27.7.
For example,
H1’=V1’L1/h =l3.6l5X7/3.5=27’23

∴ MAE=H1’Xh/2=27.23X3.5/2X47.65


Which is the same as found earlier.


In the earlier chapters, considerably emphasis has been placed on the design of
structural members for compression, bending, shear, development of reinforcement and
torsion. A beam-column joint is a very critical element in reinforced concrete
construction where the elements intersect in all the three directions. Floor slab has been
removed for convenience. Quite often in design the details of joint are simply ignored.
Joints are most critical because they ensure continuity of a structure and transfer forces
that are present at the ends of the members into and through the joint. Frequently joints
are points of weakness due to lack of adequate anchorage for bars entering the joint from
the columns and beams.
The code is silent regarding the design of beam – column joints. A joint should
maintain its integrity and should be designed so that it is stronger than the members
framing into it. Failure should not occur within the joint. In fact, failure due to over

loading should occur in beams through large flexural cracking and plastic hinging and not
in columns.
The forces acting on an exterior beam – column joint are shown in Figs. 1a and 1b
during reversal of the seismic force. The nature of stress in steel will change with the
change in the direction of the seismic force. The points of inflection are assumed at the
mid-height of the columns. The shear in the joint is equal to:
Vj = σ yAs – Vcol
Where,Vj = shear in the joint
As = area of tension steel in the beam
Vcol = shear in the column

The joint shear causes diagonal tension and compression in the joint. With each
reversal of seismic loading, the joint shear changes sign causing cracks due to diagonal
tension in both directions. Moreover, the nature of bond stress also changes in the joint
around the beam and column reinforcement. It causes splitting stresses in the concrete
around the bar. It is essential to maintain integrity of the concrete core within the joint
for a smoother transfer of forces, and that ultimate moment capacities of the members
meeting at the joint may be developed.
The forces acting on an interior beam – column joint are shown in Fig. 1c. The
shear in the joint is equal to
Vj = σ yAt1 + σ sAt2 + C’ - Vcol
Where,At1 = area of tension steel in beam
At2 = area of compression steel in beam
C’ = compression in concrete = k σ ckbx
σs = stress in the compression steel
b = breadth of the beam
k, x = stress block parameters

The main factors to be considered in the design of joint include:

(a) Shear,
(b) Anchorage of reinforcement, and
(c) Transfer of axial load.

The transverse reinforcement is provided for confinement of concrete and shear

resistance. The transverse reinforcement required in the column or in the joint
(whichever is more) must be extended through the joint as well. If, however, the concrete
is confirmed by beams framing into all four sides of the column, and their dimensions
conform to those shown in Fig. 2a, b and c, the required transverse reinforcement within
the joint may be reduced upto nil. In addition, it must be ensured that the beam
reinforcement is adequately anchored.
Quite often the beam – column joint is under a severe congestion of reinforcement
due to too many bars converging within a limited space of the joint. The proportioning of
beam and column sizes must be done carefully. In case the sizes of beam and column are
same, it will be very difficult to place the reinforcement within the joint. The bars will
have to be cranked as shown in Figs. 3a and b, which is not a very desirable arrangement.

By selecting little larger concrete area and lower reinforcement percentage, it is possible
to avoid congestion of steel.

Corner joints
In planar frames, industrial bents, retaining walls or other similar structures,
corner joints pose a specific problem. The corner may be subjected to opening or closing
forces. Diagonal tension cracking may be the cause of failure in opening corners,
whereas, in closing corners, the anchorage of reinforcement may cause a serious problem.
The detailing of reinforcement in corner joints may be done as shown in Figs. 4a and b.


Selection of cross-sections that will have adequate strength is rather easy. But it
is much more difficult to achieve the desired strength as well as ductility. To ensure
sufficient ductility, the designer should pay attention to detailing of reinforcement, bar
cut-offs, splicing and joint details. Sufficient amount of ductility can be ensured by
following certain simple design details such as :

1. The structural layout should be simple and regular avoiding offsets of beams
to columns, or offsets of columns from floor to floor. Changes in stiffness
should be gradual from floor to floor.
2. The amount of tensile reinforcement in beams should be restricted and more
compression reinforcement should be provided. Stirrups to prevent it from
buckling should enclose the latter.
3. Beams and columns in a reinforced concrete frame should be designed in
such a manner that inelasticity is confined to beams only and the columns
should remain elastic. To ensure this, sum of the moment capacity of the
columns for the design axial loads at a beam-column joint should be greater
than the moment capacities of the beams along each principal plane

Σ Mcolumn > 1.2 Σ Mbeam

4. The shear reinforcement should be adequate to ensure that the strength in

shear exceeds the strength in flexure and thus, prevent a non-ductile shear
failure before the fully reversible flexural strength of a member has been
Clause 6.3.3. of IS : 13920-1993 requires that the shear resistance shall be the maximum
of the :
a. Calculated factored shear force as per analysis, and
b. Shear force due to formation of plastic hinges at both ends plus the
factored gravity loads on the span.

i. For sway to right (Fig. A)

M pl + M p2
Va = + 0.5wL c
M pl + M p2
Vb = − 0.5wL c
ii. For sway to left
M pl + M p2
Va = − 0.5wL c
M pl + M p2
Vb = + 0.5wL c

Mpl = hogging or sagging probable moment capacity at the left end of
the beam = 1.4 times the yield moment capacity at each end of
the beam
Mp2 = sagging or hogging probable moment capacity at the right end of
the beam
w = factored gravity load = 1.2 (DL + LL)
Lc = clear span of beam

The resistance Mp corresponds roughly to the probable moment of resistance of

the beam section of either side of the joint. It is the assumed that the ratio of the actual
ultimate tensile stress to the actual tensile yield strength of the steel is not less than 1.25.
Use of longitudinal reinforcement with yield strength substantially higher than that
assumed in the design will lead to higher shear and bond stresses at the time of
development of yield moment. This may lead to unexpected brittle failures and should be
avoided. It is known that the length of the yield region is related to the relative
magnitudes of the ultimate and yield strengths. The larger is the ratio of the ultimate to
yield moment, the longer is the yield region. The factor is equal to 1.25 times the yield
strength of steel divided by 0.87 (that is 1.25 / 0.87= 1.43 = 1.40).

The design shear at each and A and B shall be the absolute maximum of the
corresponding two values of Va and Vb.

5. Closed stirrups or spirals should be used to confine the concrete at sections of

maximum moment to increase the ductility of members. Such sections
include upper and lower ends of columns, and within beam-column joints,
which do not have beams on all sides. If axial load exceeds 0.4 times the
balanced axial load, a spiral column is preferred.
6. Splices and bar anchorages must be adequate to prevent bond failures.
7. The reversal of stresses in beams and columns due to reversal of direction of
earthquake force must be taken into account in the design by appropriate
8. Beam-column connections should be made monolithic.

Detailing for Ductility

The following recommendations are based on the provisions of IS: 4326 – 1993,
IS : 13920 – 1933 and ACI 318 and lessons learnt from the failure of concrete structures
during past earthquakes.

A. Girders
(1) At any section of a flexural member and for the top as well as for the bottom
1. The reinforcement ratio p should each be greater than
0.24 σck
IS: 13920 – 1993 p>
ACI 318-1999 p> σ

Where, p = for flanged sections
bw d
As = area of steel on either face
2. the reinforcement ratio p should not exceed 0.025.
(2) At least two bars should be provided continuously both at top and bottom.
(3) The positive moment resistance at the face of a joint should not be less than
one-half of the negative moment resistance provided at that face of the joint.
Design Tables 20.2 and 20.3 similar to Tables 5.4 and 6.2 have been
generated using the above recommendations and may be used for the design
of beam sections for ductility.
(4) Neither the negative nor the positive moment resistance at any section along
the member length should be less than one-fourth of the maximum moment
resistance provided at the face of either joint.
(5) When a beam frames into a column, both the top and bottom bars of the beam
should be anchored into the column so as to develop their fully strength in
bond beyond the section of the beam at the face of the column. Where beams
exist on both sides of the column, both face bars of beams must be taken
continuously through the column as shown in Fig. 5. To avoid congestion of
steel in a column in which the beam frames on one side only, the use of hair
pin type of bars spliced outside the column instead of anchoring the bars in
the column is suggested.
(6) The spacing of the vertical stirrups should not exceed 0.25 d in a length
equal to 2nd near each end of the beam and 0.5 d in the remaining length of the
beam as shown in Fig.6.

B. Columns
1. If average axial stress P/A on a column under earthquake condition is
less than 0.1 σ ck, the column reinforcement will be designed according to the
requirement of girders discussed earlier. But, if P/A > 0.1 σ ck, special
confining reinforcement is required at the column ends:

i. The cross-sectional area of bars forming circular hoops or
spirals used for confinement of concrete is given by:
 Ag σ
asp = 0.09 p Dc  −1 ck .
 Ac  σsp
ii. In the case of rectangular closed stirrups used in rectangular
sections the area of bars is given by:
 Ag σ
asp = 0.18 p h  −1 ck
 Ac  σsp
Where, h = longer dimension of the rectangular confining stirrup as shown in
Fig. 7

2. The special confining steel where required must be provided above

and below the beam connections, as shown in Fig. 8, in a length of the column
at each end which is largest of the following:
i. 1/6 of the clear height of the column,
ii. Larger lateral dimension of the column, and
iii. 450 mm.
The pitch of lateral ties should not exceed 1/4th of the minimum member
dimension nor 100 mm.
3. Shear reinforcement must be provided in columns to resist the nominal
sheet resulting from the lateral and vertical loads at limit state of collapse of
the frame. Shear strength of columns increases in the presence of
compressive axial loads. Clause 40.2.2. Of IS: 456 requires that for members
subjected to axial compression Pu the shear strength of concrete τ c’ is given
τ c’ = δ τ c
3P u
Where, δ =1+ A σ
g ck

Pu = axial load in N
Ag = gross area of the concrete section in mm2
τ c = shear strength of concrete as given in I.S 456
The spacing of shear reinforcement should not exceed 0.5 d, where d is the
effective depth of column measured from compression fibre to the tension
4. Spiral columns should be used wherever possible especially if Pu >
0.4 Pb
Pb = balance axial load
Figure 20.13 shows that spiral columns are much more ductile as compared
with columns with lateral ties.
C. Beam – Column Connections
The beam-column joints are generally the weakest links in a structure. To avoid
frame failure due to inadequate joints, the joint details must be carefully considered as
discussed in section above. The following points need special attention:

1. Anchorage of beam reinforcement in the joint.
2. The ties as required at the end of the column must be provided through the
connection as well as, provided that if the connection is confined by beams
from all the four sides, the amount of this reinforcement will be reduced to
half of this value. This reinforcement known as joint hoops is shown in Fig.
Consider an inner beam-column joint in the ground floor roof of an eight storey
building in Noida, UP. The data are as follows:

Grade of concrete = M25

Clear span of beam to the left side of the 4.5 m


Clear span of beam to the right side of the = 4m


Slab thickness = 125 mm, finish or slab

= 50 mm thick

Live load on floor = 2 kN/m2

Wall thickness on beams 115 mm

The axial load in column at the joint = 900 kN

Beam size = 230 mm x 550 mm with 1.5% steel

at top (3-25 mm and 2-16 mm) and
0.8% steel at bottom on either side
of the joint

Column size = 230 m x 650 mm with 3.46% steel

(8-25 mm and 4-20 mm bars)

Check if the joint satisfies weak girder-strong column proportion. Also check the shear
in beam and column.

a. Let us first examine the beam-column joint in bending
Bending of column about weak axis
From SP-16, chart for doubly reinforced sections, for a given amount of reinforcement,
Hogging moment capacity of beam = = 4.45
bd 2
Or, Mu = 4.45 x 230 x 500 x 500 = 255.87 kNm

From SP-16 chart for singly reinforced sections, for a given amount of reinforcement,
Sagging moment capacity of the beam = = 2.50
bd 2
Or, Mu = 2.50 x 230 x 500 x 500 = 143.75 kNm
From SP-16 chart
Pu 1.2 x 900 x 1000
= = 0.29
σ ck bD 25 x 650 x 230
pσ ck = 3.46 / 25 = 0.138
Therefore, = 0.225 or, Mu = 193.4 kNm
σ ck bD 2
Σ Mg = 255.87 + 143.75 = 399.60 kNm
Σ Mc = 2 x 193.4 = 386.8 kNm
Σ Mc = < 1.2 Σ Mg
Hence, the beam column joint is not based on weak girder-strong column proportions.
There is a need to increase width of column.

(b) Let us now examine the shear capacity of beam on left side of the joint.
Dead load intensity on beam = 28.5 kN/m
Live load intensity on beam = 7 kN/m
Factored shear due to gravity = 1.2 (28.5 + 7) x 4.5/2 = 95.85 kN
Shear due to formation of plastic hinge in beam =1.4x 399/6/4.5=124.32 kN
Total Vu = 220 kN
Nominal shear stress τ v = 220 x 1000/230 x 500 = 1.91 Mpa
Shear strength of concrete τ c= 0.72 Mpa for 1.5% tension steel
Provide 10 mm – 2 legged stirrups @ 150 mm c/c OK

(c) Let us now examine the shear capacity of column

Storey height = 3.25 m
Factored shear in column = 1.4 x 399.6/3.25 = 172 kN
Nominal shear stress τ v = 172 x 1000/230 x 650 = 1.15 Mpa
Shear strength of concrete τ c= 0.77 Mpa for 1.7% tension steel on one face
Increase in shear strength as per IS: 456-2000,
3P u 3 x 1.2 x 900 x 1000
δ = 1 + A σ =1 + 230 x 650 x 25 =1.87
g ck

Increased shear strength of concrete = 1.87 x 0.77 = 1.43 Mpa > 1.15 Mpa OK



Shear walls are specially designed structural walls incorporated in buildings to
resist lateral forces that are produced in the plane of the wall due to wind, earthquake and
other forces. Shear walls are usually provided in tall buildings and have been found of
immense use to avoid total collapse of buildings under seismic forces. It is always
advisable to incorporate them in buildings built in regions likely to experience earthquake
of large intensity or high winds. Shear walls for wind are designed as simple concrete
walls. The design of these walls for seismic forces required special considerations, as
they should be saf3e under repeated loads. Shear walls for wind or earthquakes are
generally made of concrete or masonry. They are usually provided between columns, in
Toilets, utility shafts, etc. Initially shear walls were used in RCC buildings to resist wind
forces. These came into general practice only as slate as 1940. With the introduction of
shear walls, concrete construction can be used for tall buildings. Earlier tall buildings
were made only of steel, as bracings to take lateral load could be easily provided in steel
constructions. However, since recent observations as shown consistently the excellent
performance of buildings with shear walls even under seismic forces, such walls is now
extensively used for all earthquake resistant design.


1. Simple rectangular types and the flanged walls (called the bar bell type walls with
boundary elements)
2. Coupled shear walls
3. Rigid frame shear walls
4. Framed walls with in filled frames
5. Column supported shear walls
6. Core type shear walls


IS 13920-1993 clause 9(7) deals with requirements and design of simple free standings
shear walls.
2.1General Dimensions:
The following factors determine the general dimensions of the wall.
1. The thickness of the wall (t) should not be less than 150mm
2. If it is flanged wall, the effective extension of the flange width beyond the face of
web to be considered in design, is to be lee of the following
(a) ½ distance to an adjacent shear wall web
(b) 1/10th of the total wall height
(c) Actual width
3. Where the extreme fiber compressive stresses in the wall due to all loads (the
gravity loads and the lateral forces) exceed 0.2 fck boundary elements are to be
provided along the vertical boundaries of the walls. Boundary elements are
portions along the wall edges specially enlarged and strengthened by longitudinal
and transverse steel as in columns. These elements can be discontinued when the
compressive stresses are less than 0.15 fck. Boundary elements are also not

required if the entire wall section is provided with special confirming steel

2.2 Reinforcements
The following rules are to be observed for detailing of steel:
1. Walls are to be provided with reinforcement in two orthogonal directions in the
plane of the wall. The minimum steel ratios for each of the vertical and horizontal
directions should be 0.0025.

[As/Ac (gross)]=ρ ≥ 0.0025

This reinforcement is distributed uniformly in the wall.
2. If the factored shear stress (v) exceeds 0.25√ fck or if the thickness of the wall
exceeds 200mm the bars should be provided as two mats in the plane of the wall
one on each face. (This adds to ductility of wall by reducing the fragmentation
and premature deterioration on reversal of loading).
3. The diameter of the bars should not exceed 1/10th of the thickness of the part of
the wall.
4. The maximum spacing should not exceed, L/5, 3t or 450mm, where L is the
length of the wall.
2.3 Reinforcements for shear

The nominal shear is calculated by the formula

D = effective width (= 0.8 for rectangular sections)
Vu = the factored shear
The nominal shear should not exceed the maximum allowable beam shear given in IS
456-2000 Table 20.
Table 62 of SP 16 can be used for determining the diameter of shear steel and its spacing.
The vertical steel provided in the wall for shear should not be less than the horizontal

(Design of simple shear wall with enlarged ends)
Design a shear wall of length 4.16m and thickness 250mm is subjected to the following
forces. Assume fck = 25 and fy =415N/mm2 and the wall is a high wall with the following
Loading Axial force (KN) Moment (KN-m) Shear (KN)
1. DL+LL 1950 600 20
2. Seismic load 250 4800 700

Step 1. Determine design loads

Moment =1.2(4800+600)=6480KN
Shear =1.2(700+20)=864KN

Step 2. Check whether boundary elements are required
(Extreme stresses are more than 4N/mm2 boundary elements are to be provided)
Assuming uniform thickness L=4160mm; t=250mm
I=1.5x1012 mm4
A= 4160x250=1.04x106mm2
fc=[P/A]± [My/I]
=[(2.64)106/(1.04)106]± [(6.48)109*4160/2(1.5)1012]
As extreme stresses are high, boundary elements are needed. Also there is tension in one
end due to bending moment.

Step3. Adopt the dimensions of boundary elements.

Adopt a bar bell type wall with a central 3400mm portion and two ends
380X760mm giving a total length of (3400+380)=4160mm.

Step 4. Check whether two layers of steel are required.

Two layers are required if
(a) Shear stress is more than 0.25√ fck.
(b) The thickness of section is more than 200mm.

a) Depth of section= center to center boundary elements=3400+380=3780mm

0.25√ fck =0.25√20=1.11N/mm2
b) Thickness of 250 is more than 200mm
Use two layers of steel with suitable cover.
Step 5.Determine steel required
Let us put min-required steel and check the safety of wall (p=0.0025)
As (min)=0.0025*250*1000 per meter length=625mm2 is two layers
Provide 10φ @250mm,provide the same vertical and horizontal steel.
Step 6. Calculate Vs to be taken by steel
τ c (for 0.25% steel and fck=20)=0.36 N/mm2
Maximum shear allowed=3.1 N/mm2
Designed steel is necessary for Vs
Vs=(0.92-0.36) bd=0.56*250*3780=529.2KN
Step7. Calculate steel necessary to take Vs
As the wall is high, horizontal steel is more effective. Therefore
Vs/d =0.87fy(Asv/Sv), d=3780mm
Required Asv/Sv = [(529.2*103)/(0.87*415*3780)] = 0.3888
Consider 1m height = Sv
Horizontal steel area = 628mm2 = Asv
Available Asv/Sv = 628/1000=0.628
The nominal steel provided will satisfy shear requirements.
Step 7(a). Find flexural strength of web part of wall
Vertical load on wall (case 1 load) P=1860KN

Assuming it as a UDL over the area the axial load for the central part beams =Pw

Pw= 1860{3400*250/[(3400*250)+2(380*760)]}=1860*0.595=1107KN -------------(1)

Step8. Calculate the parameters λ ,φ ,β , x/L (As per code IS 13920)

λ = Pw/( fck*t*L)= 1107*103/(20*250*3400)=0.065

φ = 0.87 fy p/ fck = 0.87*415*0.0025/20=0.045,

β =0.516

x/L=(λ +φ )/(0.36+2φ )=0.24< 0.5

Mu/( fck*t*L2)= φ (1+λ /φ )(0.5-0.42 x/L)= 0.041

Mu= 2370kN-m< 6480(required)

Step 9. Calculate compression and tension in the boundary elements due to M1=6480-

Step 10. Calculate compression and tension in the boundary elements due to M1
Distance between boundary elements=3480+380=3.86m=c
Axial load=M1/c=4110/3.86=1065KN
This load acts as tension at one end and compression at the other end.

Step 11. Calculate compression due to the load at these ends

Fraction of area at each end= (1-0.595)/2 = 0.2025 (from step 7a point 1)

P2 = 0.2025*2640=535KN
Factored compression at tension end (taking P1)= 0.2025*1860=377KN
Compression at compression end= 1065+535=1600KN
Tension at the tension end=-1065+377=-688KN
Step 12. Design the boundary elements compression
(a) Design one end as column with details
(b) Check laterals for confinement
(c) Check for anchorage and splice length

Step 13. Design the reinforcement around openings, if any, of the wall
Openings are provided in the main body of the wall. Assume opening size as 1200x1200
Area of reinforcement cut off by the opening
=1200 (thickness)% of steel/100=1200*250*0.0025=750mm2
4no’s of 16mm bar area=804mm2
Provide 2no’s of 16mm dia one each face of the wall, on all the sides of the hole to
compensate for the steel cut off by the hole.

Coupled Shear Wall:

A coupled shear wall consists of two solid wall elements jointed together by deep
floor beams, giving openings for corridors in buildings. The vertical load (p) is shared
equally by the two solid elements if equal; otherwise each wall element will have its own
vertical load like P1 and P2. The overturning moment M causes a compression C in one
wall and a tension in other wall,

C = T = M/a

a = (L + l’)/2

The reversal of overturning moment will interchange these actions. The solid wall
elements can be designed as columns. The connecting beam is to be designed for a shear
equal in magnitude to C and T and moment equal to T.l’/2.

Design a coupled shear wall with following data:-

Length of the wall = 10.00 m

Moment on the wall = 2000.00 kN.m
Load on the wall = 2000.00 kN
l’ = 3.00 m
Thickness of wall t = 0.30 m

a = (L + l’)/2
= (10 + 3)/2
= 6.50 m

C/T = M/a
= 2000/6.5
= 307.70 kN

(L - l’)/2 = (10 - 3)/2

= 3.50 m

For solid element, length = 3.50 m

Thickness of wall = 0.30 m

Max.Compression = P/2 + C
= 2000/2 + 307.7
= 1307.70 kN

Minimum eccentricity moment = 0.02 P

= 0.02 x 1307.7
= 26.20 kN.m

Slenderness Moment = 0.031 P

= 0.031x 1307.7

= 40.54 kN.m

Total moment Mu = 26.20 + 40.54

= 66.74 kN.m

For P = 1307.70kN, Mu = 66.74kN.m

Pu/(fckbD) = (1.2x1307.7x1000)/(15x3500x300)
= 0.0996
= 0.1

Mu/(fckbD2) = (1.2x66.74x1000)/(15x3500x3002)
= 0.017
= 0.2

with d’/D = 50/300

= 0.167
= 0.2
P/fck = 0

Provide minimum reinforcement.

Provide 6# 32mm Ф bars at each outer end.

Steel area = 7.54 x 2 x 3.0

= 4524.00 mm2
Steel to be provided at each
Inner edge = 4524.00/2 x1.25
= 2830.00 mm2

Provide 4# 32 mm Ф bars at each inner end giving Ast 3217.00 mm2

In tension side,
Maximum load = 1000.00 – 310.00
= 610.00 kN

Therefore provide the same reinforcement for the tension side also.

Provide 6# 32mm Ф bars at each outer end.

Provide 4# 32mm Ф bars at each inner end giving Ast 3217.00mm2
For connecting beam,

Shear = 310.00 kN
Moment = 310.00 x 3.0 / 2
= 465.00 kN
Vertical load w = 7.0+15.0
= 22.00 kN/m

Moment M = 22 x 3.02 /12
= 16.50 kN.m
Shear S = 22 x 3.0 /2
= 33.00 kN

Total design shear = 310.00+33.00

= 343.00 kN

Total design moment = 465.00 + 16.50

= 481.50 kN.m

With b = 300mm, D = 900mm, d = 900-50 = 850mm

k = (1.2x482x106)/(300x8502)
= 2.7 N/mm2

d’/d = 50/850
= 0.05
Ast = 0.9 x 300 x 850 /100
= 2295.00 mm2
Provide 3# 32mm Ф bars at top.
Ast provided is 2413.00mm2

For reversal of earthquake, 3# 32mm Ф bars provided at top and bottom.

Check for shear:

Tv = (1.2 x 343.00 x 103)/ (300 x 850)

= 1.61N/mm2
Pt = (2412.00 x 100)/(300 x 850)
= 0.95
Tc = 0.6 N/mm2

Vu/d = (1.60-0.6) x 300

= 30.3kN/mm

Provide 2 legged stirrups 10mm Ф bars @ 150mm c/c.

Provide 4# 10mm Ф bars.


A 13 storied building has four-bay frames at a spacing of 6m c/c. calculate the

drift at the top under a wind pressure of 1.5 N/mm2. With the following data:

L = 6.00 m
Number of storey n = 13

Number of bay m = 4
Height of each storey h = 3.65 m
Wind pressure P = 1.50 N/mm2
B = 6.00 m

Column of size = 0.3 m x 0.6 m

Beam of size = 0.3 m x 0.725 m
3 2
Drift Δf = Wh ____ x ( n + β (1 + 2n.n-1)
(24 (m+1)E I1)

Where m - Number of bay

n - Number of storey
W - Storey horizontal load on frame
β = l x I1 / (h x I2)
I1 – moment of inertia of column
I2 – moment of inertia of beam
l - span of beam
h - storey height
E - modulus of elasticity of material of frame

W = Pxbxh
= 1.5 x 6000 x 3650
= 32850 kN

Moment of inertia of column, I1 = 300 x 6003 / 12

= 5400 x 106 mm4

Moment of inertia of column, I2 = 300 x 7253 x 1.66/ 12

= 8964 x 106 mm4

β = l x I1 / (h x I2)
= (6000 x 5400x106)/(3650x8964x106)
= 0.99
= 1.00
E = 2 x 105 N/mm2

Drift Δf = Wh3____ x ( n2 + β (1 + 2n.n-1)
` (24 (m+1)E I1)
3 3 2
= (32850x10 x 3650 ) (13 + 1(1+2 x 13 x 13-1)
24 (4+1)(2x105)x 5400x106
= 5941mm




•Earthquakes response of the structures is based on the advanced structural dynamics

analysis techniques.
•Motion of the structures are due to earthquakes is considered as “single degree of
freedom system (SDOF) of body or mass is moving with base” type of problem. This
earthquake motion cause structural damages is called strong motion earthquake
•Richter scale provides a convenient means of classifying earthquake according to size.
•Earthquake of magnitude 5 or grater make ground motions that are severe enough
damaging the structures. (E.g.: San Francisco earthquake’1906- 8.2)
•Fundamental difficulty in assessing earthquake response is due to
1) Random nature of excitation
2) Non-linear nature of the response.

Application of response spectrum:

Prescribing an appropriate earthquake response input is problematic, because it is very
difficult to accurately predict future seismic ground motions that may occur at a given
site during the useful life of a structure. Therefore seismic design of building is generally
based on analysis reflecting a range of pssible earthquake ground motions. The Response
spectrum method is the most in dynamic analysis and is generally considered as “state-of-
the-art” among building design engineers.
The method employs superposition of a limited number of modal maximum
responses as determined from a spectral curve for a prescribed dynamic excitation. Linear
elastic structural behavior is a basic assumption of the response spectrum approach.
The Response spectrum method is computationally more efficient than the exact
time history technique and with appropriate modal combination schemes; can yield
results that show excellent comparison with the time history analysis.

Development of earthquake response spectrum:

There are several approaches, which can be used for developing response spectra to
represent earthquake ground motions for design purposes. Normally three main
approaches followed.
1.The use of actual earthquake response spectra based on recorded ground
2.The use of recommended procedures for the development of smoothed
design spectra.
3.Performance of site-specific study resulting in unique design spectra
reflecting the actual site conditions.
These three approaches are discussed as follows,

Development of response spectrum from earthquake records:
The generation of a response spectrum curve can be idealized by subjecting a
series damped SDOF mass spring system with continuously varying natural periods to a
given ground excitation. The absolute value of the peak displacement response (relative
to the ground) occurring during the excitation for each system is represented by a point
on the relative-displacement spectrum curve. In fig 2.1 the generation of the response
spectrum for El Centro 1940 earthquake is illustrated.
Using the ground acceleration records as input, (fig 2.1(a)) a family of response spectrum
curves can be generated for various levels of damping (fig 2.1(b)) where higher damping
values generally resulting lower spectral response. The response spectrum curves may
also be represented in terms of pseudo-velocity or pseudo acceleration where these
pseudo-values are based on the relative displacements as follows.
Sd = spectral relative displacement.
Sv = ω . Sd = spectral pseudo-velocity
Sa = ω . Sv = ω2 . Sd = spectral pseudo-accelerations
Where ω = natural frequency (rad/sec).

The pseudo velocity and pseudo acceleration spectra do not reflect true maximum
values of velocity and accelerations but rather provide a direct means of evaluating the
true relative displacement. The pseudo velocity and pseudo accelerations may be viewed
as approximations to the true maxima for relative velocity and absolute accelerations.
Spectra for the true maxima for relative velocity and absolute acceleration can be
calculated in addition to the true displacement curve. However
For the purpose of structural design, spectra based on true relative displacement are of
most interest because these spectral displacements control the force levels induced in the
structure. Response spectra are often represented showing Sv , Sd, and Sa ordinates on a
single tripartite logarithmic plot. In fig 2.2 a tripartite plot of the El Centro 1940 response
spectrum for 5% critical damping is shown.

Spectra curves developed from actual earthquake records are quite jagged, being
characterized by sharp peaks and troughs (fig 2.1(b)). Because the magnitude and
locations of these peaks and troughs can vary significantly for different earth quake
records and because of the uncertainties inherent in predicting future seismic ground
motions, it is wise to consider several possible earth quake spectra in the evaluation of
structural response for design purposes.

Thus, if response to actual recorded earthquakes is to serve as a design basis,

analysis should be performed using several selected spectra that are believed to be
representative of critical ground motions that may occur at the site.

Development of smoothed design response spectra:

To provide an alternative to the use of several earthquake spectra for design,
much work has been done to develop smoothed design spectra that represent approximate
upper bound response envelopes based on expected critical levels of ground motion
(Newmark (26,27), Blume (9), seed (37), trifunac (45). Some code writing bodies such as

the American Petroleum Institute (API), the veterans Administration (VA), the Applied
Technology Council (ATC), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have
incorporated recommendations for the development of design response spectra in their
respective regulation (2,48,5,46) for construction and design practices. (Note that ATC
guidelines have not yet been adopted by actual building codes.) To illustrate this general
approach for developing response spectra, refer again to Figure 2.2, where the values of
maximum ground acceleration, velocity and displacement for the E1 Centro 1940 record
are plotted along with the spectrum curve. Comparison of the spectrum profile with the
lines of ground motion maxiama reflect the following important characteristics,

1.In the very low period range, the spectrum curve approaches the line of
maximum ground acceleration, becoming virtually coincident for periods
less than about 0.03 secs.
2.In the low period range between 0.10 and 0.50 seconds, the variations of
the spectrum curve tends to show correlation with the line of maximum
ground accelerations.
3.In the medium period range between 0.50 and 3.0 seconds, the variation
of the spectrum curve tends to show correlation with the line of maximum
ground velocity.
4.In the higher period range between 3.0 and 10.0 seconds, the variation of
the spectrum curve tends to show correlation with the line of maximum
ground displacement.
5.In the very high period range (>10 secs), the spectrum curve gradually
approaches the line of maximum ground displacement.( not shown in fig .

However, reasonable smoothed design spectra based on enveloping

the spectral response of several earthquakes records of similar intensity and site
conditions can be constructed from a limited number of “ base line” parameters that
reflect the influences of expected ground motions maxima as well as other ground
motions characteristics .In recent codified recommendations other development of
response spectra (5.48), these base line parameters have been termed “effective” ground
motion maxima. For example, the ATC recommendations (5) incorporate the use of the
seismicity parameters “effective peak accelerations” (EPA) and “effective peak
velocity”(EPV) in the development of response spectrum curves. The following
interpretations of EPA and EPV is given in the commentary of the ATC provisions:

To best understand the meaning of EPA & EPV, they should be

considered as normalizing factors for construction of smoothed elastic response spectra
for ground motion of normal duration.

The EPA & EPV thus obtained are related to beak acceleration and peak
ground velocity but are not necessarily the same as or even proportional to peak
accelerations and velocity.

Thus EPA & EPV for a motion may be either greater or
smaller than peak acceleration and velocity, although generally the EPA will be smaller
than the peak acceleration while the EPV will be larger than the peak velocity. Despite
the lack of precise, the EPA &EPV are valuable tools for taking into consideration the
important factors relating ground shaking to the performance of a building.

Since smoothed design spectra are generally normalized to peak ground motion values,
the engineer may be misled to believe that there is a direct theoretical correspondence
between peak ground motions and overall spectral magnitude.
Response spectra may be viewed as being composed of four parts
spanning different period ranges shown as zones A,B,C,D in figures 2.3 & 2.4 .Most
design spectra use the following general relationship to represent the variation of spectral
acceleration with period ,

Sa = (1/T) p

Where the value of p will vary depending upon the design spectrum used when the
various zones of the curve .In general, the characteristics of the spectral acceleration
curves (fig 2.3) for the various zones as follows,

Zone A: Very low period range ,peak acceleration related .

Spectral accelerations start from the peak ground acceleration value at T =
0,and rise to the maximum spectral acceleration values in zone B. The periods in this
range are generally smaller than the periods corresponding to the maximum frequency
content of the ground motion. Values of p in the neighborhood of –1.0 are often used in
this zone. A p value –1.0 results in spectral acceleration varying linearly with period.

Zone B : Low period range, peak acceleration related.

In this zone, the maximum spectral accelerations result because the

predominant periods of the ground acceleration lie in this period range. Many
recommended design spectra (including Newmark’s) specify a line of constant
acceleration, p=0, t0 represent this zone.
Zone C: Medium period range, peak velocity related.
Spectral accelerations being to decrease rapidly with the increasing period
and taper off to a more gradual decrease .For this zone, p values ranging between 0.5 and
1.0 are recommended by various design spectra. Newmark’s recommend p = 1.0.

Zone D : Long period range ,peak displacement related .

In this zone, the periods are several times greater than the predominant
periods of the ground accelerations and the resulting dynamic amplifications are
relatively small. In this zone, the rate of descent of acceleration spectrum is greater than
that in zone C, Newmark recommends a value of p = 2.0 for this zone.

In figure 2.5, the Newmark (26), Blume (9), API (9), VA (48), ATC (5)
and NRC (46) recommended smoothed design spectra are plotted for 0,4g peak
acceleration and 5% critical damping. In table 2.1, p values used in the various spectrum
zones are shown for these spectra.

Local soil characteristics can have an important influence on the relative

spectral amplifications in these zones by influencing the surface ground motions that
result from a given base rock excitation. For this reason, many recommended design
spectra make allowance for the influence of soil type on the shape of the spectrum curve.
The general tendency of overlying soil is to push the spectra response
curve further out along the period scale, causing greater in the greater amplification in the
longer period range as in figure 2.6. Greater effective peak ground velocity and
displacement are expected for sites with softer soil conditions. For the Newmark
spectrum, estimates of these peak values can be directly used to modify the spectrum for
various soil conditions. For other recommended spectra, such as ATC &API, local soil
conditions are accounted for by classifying the site in to one of a limited number of soil
type categories and by applying different spectrum modifications for each category.


The development of site-specific ground motions is generally

responsibility of geo-technical engineering consultants working within the structural
engineer’s design criteria. The structural engineer’s association of California (SEAOC)
has published guidelines (42) for developing the site-specific seismic ground motions in
which the following general steps are recommended:

1.Geological and seismology study.

2.Establish average recurrence rates and probabilistic description of
earthquake events for each source.
3. Determine ground motions characteristics.


Response spectrum may be plotted for any two independent variables with respect to
other variables. (E.g.. Time Vs wavelength with respect to different frequencies)
•In this topics we are discussing about response spectrum for ground motion
(earthquake), such as acceleration, velocity, displacement.
•Response spectrum is a plot of maximum response (e.g.: acceleration, velocity,
displacement) of SDOF system to a given input Vs some system parameter, generally the
undamped natural frequency. Simply say that it is a function of dynamic input and period
of vibration of system.
•It also defined as representation of the maximum response of a idealized SDOF systems
having certain period and damping during earthquake ground motion.
•The maximum response is plotted against undamped natural period and for various
damping values, and it can be expressed in terms of maximum relative acceleration,
maximum relative velocity and displacement.

•The response spectrum may also be plotted for soil mass, which is below the
superstructure (e.g.: multistory building, dam structures etc…).



1.Acceleration response spectrum (Sa)

2.Velocity response spectrum (Sv)
3.Displacement response spectrum (Sd)



1.Elastic response spectrum

2.Inelastic response spectrum.


•Acceleration response spectrum (Sa) is plotted against natural period of vibration (T) Vs
acceleration (a) with respect to different damping ratios.
•This spectrum is most commonly used for describe the seismic event.
(E.g. El Centro earthquake California May 18


•Velocity response spectrum (Sv) is plotted against natural period of vibration (T) Vs
velocity (V) with respect to different damping ratios.
•This spectrum is also used for describe the seismic event next to the acceleration
response spectrum (Sa).
(E.g. El Centro earthquake California May 18 1940).


•Displacement response spectrum (Sd) is plotted against natural period of vibration (T)
Vs displacement (d) with respect to different damping ratios.

•This spectrum is also used for describe the seismic event next to the Velocity response
spectrum (Sv).
(E.g. El Centro earthquake California May 18 1940.)


•In this type response spectrum the structure is considered as elastic and it has constant
viscous damping is assumed.
•The solution of equation of motion of a linear elastic SDOF system can be written by
assuming the difference between damped and undamped period of vibration.
d(t) =1/ ów a g (t ) -wz(t-t)sinw (t- t)dt
Where d(t) system relative displacement
w - Angular frequency.
a g - Ground acceleration
z - Damping ratio,
t- time


•In this spectrum structural system subjected to earthquake excitation is behave as non-
linear fashion.
•The initial period of vibration and elastic equivalent viscous damping of the system are
not sufficient to obtain maximum response, which will depend on the actual
shape of the force-displacement curve of the system.
•To overcome this difficulty the structure is assumed as linear elastic-perfectly plastic
response being equal to the actual response of the system. But need to incorporate the
some significant parameters.



•Base is considered as and has translational motion

•The equation of motion of SDOF system subjected to support excitation is expressed as,
m ǜ + c ů +ku = cż + kz
m w’’ + c w‘+k w = -mz “
(- ve sign due to reversing sense of Z(t))


•By using Duhamel’s integral, we can obtain maximum relative displacement and
maximum absolute acceleration.
ω (t, ωn, ξ) = (1/ωn) W(t)
Where W (t) = Z (τ) exp (– ξ ωn (t- τ)) sin ωn (t- τ) d
•The maximum value of relative displacement occurs at time ‘tm’. This is customarily
given the symbol ‘Sd’ and is called spectral displacement.
Sd (T, ξ) = ωmax = (1/ ωn) W(tm)
• A plot of ‘Sd’ Vs natural period vibration (T = 2 P/ ωn) is called displacement response
•The above equation has the dimension of velocity .The maximum value of this integral
is called spectral pseudo velocity ‘Sv’. The plot of ‘Sv’ vs. ‘T’ is called the pseudo
velocity spectrum.
Sv (T, ξ) = W(Tm) = ωn. Sd
Similarly pseudo -velocity & acceleration spectrum we can formulate.
u(t)=p0/k{sinωn.t[sinωn.t-(t/td) sinωn.t-(cos ωn.t/ ωn.td)+(1/ ωn.td)] - cos ωn.t[-
cos ωn.t+1+(t/td) cos ωn.t – (1/ωn.td)(sinωn.t)t]}
For undamped system maximum absolute acceleration is given by
ü(max)= (ωn**2)* ωmax

1.The maximum absolute acceleration of a lightly damped system can be

approximated by spectral pseudo -acceleration “Sa”
where Sa (T, ξ) = (ωn**2) . Sd = Sv * ωn
2.A plot of Sa Vs P is called pseudo- acceleration response spectrum from that
maximum spring force KSd is given by
(fs) max=KSd=(K*Sa)/ ωn**2=mSa
i.e. spring force KSd=Sa*mass
3.It is plotted to linear scale. It gives maximum pseudo velocity as a function of
the natural period of the structure for several value of damping.
4.The sharp peaks and valleys in figures are the result of local resonance and anti
resonance of the ground motion.
5. For design purpose these irregularities can smoothened out and a number of
different response spectrum averaged after normalizing them to a standard
6. So it possible to plot all the three response spectra simultaneously on a tripartite
log-log graph as shown.

Accelerograph/ accelerograms:

These instruments can provide continuous record of earthquake acceleration of the

ground (or) of a building, in the region of greatest shaking. Understanding of seismically

induced forces or deformations in structure has developed to a considerable extent, as a
consequence of earthquake ground motions / structural response recorded in the form of
accelerograms by strong-motion accelerographs. The time-history record of acceleration
is recorded in optical/digital form. Integration of acceleration records enables velocities
and displacement to be estimated.


Nature of accelerograms depends on a number of factors:

1. Magnitude of earthquake.
2. Distance from the source of energy released.
3. Geological characteristics of the rocks along the wave transmission.
4. Source mechanism.
5. Local soil conditions


1.Single shock motions (e.g.. Port Huechem, 1957;Libya 1963;Skopje 1963;San Salvador
2.Moderately long & extremely irregular motions (e.g. El Centro 1940; Chile 1945;Loma
pieta 1989;North ridge 1994).
3.Long ground motions exhibiting pronounced prevailing periods of vibration (e.g.
Mexico 1964;Bucharest 1947; Mexico 1985).
4.Ground motions involving large-scale permanent deformations of ground (e.g.
Anchorage 1964;Niigata 1964.


Type 3: Effects of soft layers filtering the waves.

Type 4: Result of particular soil conditions, such as presence of saturated sand.
Type 1&2: Registered on hard soil, due to their motions.


•Kinetic energy (Ek)

•Damping energy (Ed)
•Elastic energy (Es)
•Hysteretic energy (Eh)
During the earthquake motion, the energy balance is expressed as
Ek+Ed+Es+Eh = Ei
Where Ei ---- is the input energy.


These system consist of,

•A motion detector – Transducer (Accelerometer)

•Intermediate signal modification system (Amplifier).
•Display system (Oscilloscope).
•Vibrometers & Accelerometers are called seismic transducers.

To detect the desired motion quantity and in most cases.
To produce an output that is proportional to the input motion but of different form.
•Most widely used transducer is accelerometer&Vibrometer.


•It is a device that senses acceleration and produce output voltage proportional to the
input acceleration.
•This relative motion instrument (RMI) measures, as a function of time, the relative
motion between the moving mass (a) and the base point ‘b’.
•It provides an electrical signal as its output, the signal being proportional to the relative
displacement of ‘a’.

•It is the seismic instrument whose output is to be proportional to the displacement of the
•This instrument is not widely used because of its low natural frequency.


•Peak modal responses cannot be directly to find the peak value of total response,
because modal responses attain their peaks at different time instants.
•So, some approximations for combining the peak modal responses are given by
scientists with some restrictions, these approximation rules are called modal
combination rules.
•Most commonly used rules
SRSS (Square-Root-of –Sum –of –Squares)
CQC (Complete Quadratic Combination)
ABSSUM (Absolute Sum)

•This rule is given by Dr E.Rosenblueth (1951).
r0 » (Srn02 )½
Where r0 ------ Peak value of ‘n’th mode contribution.
•The peak response in each mode is squared
•Squared modal peaks are summed.
•Square root of the sum provides estimates of the peak modal response.
•This combination rule provides excellent response estimates of structures with well-
separated natural frequencies.
•It cannot be used unsymmetrical plan buildings have pairs (triplets) of closely spaced
natural frequencies.

Important considerations in earth quake resistant design:
 Earth quake excitations are highly random and erratic
 Analysis is to be made for the displaced position of the structure rather than the
forces acting on the structure.
 Normal analysis involving equivalent lateral static forces is based on the peak
acceleration only, where as the preceding undulating accelerations of lower
amplitudes may cause structures’ failure, as the behavior of the structure during
the action of the undulating excitations become softer.

 Irregular structures and structures involving more than 40 stories has to be

dynamically analysed.
 Reversal of stresses that occur during the earthquake motions also requires a
dynamic analysis to be done on the structure.
 Objectives of earth quake resistant design:
 To resist minor levels of earth quake ground motion without any damage.
 To resist moderate levels of earth quake ground motion without structural
damage, but possibly with some non-structural damage.
 To resist major levels of earth quake ground motion having an intensity
equal to the strongest either experienced or forecast at the site without
collapse, but possibly with some structural as well as some non-structural
 Hence the design codes specify for the design of the structure only for a reduced
earthquake excitation so that the first two requirements are satisfied in a linear
range, after which in the non linear range the required deformation are provided
by means of providing proper strength and ductility.
 The excitations at the base of the soil layer is transferred to the top layers where
the structure rests, which is based on the soil mass, soil damping and soil
stiffness characteristics.

 Model for simulating soil characteristics:

 From the topsoil layer the excitations are transferred to the structure based on the
time period of the structure.

Calculation of response components:

 The response components include displacements, rotations, forces etc and

the excitations include accelerations, velocity, Sa/g etc or any other
 These components are plotted with respect to time periods which forms
the design spectrum from which the component to be considered for the
structure is to be obtained from the time period of the structure.
 The ground excitations that are recorded with respect to time are
converted as variations with respect to the time period by means of
Fourier transformation, which breaks up the given excitation into
harmonic frequencies and plots the peak response for each frequency.
 Analyzing single degree of freedom structures of different frequencies for
the given excitation and plotting the peak response of each frequency
with respect to the frequency of the structure can also establish the above.
 The design spectrum is obtained from the response spectrum by smoothening the
response spectrum curve and combining spectra of two or three earthquakes that
may affect the structure.

 Apart from the structural components, in actual case the non-structural
components play a vital role in deciding on the fundamental period of the
structure. The presence of the non-structural components reduces the time period
of the structure and hence the assumption of a longer period based on the lateral
force resisting systems alone will result in a non-conservative estimation of the
earthquake forces.
 But in the range of larger amplitudes of displacements that cause non-linearities in
the structure, most of the non-structural components fail and the period is
increased. Hence it would be judicial to select certain components alone, like rigid
stair walls, bending interaction of slab and girder etc apart from the lateral force
resisting components and omit other trivial components like plumbing, piping etc
in the calculation of natural period to be considered for the analysis.
 The other reasons for the incremental increase in the time period would be due to
the softening effects in the structure due to reduction in effective section
properties in case of cracked concrete, residual stress development in case of steel
structures and loosening up of foundation due to non linear soil behavior.
 The mode shapes would not undergo considerable changes in the non-linear
region and the same mode shapes are considered even in the non-linear region for
the calculation of lateral forces.
 The natural periods and the mode shapes which are the primary properties
governing the structural response are related to the mass and stiffness matrices of
the structure and the designer, by varying the mass and stiffness properties and by
selecting appropriate design spectrum for the region may design a optimal


 Single degree of freedom systems involves simple structures like water tanks,
pergolas etc that can be easily idealized as a single mass concentrated at the top of
a mass less stiffness system (column).

 The response involves determination of displacements in the structure and then
the member forces and moments from the displaced configuration of the structure.
 In case of single storey systems, it is considered as a single DOF system by taking
in to account, only the horizontal DOF and eliminating the other DOFs by
condensation methods in which the rotational and the vertical components are
condensed out.

Generalized Single Degree Of System (Idealization And Equilibrium



Mathematical equilibrium formulation:

Forming the dynamic equilibrium of the structure shown above, acted by force
P(t), spring force F(s) and damping force F(d), the equation can be given as:
Mǘ + Ců + Ku = P(t)
Where ǘ is represents the acceleration and ů represents velocity.

Equation formulation for earthquake excitation:

In case of earthquake excitation, the external force acting on the structure is not
considered, but the ground motions during the earthquake are considered as base
motions and are converted to equivalent excitations as shown below:

Here the total displacement (ut) of the structure can be given as the sum of relative
(ur) and the base displacement (ub).
i.e. ut = ur + ub -------- 1
The equilibrium equation can be given as:
Mut’’ + Cur’ + kur = 0 --------- 2
Substituting 1 in 2 gives
M (ur’’ + ub’’) + Cu’ + Ku = 0
=> Mur’’ + Cur’ + kur = - Mub’’ ---------- 3
(u’’ and u’ represents the time based differentials of the time function)

Equation 3 is similar to normal dynamic equilibrium equation based on

D’Alembert’s principle in which the excitation component P(t) is replaced by the
component - Mub’’. Hence the earthquake excited SDOF system can be analysed by
solving the dynamic equilibrium equation obtained after the above said replacement
of the excitation function.

Solution Of Equation For Single DOF System:

The dynamic differential equation for SDOF system subjected to earthquake

(Given by equation 3) can be solved by any of the following methods based on the
nature of the equation:
1) Classical method
2) Duhamel’s integral
3) Transform methods &
4) Numerical methods
In case of linear systems the response of the system is separately determined for
the dynamic excitations and for the forces acting before the commencement of the
dynamic excitations (static forces) and the results are added, where as such a separation
of the problem is not possible in case of non-linear systems.
The classical method of solution comprises of determining the complementary
function and the particular integral and is used in case of such simple linear differential
equations that can be easily solved by this method. The solution of a freely vibrating
system can be given as:
A SIN (‫ש‬t) + B COS (‫ש‬t) = 0,
which gives the complementary function. Te particular integral depends on the excitation
force. The boundary conditions are used to determine the constants A and B.

If the function is of a sort that can be integrated easily, the Duhamel’s integral can
be used in which the function is assumed to act a sequence of infinitesimally small
impulses. The displacement solution using Duhamel’s integral method can be given as:

U(t) = 1/(m ‫( ∫ )ש‬p(τ) sin [‫( ש‬t – τ)] dτ) (limits 0 to τ)

Where ‫ ש‬represents the natural frequency, and τ, the time instant considered.
In case of transform methods either the Fourier or Laplace transform is used, in
which the given differential equation in terms of variable t is converted into an algebraic
function in terms of i ‫ ש‬so that the operations on the equation can be performed easily,
after which inverse transformation is performed to get the solution.
The solution of the Fourier transform, F[P(t)] = ∫ e –i ‫ש‬t p(t) dt, can be given as,
U = (ao) / (2k) + Σ (an cos (nωt) + bn sin (nωt)) / (k) (0 to n)
ao = (2/τ) ∫ f(t) dt (limits 0 to τ)
an = (2/τ) ∫ f(t) cos (nωt) dt (limits 0 to τ)
bn = (2/τ) ∫ f(t) sin (nωt) dt (limits 0 to τ)
Where τ is a time instant considered.
The numerical methods are involved if the excitations are too complex to be
integrated or in case of non linear systems which can be performed either as numerical
solution for duhamel’s integral or using finite difference or finite element approach.

Displacement Solution For Nonlinear Systems:

In case of code based design for earthquakes the structure is allowed to deform in
the inelastic range and provisions are given for required ductility in the structure. Thus
the study of the structure in inelastic range is important in case of earthquake excitation.
The force deformation behavior can be as such taken as variations given by hysteresis
curves or can be idealized as elasto-plastic systems. Here up to linear range the initial
stiffness value has to be used after which the a trace has to made on the history of loading
at each time instant and based on the load deformation curve the stiffness at each
infinitesimal time instant is determined as the tangent modulus of the curve at that
instant. Hence the stiffness can be given as a function of force and velocity.

Various numerical time stepping procedures can be used for the solution of the above
problem. The different procedures are:
1) Those based on interpolation of excitation
2) Based on finite difference expressions and

3) Based on assumed variation of acceleration
In these methods, the time domain is divided in to a lot of infinitesimal time instants
Δt, and for each variation the variation in response Δu is determined and is added to
the displacement u up to the time considered for getting the response at time t + Δt.
The force value is linearly interpolated between the times t and t + Δt, the stiffness
values are taken as per the load deformation variation and a constant damping value
as per the linear system is considered.

Determination of other response components – Forces and Rotations.

After determination of displacement component, the other responses can be

determined by either finding the equivalent static force to bring about the given deformed
shape and then analyzing the structure for the lateral forces acting, or, by calculating the
forces directly from the deformation knowing the stiffness of the system. The former
method is usually adopted.

For the above system the deflection at the top end of the two columns is the same,
and equal to U which is obtained from the normal procedures of SDOF analysis by
considering the mass of the system to be lumped at the center of the beam and
considering only the horizontal Degree of Freedom.
Knowing the end displacement of both the columns, the story shears of the
columns are determined as (k1*U) & (k2*U) respectively. After determination of story
shear the story moment is calculated at the end of each column by multiplying the story
shear of the column with corresponding length of the column.
Thus the story moments at the column ends would be (k1*U*L1) and (k2*U*L2)

Solution For Multi Degree Of Freedom System:

Problem Formulation:
In the same way as that of a SDOF system the equilibrium equation of a multi
DOF system can be given as
M u’’ + C u’ + K u = 0
And for earthquake excitation, the equation can be given as
M ur’’ + C ur’ + K ur = - ι Mb’’

Where M is the mass matrix of the structure elements of which are obtained as the mass
required at each i th DOF to counteract an unit acceleration at the j th DOF, K is the
stiffness matrix and C is the damping coefficient matrix obtained as the damping required
at each i th DOF to counteract an unit velocity at the j th DOF.
The total deformation response can be given as a sum of the rigid body
deformation of the structure to the earthquake excitation and the deformation of the
structure due to its flexibility. ‘ι’ represents the rigid body deformation matrix of each
DOF and will be unity if all the DOFS of the structure undergoes the same rigid body

The general solution can be given as

[ K – Mω]Φ = 0

where Φ represents the modal matrix of the structure and from the above equation the
mode shapes and natural frequencies are determined.

Orthogonality of the modes and its implications:

The orthogonality conditions of the modes can be given as, ΦnT k Φr = 0 and
ΦnT m Φr = 0. This implies that, if a modal mass or a modal stiffness matrix M = ΦT m Φ
or K = ΦT k Φ respectively are formed, they would be diagonal matrices. Further it can be
implied that [(fI)nT ur = 0] ((fI)n = inertia force in nth DOF, ur = rth mode displacement)
and [(fs)nT ur = 0] where fs represents the static force, thus proving that work done by nth
mode forces in going through rth mode displacements (where r not = n) is zero. Thus it
implies that the forces due to displacements in any mode will not affect the displacements
in any other mode.

Solution Of Differential Equation:

The solution can be obtained either by classical methods or by modal methods,

the former being used very rarely. In case of modal methods, due to the modal
orthogonality, the solution is determined separately for each mode and then the solutions
obtained for different modes are combined together based on the modal contribution
factors using one of different combination rules such as SRSS, CQC or Absolute sum

Modal analysis for MDOF systems:

The classical solution for the linear differential equation Mu’’ + Ku = p(t)  (1)
for MDOF system will not be efficient for systems with more DOFS, nor is it feasible for
systems excited by other types of forces. Consequently, it is advantageous to transform
these equations to modal coordinates.
The system displacement can be expanded in terms of modal contributions and
the dynamic response of a system can be expressed as
U(t) = Σ Φr qr (t) (r = 1 to n) = Φ.q(t)  (2)
Substituting 2 in 1 and pre multiplying each term by ΦT and applying orthogonal
relation, thereby eliminating all terms of the summation except when r = n, the relation
reduces to
Mnq’’(t) + K qn(t) = pn(t)
Where M, K and pn are the modal matrices formed by pre and post multiplication by the
modal matrix.
From the above equation ‘q’ is determined knowing the mass, stiffness matrices,
time periods and the modal matrix from which the solution is determined as explained in
the model problem.

Model problem for Modal analysis of MDOF system:

Prob: A three-story frame shown in the figure is subjected to an excitation F cosωt at

the top story level. Determine the response at the top level on the consideration of
1. First mode only
2. First two modes
3. All the three modes

Given Data:
Ω = 0, 0.5 ω1 & 1.3 ω2
k1 = k2 = 160 kN / mm, k3 = 240 kN / mm
m = 20000 kg


[k] = 8 X 107 (Taking 80 outside)

[m] = 2 X 104 (from the figure)

From the given mass and stiffness matrices the natural periods and frequencies can be
determined as:

ω2 = (1924.733, 14437.2, 27889)T, => ω = (43.87, 120.15, 167)T


Modal mass matrix Mr = ΦT m Φ =

Modal force matrix Fr = ΦT f(t) = F cosωt (11 1)T

Displacement at the top story level =

u(t) = 1.0 * F cosωt / ((20000 * 1.6896) (1924.733 - Ω2)) +
1.0 * F cosωt / ((20000 * 2.9667) (14437.2 - Ω2)) +
1.0 * F cosωt / ((20000 *13.2) (27889 - Ω2)).

Consideration of 1st term alone implies 1st mode shape alone, and as per the number of
mode shapes to be used corresponding number of terms are utilized and solution is
attained for different Ω values.
From the results it can be implied that the initial fewer modes will have more effect
than the higher modes on the result and hence, it would be sufficient to consider only few
initial modes in case of multi story buildings.
The forces and moments, from the displacement result, can be obtained either by
equivalent static method or by determining the storey shears of each story from the
corresponding inter story drifts in case of shear frames, by multiplying them with the
corresponding story stiffness values and for moment frames, from the condensation
equations or by reverse engineering.



1. Importance factor(I):
It is a factor used to obtain the design seismic force depending on the functional
uses of the structures, characterized by hazards consequences of its failure, its post-
earthquake functional needs historic value, or economic importance.
2. Zone factor(Z):
It is a factor to obtain the design spectrum depending on the perceived maximum
seismic risk characterized by Maximum Considered Earthquake (MCE) in the zone in which
the structure is located. The basic zone factors included in these standards are reasonable
estimate of effective peak ground acceleration given in Annex E of IS-1893 (part1)-2002
3. Structural response factor (Sa/g):
It is a factor denoting the acceleration response spectrum of the structures subjected to
earthquake ground vibrations, and depends on natural period of vibration and damping of the
4. Response reduction factor(R):
It is the factor by which the actual base shear force, that would be generated if the
structures were to remain elastic during its response to the Design Basis Earthquake (DBE)
shaking, shall be reduced to obtain design lateral forces.


1. Seismic weight of floors:

The Seismic weight of each floor is its full DL + Appropriate amount of imposed
loads as specified below. While computing the seismic weight of each floor, the weight
of columns and walls in any storey shall be equally distributed to the floors above and
below the storey.

Imposed uniformity distributed floor Percentage of imposed load
loads( kN/m2)
Up to & including 3 25
Above 3 50

The seismic weight of the whole building is the sum of the seismic weights of the
all the floors.


The approximate fundamental natural period of vibration Ta in sec.

Type of building Ta
Moment resisting frame without brick in fill panels
1- for RC Frame building 0.075 h 0.75
2- for Steel Frame building 0.085 h 0.75
All other buildings moment resisting frame with brick infill 0.09h / d0.5

Where h = Height of the building in m. This excludes the basement storeys, where
basement walls are connected with the ground floor deck or fitted between building
columns. But, it includes the basement storeys, when they are not so connected.
d=Base dimension of the building at the plinth level in m. along the considered
direction of lateral forces


It shall be determined by the following expression

Ah= (Z*I*Sa) / 2*R*g

Where Z= Zone factor (given on table.2 of IS 1893-part1-2002)

I=Importance factor (given in table 6 of IS 1893-part1-2002)
R= Response reduction factor (given in table 7 of IS 1893-part1-2002) however the
ratio (I/R) shall not be greater than 1.
Sa/g = average response acceleration coefficient from fig( given for 5% damping)
For other values of damping Sa/g value shall be multiplied with the factors given in table.

Damping % 0 2 5 7 10 15 20 25 30
Factors 3.2 1.4 1 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.55 0.5


The total design lateral force or design seismic base shear( VB )along any principal
directions shall be determined by the following expression.
VB =Ah*W
Where, Ah =Design horizontal acceleration spectrum
W = Seismic weight of the buildings
A Four story RC office building shown in figure is located in shillong. The
foundation soil is medium stiff and the entire building is supported on raft foundation.
The lumped weight due to dead load is 12 kN / m 2 on floors and 10 kN/m2 on roof. The
floors carry a live load of 4 kN/m2 and the roof is designed for 1.5 kN/m2. Determine the
design seismic on the structure.










VB = Ah*W

Ah = (Z/2)*(I/R)*(Sa/g)

Shillong is in the zone V,

Hence Zone factor = 0.36
For office building Importance factor is 1
Reduction factor in X direction is 3
Reduction factor in X direction is 3

Calculation of time period Ta:

The frame is Moment Resisting frame with brick infill

Ta=. 0.09h/d0.5
D=20 in X direction
D=15 in Y direction
Ta in X direction
Ta = 0.09*13.8/200.5 = 0.28 sec
Ta in Y Direction
Ta= 0.09*13.8/150.5 = 0.32sec

For Ta =. 28sec and Ta=0.32sec Sa/g=2.5(From graph in IS 1893-part1-2002)

Calculation of seismic weight:

Floor area = 15 * 20 = 300 m2

Since the Imposed load is greater than 3 kN/m2,
Percentage of Imposed load is 50
Lumped wt. @ Floor levels = W1=W2=W3 = 300.( 12+0.5*4 )= 4200 kN.
Roof level W4 = 300* 10 = 3000 kN
Total seismic weight of the structure W = (3*4200)+3000 = 15600 kN.

Calculation of horizontal acceleration spectrum (Ah):

In this problem the values of Ah will be same in X & Y directions.

Ah= (0.36/2)*(1/3)*2.5 = 0.15
Therefore, VB= Ah * W = 0.15 * 15600 = 2340 KN.

Distribution of total base shear at floor levels:

Storey Wi hi Wi * hi2 (Wi * hi2) Lateral force @
level kN m. x 103 ----------------- floor level, kN
Σ Wi * hi2
4 3000 13.8 571.3 0.424 992
3 4200 10.6 471.9 0.350 819
2 4200 7.4 230 0.171 400
1 4200 4.2 74.1 0.055 129
Total = 2340



The term dynamic refers to loads, which suddenly change in time, with variations
in magnitude, direction, and point of application taking place either jointly or separately.
Dynamic loads imparts accelerations to the bodies on which they are imposed, thereby
giving rise to inertia forces and causing the system to vibrate



When speaking of cyclic loads, we generally mean vibration loads whose

variations in time follow a harmonic law. Such loads may arise in say, unbalanced mass
rotating machinery.

The term impact refers to loads that are applied suddenly and act for a short time.
Impact load may be either single or multiple.


By moving loads we customarily mean live loads caused by traffic, moving

cranes, etc.
In reality, the loads discussed above may form various combinations often
accompanied by other types of dynamic load, such as wind loads, sea-wave loads, and the
In terms of confidence in their values, dynamic loads may be classified into
deterministic and stochastic or random. A deterministic dynamic load is always a
prescribed function of time. In contrast, the variations of a stochastic or random force in
time may be affected by quite a number of random factors, so its determination always
implies a certain probabilistic element.

Seismic loads are of kinematic origin. They owe their existence to vibrations
caused in structures by the movement of the earth’s surface during an earthquake.
Seismic forces or loads are random in character, though they are usually regarded as
deterministic in practical calculations to simplify the design model.


In the study of resistance of structural elements to dynamic loads the other to

terms to be known are
 Free vibration.
 Forced vibration.
If we apply an external force to upset the stable equilibrium of a mechanical
system and then remove that force, the system will vibrate about its original position. The
vibration experienced by the system upon removal of the disturbing force is called free
vibration. They depend on the systems properties and the initial conditions at the instant
when the force is removed. Since the initial conditions may vary from case to case, the
free vibrations of the same system may follow different patterns, with the dynamic
deflection line changing its configuration in time.
The vibration pattern, which is determined by the relative dynamic deflection at
different points on the system, can be prevented from varying in time by properly choosing the
initial conditions. In this situation, we speak of the natural mode of vibrations. The name
natural implies that the modes of these vibrations and the respective frequencies depend solely
on the parameters of the system itself, namely on the magnitude and distribution of its masses
and stiffness and the type of supports. A system with n degrees of freedom has n natural
frequencies and n modes of vibrations. Under real conditions, the free vibrations of a system
are damped more are less quickly, because a good deal of energy is spent to overcome various
internal and external resistances.
Each mode of natural vibrations has a damping velocity of its own.
Accordingly, as free vibrations are damped, the compound motions combining several
natural modes gradually reduce to a single mode having the least pronounced damping.
The free vibrations of an SDOF system always occur at the natural frequency of that
If a vibrating system is subjected to exciting forces, as is the case with a
cantilever pole supporting an unbalanced rotating mechanism, what we have are forced
vibrations. These depend on both the systems parameters and the characteristics of the
disturbing force.


Seismic loads make up a special group of dynamic loads whose exact

magnitudes and character cannot be evaluated in advance. We have also found out that the
instrumental records, which represent the time-variation patterns of individual earthquakes,
never repeat themselves even though the seismic events may occur at the same place, so their
classification may be given in general outline only. The acceleration caused due to earthquake
is measured using accelogram. The common features of it are given below.

 All accelograms reflect non-periodic vibrations of varying amplitude and
period. Here the term period refers to twice the time interval between two
adjacent accelerations of zero amplitude.
 The accelerations within the initial portion of the record have relatively
low amplitudes. The duration of the initial portion depends on the
epicentral distance, ranging from 1s to 4s when the epicentral distance is
 The accelerations within the middle portion characterizing the effect of
transverse waves have the largest amplitudes, the respective periods being
slightly longer than are equal to those within the initial portion.
 The accelerations within the end portion have long periods and gradually
decreasing amplitudes, which, however, do not follow any steady pattern
as they die down. There is no well-defined boundary between the middle
and the end portions.
 The total duration of vibration varies from event to event, increasing with
increasing intensity and epicentral distance. Approximately, vibrations
continue for 10 to 40s, often giving more than hundred peaks per record.
 The vertical acceleration is usually 60% to 70% of the horizontal

Unfortunately, no other data for classification have yet been obtained. What
complicates the situation further is the absence of a single theory of strength of materials
under static and, which is of particular importance in earthquake-resistant design,
dynamic loads. As long as we do not for sure what actually causes structural material to
fail, we cannot decide which techniques would be comprehensively reliable in
experimental investigations. By the same token, the amount of experimental work to be
done appreciably increases. In fact, instead of solving a general strength problem once,
the investigator has to tackle its numerous particular cases, which happen to present
themselves in the course of analysis and design. As a result, only after a sufficiently large
number of alternatives have been investigated is he able to establish empirical
relationships of more or less common character. Also, in solving experimental problems,
the investigator has to make too much effort to represent the actual loading system, which
can never be achieved in full measure, thereby further distorting the picture.



Extensive work has been carried out on steel and aluminum-alloy

specimens under cyclic loading to determine the dynamic strength of these metals. Work
has been done to find how the fatigue strength of a material is affected by what are called
as stress raisers (sudden changes in cross-section in a structural member such as notches,
holes, or screw threads). It has been proved by way of experiments that stress raisers
reduce the endurance limit (ultimate dynamic strength of material after number of cycles)
of a material, the effect being most pronounced at holes and at the points where members

change in section at a sharp angle. As regards dynamic strength, stress concentration is
especially undesirable in members made of brittle materials.
Tests on metals suggest that the dynamic behaviour of members markedly
depends on the type of joint and weld. The best results have been obtained with lap joints
formed by front fillet welds at a leg ratio of 1:2 for which the endurance limit is same as
for a solid member. It has also been observed that the endurance limit rises when both
front and side fillet welds are used to form a lap joint.

Based on the tests on welded joints some suggestions are given for method
of connection to resist dynamic loads. They are as follows:

 Horizontal bars should be joined by semiautomatic submerged arc welding

in a pool of molten metal contained in a reusable copper mould or, where
no such mould is available, copper backing plates. As an alternative, they
may be joined by manual multielectrode welding in a pool of molten metal
contained in a reusable copper mould.

 Vertical bars should be joined by semiautomatic submerged arc welding in

a pool of molten metal contained within a copper or a graphite mould, or,
where no such mould is available, by manual multiple-blead arc welding
against a steel-backing strip.

The skill of welders, which generally has little effect on the load bearing capacity
of the structural members under static loading, becomes a matter of primary importance
where the dynamic strength is a factor. The thing is that poor workmanship may entail
additional stress raisers because of lack of penetration, non-uniform throat thickness, and
other defects inevitable where unskilled welders are allowed to do the job.
In another test a cantilever beam was subjected to cyclic loading. In the
course of loading, with the displacements maintained at a sufficiently high level, the steel
was found to grow softer, as it were. In fact, as the number of cycles increased, the same
displacements were produced by ever decreasing imposed loads. The Hysteresis loop
obtained seems that it gets wider as the maximum stress developed during the cyclic
loading increases.

Based on various test over steel, an empirical formula for dynamic strength was

α = 1.045 – 0.0218 log n

α = dynamic strength/ static strength.
n= number of cycles.


Many experiments were carried out in the TsNIISK institute to find the dynamic
strength of heavy concrete in compression. Experiments show that long-time
compression, in which structures are believed to work before earthquakes, make mortar
and concrete stiffer and limit their ductility. It is, therefore, assumed that long-time
compression prior to seismic loading may adversely affect the dynamic strength of
materials. Earthquakes make mortar and concrete stiffer and limit their ductility. It is,
therefore, assumed that long-time compression prior to seismic loading may adversely
affect the dynamic strength of materials. Based on experimental work by Yu. Kotov an
empirical formula was given for the dynamic strength of heavy cement concrete of
compressive strength 20mPa and 30 mPa. It is given by

α = 1.08 – 0.09 log n

Expression for dynamic modulus of elasticity is also given by the research

conducted in the same institute. It is given by

E (dynamic) = E (static) * (1.445- 0.356 T)

T is the time period.

As can be seen from the above table, the dynamic moduli are larger than
the static moduli, although the difference is insignificant. During the tensile test of
concrete it was found that the ultimate tensile strength of concrete depends on the
duration of loading.


In the earth quake resistant design of reinforced concrete structures, it is

extremely important to ensure the composite behaviour of the concrete and the
reinforcing steel under alternating loads.
A concrete beam of size 120mm * 380mm with the following arrangement
was tested under cyclic loading.

.8m 1.5m .8m

The experiment showed that

 The manner of cracking and the shearing force V that caused the cracking
were practically independent of the amount of lateral reinforcement and
the number of load cycles applied.

 For beams with no stirrups, the shearing force at which failure occurred
was practically the same as the shearing force at the onset of cracking. For
laterally reinforced beams, shearing force was much greater, being 1.5 to 2
times or 2 to 3 times as large as that for beams with no stirrups.
 The repeated manner of loading had little effect on the shearing force.

In an investigation conducted jointly by the TsNIISK and the NIIZhB research

institutes, the following equations were derived which would hold good for 100<n<10e7

RSH, DYNAMIC =RSH (1.13 – 0.094 Log n)

RT, DYNAMIC = RT (0.837 – 0.0368 Log n)

RC, DYNAMIC = RC (1.022 – 0.0254 Log n)

SH represents shearing strength
T represents tensile strength
C represents compressive strength


Today, prestressed concrete is finding few applications in earth-quake resistant

construction mostly because of the scarcity of information on its behaviour during
previous earthquakes and also due to the insufficient extent of laboratory studies. The
energy absorption capacity of the beams with post-tensioned tendons placed in grouted
raceways was found to be close to that of the beams with ungrouted reinforcement.


In a series of experiments performed in TsNIISK institute, the brickwork was

subjected to tension at right angles to the joints. The investigation yielded the following

α = 1.13 – 0.08 log n (for n<100)

It should be noted that the above formula checks well with the experimentally
found values only when the crack crosses the bricks themselves. When the crack passes
along the joints, the formula becomes inapplicable, which is why it cannot be used at
Introduction of reinforcement in the brick masonry will improve the resistance of
the masonry to dynamic loads.


Wood is one of the most attractive materials as regards its earthquake resistance.
As compared with concrete and masonry, it offers a far greater resistance to tension and
spalling, while having a much smaller weight. Also, it is a good deal lighter than,
although not as strong as, steel. Nevertheless, wood has been finding few applications in
earthquake-proof load-bearing structures, because it cannot serve for a long time and has
to be protected against fire.

Based on experiments conducted on wood the following inference were found:

 The dynamic ultimate strength of the test pieces subjected to single

dynamic loading is, on the average, by 25% higher than the static ultimate
 The maximum sag under dynamic loads approaching the breaking value,
on the average, by 13% to 20% smaller than under static loads, and the
dynamic modulus of elasticity is by 10% greater than its static counterpart.
 Under repeated dynamic loading, the ultimate strength of wood decreases
with increasing number of cycles sustained.


Conceptual Design

Design objectives

Nothing within the power of structural engineer can make a badly conceived
building into a good earthquake resistant structure. Decisions made at the conceptual
stage are extremely important.

Anatomy of building

The vertical division of the building primarily poses problems, making it difficult
to avoid irregularities in mass or stiffness. However, the service cores and exterior
cladding provide an opportunity to incorporate shear walls and braced panels. One of the
main objectives in early planning is to establish the optimum location for service core and
stiff structural elements that will be continuous to the foundation
It is not unusual to find that structural and architectural requirements are in
conflict at the concept planning stage but it is essential that a satisfactory compromise is
reached at this time.

Overall form

The desirable aspects of building form are simplicity, regularity and symmetry in
both plan and elevation. These properties all contribute to a more even and more
predictable distribution of earthquake forces in the structural system. Any irregularity in
the distribution of stiffness or mass is likely to increase d dynamic response.
Torsional forces from ground motion are not commonly of great concern unless
the building has an inherently low torsional strength. However, the torsion also arises
from eccentricity in the building layout. The effective force exerted by lateral ground
movement acts at the center of gravity of each floor creating a torsional moment about
the center of structural resistance and this will have to be dealt with in addition to
torsional component of ground motion.
Buildings, which are tall in relation to their base width, will generate high forces
at the base due to the overturning moment. Buildings with a height to width ratios of
about 4 are common, whereas those with a height to width ratio of 6 are rare. It is
probably within range 4-6 that the problems arising from overturning forces become
critical. The high problems arising from overturning forces become critical. The high
forces may lead to foundation uplift or to unduly high tensile or compressive forces I
The effect of out of step vibration also occurs in any building founded on subsoil
where there is a marked discontinuity. As an extreme example, a structure founded partly
on rock and partly on alluvium would be severely stressed at the interface between the
two, each material tending to vibrate differently.
The solution to many of the problems arising form buildings of irregular form is
to divide them into regular shapes by means of joints. Such joints are required to be
sufficiently wide to avoid damage by impact during earthquakes.
Buildings on sloping ground tend to pose torsional problems as shown in fig. 1.
The solution to this is to provide additional stiffening elements at the low end of the site
to bring center of resistance as close to center of mass.

Sloping site (M Center of mass; R, Center of resistance)

Framing systems

Consideration of the overall concept and of the detailed framing system are not
independent, and at the planning stage some consideration will need to be given to the
framing layout
Bi-directional egg crate system is suitable for tall buildings but unsuited to office
buildings, which need large unobstructed areas. The structural core and frame can be
used for buildings up to about 40 storeys and above this height the single framed tube
should be used with the tube in tube system being used for highest buildings.
The shear walls are much stiffer than frame elements. Within the basic category
of frame shear wall systems, many hybrid systems can be produced to suit the particular
needs of a project.
In planning the framed structure the relationship between members at beam
column junctions become critical. Fig shows possible failure modes under lateral loads
and it is clear from this that yielding in the major earthquake must occur in the beams and
not in the columns

Local failure by column yielding

Local failure by beam yielding

Considering single beam column connection such as that in Fig. It follows that
The problem posed by the above equation increases as beam spans increase
leading to a need for greater continuity reinforcement at the support and consequently a
greater ultimate moment. Another case posing difficulty is the spandrel beam, which is
oversized for architectural reason and may have an unnecessarily high yield moment. So
in the planning stage itself due consideration has to be given to all these aspects.

The following philosophy is widely accepted in national and state building codes.
Structures should be able to
a) Resist minor earthquake without damage
b) Resist moderate earthquakes without structural damage
c) Resist major earthquakes of severity equal to the strongest that could be
experienced in the area without collapse but with some structural and
nonstructural damage.
Elastic design

Ductile design
Xy = displacement at yield
Xu = Ultimate displacement

Xu Xy

From the above philosophy we can understand that the earthquake design does permits
substantial damage whereas it is not acceptable for other environmental loadings. The
fundamental reason for this lies in the costs of seismic design provisions, which would be
excessive if the maximum design earthquake were to be resisted without damage. Hence
the acceptance of survival as the aim in a major earthquake means that design objective
becomes that of preserving the lives of the building occupants.

Calculation of lateral forces

The factors that are taken into account for assessing lateral loads are as follows
a) Zoning factor
b) Importance factor
c) Subsoil factor
d) Structural type factor
e) Natural period of vibration
f) The applicable building mass

Zoning factor: -
Seismic zoning assesses the maximum severity of shaking that is expected in a
region. For E.g. UBC uses Z values of 1,0.75,0.375,0.188. Normally zoning will be laid
down by the code. In a nutshell zoning status will be based on the assessment of seismic
Importance factor: -
It is customary to recognize that certain categories of building used should be
designed for greater levels of safety and this is achieved by specifying higher design
lateral forces. Such categories are
a) Buildings that are essential after an earthquake –hospitals, fireplaces, power
stations etc
b) Places of assembly-schools, theatres
c) Structures whose collapse would endanger the population-nuclear plant,
dangerous chemical storage vessels, large dams etc
Typically the value of I varies from 1.0 to1.5 but values 2.0 and 4.0 are used in U.S.S.R.
Structures in category c) are designed on a different design basis, concentrating on
reducing the risk of serious accident to an acceptable level.

Subsoil Factor: -
The effect of subsoil may be both to magnify ground motion and to lengthen he
characteristic period of motion. The soil factor takes into account of both the
magnification and the interaction between building response and soil response. If the
natural period of vibration of the building and soil are close, resonance will occur.
The soil factor is typically in the range of 1.5-2 for soft soil compared with the
value of 1 for rock. An interesting development is that the Structural Engineers
Association of California (1985) omits any resonance between buildings and soil from its
recommended S values and proposes three values.
a) S=1, for rock like material having a shear wave velocity greater than 2500 ft/sec or a
stiff/dense soil condition where the soil depth is less than 200 ft
b) S=1.2, for dense/soil where soil depth exceeds 200 ft
d) S=1.5, for soft to firm clays or loose sands 30 ft or more in depth.
Structural Type Factor (K): -
The inherent ductile nature, redundancy and damping of a building structure are
of great importance to its good performance in an earthquake. Factors contributing to this
are material and member ductility, a high degree of redundancy with respect to all failure
modes, regular form, low eccentricity, good construction quality control and high

Customarily K factors for buildings as a whole vary so that the highest value is
twice the lowest, but parts of buildings such as parapets, towers, tanks, chimneys and
other appendages may be assigned much higher values.

Weight W: -
The weight is normally the total dead load plus an estimate of the possible live
load that could be reasonably be expected.
Period T: -
Because the design loading depends on the building period and the period cannot
be calculated until a design has been prepared, most codes provide formulae from which
T may be calculated. The International Conference of Building Officials (1985) gives the
building period T in seconds for moment frames as
And for stiff buildings (shear wall, braced frame) as
T=0.5h/√D (feet units) or T=0.9h/√D (metric units)
Distribution Of Lateral Forces
Qi=VB Wihi2
∑W h 2
j j

Qi = Design lateral force at floor i

Wi = Seismic Weight of floor i
hi = height of floor i measured from base
VB= AhWi
Ah =Design horizontal spectrum=Z I Sa


Applied technology council (1982) introduced a factor “K”

K=1, when T<0.5 s
K=2, when T>2.5 s
New mark & Hall (1982) introduced a method for checking whether the lateral force
distribution is in agreement with the structure as designed. The procedure is as follows.
a) Calculate lateral forces as per the codal recommendation
b) Select member sizes for the structure
c) Compute lateral displacements x, for the structure under the action of lateral
d) Calculate new lateral forces from equation replacing the values of hi with the
computed values of x
e) Compare the recomputed storey shears with the values derived from step a). If
any of these differ by more than 30% a dynamics analysis has to be undertaken.

Designing for Ductility

The use of reinforced concrete as a ductile material began in the early 1960s with
the publication of Blume, New mark & Corning (1961) which established that properly
detailed reinforced concrete beams and columns would respond to dynamic forces in a
ductile manner and would sustain a number of cycles of stress reversal. The same
conclusion was drawn for shear walls, principally the work of Prof R.Park and Paulay at
the university of Canterbury in New Zealand during the 1970s
Design codes for reinforced concrete in seismic zones are well established and
when properly applied provide a sound basis for design and detailing.


Ductility is achieved in structural members firstly by designing elements within

known limits where they can deform in a ductile manner and by avoiding the possibility
of brittle failure.
Avoiding the possibility of brittle failure means that at ultimate load conditions
there is still an adequate safety of margin between the actual stress ad brittle failure
stress. For example a tension bolt in a steel beam connection should be at a safe stress
level when the beam has reached the ultimate moment.
Designing whole structural systems for ductility requires
a) Any mode of failure should involve the maximum possible redundancy.
b) Brittle type failure modes such as overturning should be adequately safeguarded
so that ductile failure will occur first.

Table.1 Types of brittle failure

Structure Overturning
Foundation Rotational shear failure
Structural steel Bolt shear or tension failure
Member buckling
Member shear failure
concrete Bond or anchorage failure
Member tension failure
Masonry Member shear failure

Out of plane bending failure

Thus ductility can be defined as the ratio of displacement at maximum load to
displacement at yield. Two values of ductility are of prime concern. Firstly the ductile
capacity is the value at ultimate member load, and secondly the ductility requirement is
the value at the ultimate design load.
For practical values of section size and reinforcement, section ductile
capacity is increased for
a) An increase in compression steel content.
b) An increase in concrete compressive strength.
c) An increase in ultimate concrete strain.
Similarly section ductile capacity is decreased for

a) An increase in tension steel content.
b) An increase in steel yield strength.
c) An increase in axial load.
The effect of confining concrete with stirrups or spiral reinforcement is to
increase the ultimate concrete strain, thereby increasing the ductile capacity.
There is a further advantage in practice as shear resistance is increased and additional
lateral support is given to the main reinforcement. Practical values of stirrups or spiral
reinforcement, which will provide effective containment are substantially larger than
those customarily used for reinforced concrete design in non-seismic conditions. Fig
illustrates the effect of axial load and confinement on rotational ductile capacity.

Effect Of Axial Load And Confinement On Rotational Capacity

Confined Section

Unconfined section

Ductile detailing for typical R.C members: -

Flexural members
1. The factored axial stress on the member under earthquake loading shall not
exceed 0.1fck.
2. The member shall preferably have a width to depth ratio of more than 0.3.
3. The width of the member shall not be less than 200 mm.
4. The depth D shall preferably not more than ¼ of the clear span.
Longitudinal reinforcement: -
1. The top as well as bottom reinforcement shall consist of at least two bars through
out the member length.
2. The tension steel ratio on any face at any section shall not be less than
ρ min=0.24√(fck/fy);
3. The max steel ratio on any face at any section shall not exceed ρ max=0.025.
4. In external joint anchorage length should be provided (fig)

Anchorage Of Beam Bars In An External Joint
Splicing: -
The longitudinal bars shall be spliced, only if hoops are provided over the entire
splice length, at spacing not exceeding 150-mm. The lap length shall not be less than the
bar development length in tension.

Lap splices shall not be provided within a distance of 2d from joint face and
within quarter length of the member where flexural yielding is likely under the effect of
earthquake forces. Use of welded splice and mechanical connections may also be made as
per IS 456 2000. However, not more than half the reinforcement shall be spliced at a
section where flexural yielding may take place.
Web reinforcement
Web reinforcement shall consist of vertical hoops. A vertical hoop is a closed
stirrup having a 135° hoop with a 10-diameter extension (but not < 75
mm) at each end that is embedded in the confined core. The min diameter
of the bar forming a hoop shall be 6 mm. However, in beams with a clear
span exceeding 5 m, the minimum bar diameter shall be 8-mm.

The shear force to be resisted by the vertical hoops shall be the maximum of

a) Calculated factored shear force as per analysis
b) Shear force due to formation of plastic hinged at both the ends of the beam
plus the factored gravity load on the span.
The contribution of bent up bars and inclined hoops to shear resistance of the section
shall not be considered.
The spacing of the bars shall not exceed d/4 or 8 times the diameter of smallest
longitudinal bar. However it need not be less than 100 –mm. The first hoop shall be at a
distance not exceeding 50 –mm from the joint face. Vertical hoops at the same spacing as
above shall be provided over a length equal to 2d on either side of a section where
flexural yielding is likely under the effect of an earthquake.
The minimum dimension of the member shall not be less than 2. However in
frames, which have beams with center-to-center span exceeding 5 m or columns of
unsupported length exceeding 4, the shortest dimension of the column shall not be less
than 300 mm & limiting ratio of column face dimension 0.4
Longitudinal Reinforcement
Lap splices shall be provided only in the central half of the member length. It
should be proportioned as a tension splice. Hoops shall be provided over the entire splice
length at spacing not exceeding 150 mm center to center. Not more than 50% of the bars
shall be spliced at one section.

Transverse reinforcement in columns

Transverse Reinforcement
Spiral or circular hoops or rectangular hoops
1. Spacing of parallel legs shall not exceed 300mm
2. Else provide cross ties (fig)
3. If more transverse reinforcement is needed to take care of shear,
Special confining reinforcement is necessary
Ash = 0.09 SDk fck Ag - 1.0
fyAk Ak

Ash = Area of bar cross section

S = pitch of spiral or spacing of hoops
Dk=diameter of core
Ag=gross area
Ak=area of concrete bar
Beam column joints
Damage studies have shown that considerable distress may be suffered in this area, the
principal failure mechanism being
Shear within joint
Anchorage failure of beam bars anchored in the joint
Bond failure
Effects of loading
It should be emphasized that these effects exists under non-seismic loading but
are of much insignificance under seismic conditions and the effects are much aggravated
by cyclic loading. Design practice is based on the fundamental concept that failure should
not occur within the joint, so that it should be strong enough to withstand the yielding of
connecting beams (usually) or columns.
Unless special measures are taken to remove the plastic hinge region away from
the face of column, the onset of yielding is likely in the beam will penetrate the column
area. For this reason the anchorage length of the beam bars anchored within the column
area on external joints is reduced by the lesser of half the column depth or 10 times the
bar diameter as illustrated in fig. One solution to this difficult problem of anchoring beam
bars is the use of beam stubs as shown.

Shear walls
For Years shear walls were regarded as brittle elements. It was assumed that they would
behave elastically only for moderate earthquakes. In order to resist major earthquakes, they
were combined with frame that was intended to survive after major damage has been inflicted
on frames.

a) Bending b) Rocking c) Diagonal tension d) Sliding

General Requirements for shear walls

1. Thickness not less than 150 mm
2. Min reinforcement ratio 0.25%
3. If factored shear stress exceeds 0.25√fck or thickness exceeds 200 mm
reinforcement in two curtains. Spacing …l/5 or 3t or 450 mm
4. The diameter of the bars used shall not exceed 1/10th of the thickness of
that part.
The wall must be designed to maintain the elastic integrity at all levels other than
in the intended ductile zone.
The designs of slabs in seismic resistant structure are as same as for non-seismic
conditions except in the following particulars
Slabs function as diaphragms in transmitting forces laterally, especially between
vertical elements of varying stiffness. Horizontal shears are thus induced in the slab. For
full depth R.C slabs, the shear will be generally being insignificant.
Energy Absorption: -
It is important for buildings in a seismic zone to be resilient, i.e., absorb the shock
from the ground and dissipate this energy uniformly through out the structure
In MRFs, the dissipation of the input seismic energy takes place in the form of
flexural yielding, and resulting in the formation of plastic hinges. Due to the cyclic nature
of flexural yielding both negative and positive moment hinges may be formed. The
energy dissipated by the MRFs is reflected in the lateral load Vs Lateral displacement.

The area enclosed by the loops is a measure of the energy dissipated through the
plasticity. Since concrete is brittle, the plasticity is due to the reinforcing steel

Some of the common sense lessons

1. All frame elements must be detailed so that they can respond to strong
earthquakes in a ductile manner
2. Non-ductile modes such as shear and bond failures must be avoided. This implies
that anchorage and splicing of bars should not be done in areas of high concrete
stress. And a high resistance to shear should be provided.
3. Rigid elements must be attached to the structure with ductile or flexible fixings
4. A high degree of structural redundancy should be provided so that as many zones
of energy-absorbing ductility as possible are developed before a failure
mechanism is created. For framed structures this means that a yielding should first
occur in beams and columns should remain elastic at the maximum design
5. Joints should be provided at discontinuities, with adequate provision for
movement so that pounding of the two faces against each other is avoided.
6. In shaking a building, an earthquake ground motion will search for every
structural weakness. These weaknesses are usually created by sharp changes in
stiffness, strength and/or ductility, and the effects of these weaknesses are
accentuated by poor distribution of reactive masses. Damage studies reveal the
importance of avoiding sudden changes in lateral stiffness and strength.



India has a huge earthquake problem. More than 50% of the country is prone to
disastrous earthquake. During 1897 to 1950, the country witnessed four great earthquakes
of magnitude 8.4 to 8.7; fortunately, no earthquakes of comparable size have been taken
place since 1950. However, the experience in moderate earthquakes (Magnitude 6– 6.5)of
Bihar(1988),Uttarkashi(1991), Latur(1993), Jabalpur(1997),and Chamoli (1999) and in
the more recent M7.7 Bhuj (2001) earthquake clearly underline the human misery
associated with disasters.


A large collection of materials and masses were coalesced to form the earth.
Large amount of heat was generated by this fusion, and slowly as the Earth cooled down,

the heavier and denser materials sank to the center and the lighter ones rose to the top.
The differentiated earth consist of the following
• Inner core ( Radius 1290 km.) – Solid, Heavy metals.
• Outer core ( Thick 2200 km.) – Liquid
• Mantle ( Thick 2900 km.) – ability to flow
• Crust ( Thick 5 to 42 km.) – Light materials.

At the Core: Temperature – 25000C,

Pressure – 4 million atmospheres.
Density- 13.5 g/cc. & reduces to
Temp 250C, Density 1.5 g/cc. & pressure 1 atm.@ surface.

Large strain energy released during earthquake travel as seismic waves in all
directions through the earth’s layers, reflecting at each interface. These waves are two
types - Body waves (P-wave & S-wave) and Surface waves (Love wave& Rayleigh

Primary waves ( P Wave):
Material particles undergo extensional & compressional strains along the
direction of energy transmission. It is a fastest wave; for example, in granites its speed is
The velocity at which a P wave propagates in an elastic medium may be found as

VP = [ E(1-µ) / ρ(1+µ)(1-2µ) ] 0.5

V P - Velocity of P wave
E - Modulus of elasticity
µ - Poison’s ratio
ρ - Density of the medium

Secondary waves ( S wave ):

It will oscillate at right angle, does not travel through liquid, material particle
oscillate with right angle to the wave and in association with love waves it cause
maximum damage to structures.
The velocity at which an S wave propagates in an elastic medium may be found

VS =[E/ 2 ρ (1+µ)] 0.5

Where, V S - Velocity of S wave
E - Modulus of elasticity
µ - Poison’s ratio
ρ - Density of the medium

Surface waves:
Love waves:
It will cause surface motions similar to S-wave but no vertical moment.

Rayleigh waves:
Makes a material particle oscillate in an elliptic path in the vertical plane. The
velocity at which a Rayleigh wave propagates in a elastic medium may be found as

VR = 0.914 VS or 0.547VP


Shaking due to ground motions on the earth’s surface is a net consequence of
motions caused by seismic waves generated by energy release at each materials point
within the three-dimensional volume that ruptures at the fault. These waves arrive at
various instants of time, have different amplitude and any carry different levels of energy.
Thus, the motion at any site on ground is random in nature with its amplitude and
direction varying randomly with time.
Large earthquake at great depth or at great distances can produce weak motions
that may not damage structures or even be felt by humans. This makes it possible to
locate distant earthquakes. However, from engineering viewpoint, strong motions that
can possibly damage structures are of interest. This can happen with earthquakes in the
vicinity or even earthquakes at reasonable medium to large distances.

Characteristics: The motion of the ground can be described in terms of displacement,

velocity or acceleration. The variation of ground acceleration with time recorded at a
point on ground during an earthquake is called an accelerogram. The nature of
accelerograms may vary depending on energy released at source, type of slip at fault
rupture, geology along the travel path from rupture to the Earth’s surface, and local soil.
The carry distinct information regarding; Peak amplitude, duration of strong shaking,
frequency content and energy content which are often used to distinguish them.


First-degree damage:
Small cracks in walls, Flaking of Plaster and stucco.
Second -degree damage:
Small cracks in walls and joints between panels, Flaking of large pieces of plaster
and stucco, fall of roof tiles, cracks in chimney.
Third-degree damage:
Large deep and through cracks in walls and joints between panels, fall of chimney
are the symptoms of third degree damage.
Fourth-degree damage:
Fall of interior walls, filler wall panels thrown out of frames, breaks in walls,
partial walls of buildings, and destruction of braces between individual parts of buildings.
Fifth-degree damage: ( Collapse) Total destruction of buildings.

Table(1) shows the degree of damage
Actual Degree of damage, d, to buildings designed to resist earthquakes
earthquake of intensities
intensity Up to 7 7 8 9
6 ≤1.3 ≤ 1.2 ≤1.1 ≤1
7 1.8 - 2.2 1.5 – 1.8 1.3 - 1.5 1.1 - 1.3
8 2.2 - 3.2 1.8 - 2.2 1.5 - 1.8 1.3 - 1.5
9 3.2 - 4.5 2.2 - 3.2 1.8 - 2.2 1.5 - 1.8

d = (1/n) Σ di
di - Degree of damage of individual buildings.

If d=1  Small damage

d=2  Moderate damage
d=3  Severe damage
d=4  Destruction
d=5  Collapse


Destructive effect of earthquake also depend on the local geology, because closely
located structures similar in design and erected on different soils were found to suffer
different damage during the same earthquake.
Basic reasons:
(i) Varying dynamic characteristics of soil layers
(ii) Varying breaking strength of the soil, which affects the bearing capacity of
the foundation.
Following table (2) shows categories of soil.
Sl.no. Soil categories Vn , km/s
1 Granites 5.6
2 Lime stones and sand stones 4.5 – 2.5
3 Half- stones (gypsum and marls) 3.0 – 1.7
4 Fragmental rocks (rock debris, gravel, pepple) 2.1 – 0.9
5 Sands 1.6 – 0.6
6 Clay, soils (clays, loams, sandy loams) 1.5 – 0.6
7 Loose fill-up soils 0.6 – 0.2

Where no local seismic risk maps are available, the site seismicity should be
assessed on the basis of general engineering geological conditions and approximate
The effect that the reduced bearing capacity and considerable deformity of the soil
foundation may have on the stability of buildings can be well illustrated by extensive
settlement and tilting of buildings.
Ex - Nigata earthquake in Japan
Buildings with shallow foundation not only tilted but also experienced some


Earthquake causes shaking of ground. So a building resisting on it will experience

motion at its base. From Newton’s 1st of motion (Every body continues in a state of rest or
of uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by a force
imposed on the body), the base of the building moves with the ground, and the roof has a
tendency to stay in its original position. But since the walls and columns are connected to
it, they drag the roof along with them.
This tendency to continue to remain in the previous position is known as inertia.
In the building, since the walls or columns are fixed are flexible, the motion of the roof is
different from that of the ground.
Consider a building whose roof is supported on columns, when the ground moves,
even the building is thrown backwards, and the roof experience a force, called inertia
force. If the roof has a mass M and the experiences an acceleration a, then from Newton
2nd law of motion (the acceleration of given particle is proportional to the impressed force
and takes place in the direction of straight line in which the force is impressed), the
inertia force F1 is mass M times acceleration a, and its direction is opposite to that of the
acceleration. Clearly, more mass means higher inertia force. Therefore, lighter buildings
sustain the earthquake shaking better.


The inertia force experienced by the roof is transferred to the ground via the
columns. These forces generated in the columns can also be understood in another way.
During earthquake shaking, the columns undergo relative movement between their ends.
In the straight vertical position, the columns carry no horizontal earthquake force through
But, when forced to bend, they develop internal forces. The more is the relative
horizontal displacement between top and bottom.


Earthquake causes shaking of the ground in all three directions-along the two
horizontal directions (x,y), and the vertical direction(z). During earthquake, the ground

shakes randomly back and forth (-,+) along each of these x,y and z directions. All
structures are primarily designed to carry the gravity loads,i.e.,they are designed for the
force equal to the mass(this includes mass due to self weight and imposed loads) times
the acceleration due to gravity g acting in the downward direction(-z). This downward
force Mg is called the gravity load. The vertical acceleration during ground shaking either
adds to or subtracts from the acceleration due to gravity. Since factors of safety are used
in the design of structures to resist the gravity loads, usually most structures tend to be
adequate against vertical shaking. However, horizontal shaking along x and y directions
remains a concern. Structures designed for gravity loads, in general, may not be able to
safely sustain the effect of horizontal earthquake shaking. Hence it is necessary to ensure
adequacy of the structures against horizontal earthquake effects.


The lateral inertia forces are transferred by the floor slabs to the walls or columns,
to the foundations and finally to the soil system underneath.


The behaviors of the building during earthquake depend critically on its overall
shape, size and geometry. If we have a poor configuration to start with, all the engineer
can do is to provide a band-aid – improve a basically poor solution as best as he can.
Conversely, if we start-off with a good configuration and reasonable framing system,
even a poor engineer cannot harm its ultimate performance too much.

Both shape and structural system work together to make the structure a marvel.

1. Size of the building:

In tall buildings with large height – base size ratio, the horizontal moments of
the floor during a ground shaking is large. In short but very long buildings, the damaging
effects during earthquake shaking are many. And, in buildings with large plan area like
warehouses, the horizontal seismic forces can be excessive to be carried by columns and

2. Horizontal layout of buildings:

In general, buildings with simple geometry in plan have performed well during
strong earthquake. Buildings with re-entrant corners, like U,V,H,+ shaped in plan, have
sustained significant damage. The bad effects of these interior corners in the plan of
buildings are avoided by making the buildings two parts (For example, an L shaped plan
can be broken up in to two rectangular plan shapes).

3. Vertical layout of buildings:

The earthquake forces developed at different floor level in a building need to be
brought down along the height to be ground by the shorter part, any deviation and
discontinuity in this load transfer path results in poor performance of the buildings.

Buildings that are fewer columns or walls in a particular storey or with unusually tall
storey tend to damage or collapse which is initiated in that storey. Many buildings with
an open ground storey intended for parking collapsed or were severely damaged.
Buildings on sloppy ground having unequal height of columns along the slope, which
causes ill effects like twisting and damage in shorter columns.

4. Adjacency of buildings:
When two buildings are too close to each other, they may pound on each other
during strong shaking. With increase in building height, the collision can be a greater
problem. When the building height does not match the roof of shorter building may found
at the mid height of the column of the taller one, this can be very dangerous.

The walls and columns are like ropes, and the floor is like cradle. Building
vibrates back and forth during earthquake. Buildings with more than one storey are like
rope swing with more than one cradle.
If the mass on the floor on the building is more on one side, then that side of the
building moves more under ground movement. This building moves such that its floors
displace horizontally as well as rotate. Buildings with unequal vertical members also the
floors twist about a vertical axis, and displace horizontally.


In India, most non-urban buildings are made in masonry. In the plains, masonry is
generally made of burnt clay bricks and cement mortar. However in hilly areas, stone
masonry with mud mortar is more prevalent; but in recent times it is being replaced with
cement mortar. Masonry can carry loads that cause compression (pressing together), but
can hardly take load that causes tension (Pulling apart). Steel is used in masonry and
concrete buildings as reinforcement bars of diameter ranging from 6mm to
40mm.Reinforcing steel can carry tensile and compressive loads. Moreover, steel is a
ductile material. This important property of ductility enables steel bars to undergo large
elongation before breaking.


The ductile bar elongates by a large amount before if breaks, while the brittle bar
break suddenly on reaching its maximum strength at a relatively small elongation. We
want to have such ductile failure.


The failure of a column can affect the stability of the whole building, but the
failure of a beam causes localized effects. Therefore, it is better to make beams to be the
ductile weak links than columns. The method of designing R.C buildings is called the
strong column weak beam design method.


The capacity design concept in earthquake –resistant design of buildings will fail
if the strength of the brittle links fall below their minimum assured values. The strength
of brittle construction materials, workmanship, supervision and construction methods.
Similarly, special care is needed in construction to ensure that the elements meant to be
ductile are indeed provided with features that give adequate ductility. Thus, strict
adherents to prescribed standards of construction materials and construction processes is
essential in assuring an earthquake-resistant buildings. Regular testing of construction
materials at qualified laboratories, periodic training of workman at professional training
houses and on-site evaluation of technical work or elements of good quality control.


The earthquake hazard to life and is almost entirely with man made structures. A
study of structural performance of buildings during the past earthquakes has clearly
indicated that the commonly employed constructions are not earthquake resistant and
therefore requires improvement in earthquake resistant design and construction
techniques. There is a great need that the earthquake resistance features are well
understood and implemented in the new constructions. It is usually not possible to
achieve earthquake proof construction due to constraints of availability of materials,
techniques of construction, prohibitive cost and uncertainties of earthquake forces. But it
is possible to achieve their earthquake resistance through simple principles of planning,
design and construction detail so as to make them collapse proof and the damage to an
acceptable limit of repair.

Since, the most severe probable earthquake motion characteristics at a site can
only be estimated approximately and its chances of occurring during the useful life time
of a structure is very uncertain therefore, an elastic design for such uncertain forces will
lead to very uneconomical design. In such situations, elastic design is neither possible nor
justifiable. It is obvious that where large ground movements occur, it may not be possible
to save structures from destruction or damage. Here, the basic philosophy and principle
of earthquake resistant design irrespective of any specific type of structure are discussed.
Although, some passing references have been made to building for better explanation.


Earthquake prediction is uncertain and can only be possible partially for certain
faults. Successful earthquake prediction cannot eliminate earthquake event. As
earthquakes cannot be predicted accurately, magnitude, intensity and duration of
earthquake must be estimated on the basis of available seismic history and geological
information. Assuming successful prediction, even if all the population is evacuated
safely, the structures cannot be saved from earthquakes. Therefore, earthquake resistant
design of a structure is the only answer in minimizing the damaging effects of
earthquakes on structures. For ordinary structures it is not feasible to undertake a special
development of earthquake criteria for each structure, instead, general design criteria are
presented in the code which are applicable to regular structures of more or less uniform
configurations. The design philosophy is developed on the basis of lessons learnt from
the past earthquakes and analytical studies.

Structure based special design criteria are also used besides the use of basic
design criteria such as dams, nuclear power plants etc. In addition to taking into account
the probability of occurrence of earthquakes and expected severity of shaking, these
criteria are also based on considerations of allowable stresses, permissible inelastic strain,
desired factor of safety against collapse, acceptable dam etc.
Basically, the earthquake resistant design and construction is based on (i) the
philosophy of estimation of earthquake loading on a structure and (ii) the philosophy for
earthquake resistant design.

Estimation of Earthquake Loading

Earthquake forces in a structure is generated depending upon the intensity of the
vibratory ground motion, and the mass and stiffness distribution, damping property of
structure, and the manner in which it is supported on foundation.
Design basis earthquake loading for less important structures for less important
structures, only elastic design is carried out either (i) by seismic coefficient method or (ii)
by response spectrum method.
Design basis earthquake loading for important structures
For design both seismic response spectrum method and time history analysis are
used. For important structures earthquake forces are worked out considering the type of
structure and expected earthquake intensity at the site based on estimated earthquake
parameters (Magnitude of earthquake, depth of focus, epicentral distance) in order to
derive Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA).

Estimation of Earthquake Parameters

Detailed seismo-tectonic studies around a site help in arriving at the design
earthquake parameters. These include data on past earthquakes in the region (location of
their epicenters, magnitude and focal depths), seismicity map (showing the magnitude
rated epicenters, seismotectonic lineaments in the region, return period of earthquakes for

a given magnitude) and regional geology and seismotectonic maps (showing stratigraphy
and structural trends, and faults and evidences of movement along faults in recent
geological times, data on soil properties at the site, depth of water-table.
The regional area around the site is sub-divided into tectonic provinces. A
tectonic province is a continuous geological region characterized by relative consistency
of geological structure and seismo-tectonic characteristics. All the seismogenic faults and
tectonic structures should be identified. As many earthquakes as possible will be
associated with the seismogenic faults and tectonic structures. Occurrence rates (in time
and space) of earthquakes of different magnitudes associated with each tectonic structure
and fault will be estimated. A maximum earthquake potential will be assigned to each
known fault and tectonic structure. Earthquakes, which cannot be associated with, know
faults and. structures should be identified. These earthquakes will be known as Floating
earthquake Maximum earthquake potential associated with each tectonic unit/fault or
tectonic province is assigned. The maximum earthquake potential associated with a
tectonic unit should be moved to a point on the tectonic structure closest to the site. For
the tectonic province adjacent to that in which the site lies, the maximum earthquake
potential should be moved to a point nearest to the site on the boundary of the tectonic
Estimation of earthquake density
Earthquakes release suddenly large energy in a very short time and makes the
ground to vibrate caused by several waves originating from a source of disturbance inside
the earth. The intensity of vibration normally decreases with the increase in distance from
the epicenter.
The earthquake parameters, which influence the earthquake intensity at a site, are
the magnitude of earthquake, epicentral distance and focal depth. The source mechanism
also affects the intensity.
For design purpose the intensity of ground motion is estimated in terms of peak
ground acceleration and its frequency contents. The frequency contents are estimated
based on the predominant periods of ground motion expected at the site. The estimation
of earthquake intensity in the form of peak ground acceleration (PGA) is worked out
from the estimated earthquake parameters for the design earthquake magnitude, focal
depth and epicentral distance using a empirical relationship. The PGA is also defined as
zero period acceleration (ZPA).

Finally, forces are evaluated from dynamic analysis of a structure subjected to

earthquake loading either in the form of spectra or acceleration time history of the ground

Earthquake resistant design

The basic philosophy of earthquake resistant design is the provision of adequate
strength and ductility against future expected severe earthquake. It is based on design for
following two levels of earthquake.

i. Structures are designed to remain elastic during more frequent moderate size
earthquakes by permitting the increase in permissible stresses, then check
ii. Structures are designed to resist infrequent most severe earthquake allowing
limited damage without collapse, which may occur once in its useful lifetime.
If the following measures are taken to increase the resistance, a structure will
withstand earthquakes more effectively.
i. Integrity of structure: The whole structure should be tied together by earthquake
bands, earthquake framing etc. so as to act as one unit. Proper distribution and
continuity of load bearing structural elements are essential for an integral action
of a structure. The most vulnerable places in various type of construction are its
joints where due to shear and tension, the joints fails. Designing the connections
and details of a structure to be earthquake resistant is almost as important as
checking the overall behaviour of structure. If the strength and ductility of the
connections are not adequate and if the details are not properly made, the structure
as a whole is not likely to display effective seismic performance.
ii. Seismic lateral force-strength ratio: A structure should have a minimum level of
strength and stiffness, smoothly increasing from top to bottom of a structure and
evenly distributed in plan. This distribution is such that the seismic lateral force to
strength ratio is everywhere approximately constant.
iii. Safe construction (no collapse or failure of structure): Brittle structures without
any reinforcement or structures having no seismic resistance provisions fail
suddenly when the seismic force exceeds the strength of the structure. On the
other hand, the steel structure or the reinforced structures do not fail on reaching
the yield level but undergo plastic deformation. Ductile behaviour of structure
should therefore be ensured so that the structure is able to absorb the damaging
earthquake energy without resulting in complete or partial collapse. In weak
column-strong beam structure will result collapse of entire structure because
hinges will form in the columns, which also carry large axial loads. See Fig. I.
Failure of structure may also result from foundation failure and poor structural
design. In general safe construction can be achieved by using
• Strong column-weak girder/beam design.
• The walls must be tied together effectively to avoid separation at the vertical
joints. The roof and trusses must be firmly fixed to the perimeter walls.
• Lateral resisting elements should be present along both the principal axes of the
• Introducing ductility by providing reinforcements at critical locations / junctions.

Fig.1 Failure modes of different beam column arrangement


The principles of earthquake resistance design is ‘to evolve safe and economical
design of structures to withstand possible future earthquakes. (a) Reducing the earthquake
forces and (b) withstanding it by increasing the resistance of the structure can achieve

(a) Reducing the earthquake forces

The structures can be safe guarded from damaging earthquake forces acting on a
structure either by reducing earthquake forces or partially deflecting the earthquake
energy from the structure by adopting any or a combination of the following procedures.
i. Use of light weight construction: Since, the earthquake force generated is
proportional to the mass, a decrease in the mass of the structure by using the light
weight materials, reduces the magnitude of seismic forces and hence increases the
seismic safety of structures.
ii. Avoid quasi-resonance: Earthquake forces generated’ can be reduced by suitable
design such that by keeping the fundamental time period of the structure away
from the predominant ground motion time period range.

Therefore construction of a tall flexible structure at a soft soil site where expected
ground motion is of predominantly low frequency is not advisable since a quasi-
resonance situation may arise. At such a site construction of small stiff structure is
advisable. However, cons of tall flexible structures are advisable on rocky sites where
high frequency ground motion is expected.

An important feature of earthquake resistant design is that the intensity of

earthquake forces on a structure is dependent on the mass and stiffness distribution of

structure itself (i.e. natural frequency of the structure) unlike the forces due to wind,
gravity etc. and therefore the forces generated can be reduced by proper arrangement of
mass and stiffness.
iii. Diverting or absorbing the earthquake energy: Non-conventional design methods
have been evolved to either deflect part of the earthquake force from the structure
or to absorb a part of the earthquake energy in specially designed devices
introduced in the structure so as the remaining earthquake force can be withstood
by the structure without any damage. These are achieved by
a) Base isolation technique, or
b) Introducing energy dissipating devices in a structure or
c) Introducing a combined isol2tion and energy absorbing devices.

This concept of reducing the earthquake forces is based on the above theory of
avoiding quasi resonance where the time period of structure is elongated by introducing a
base isolation system between a structure and foundation. This deflects the earthquake
energy from the structure and only part of it is transmitted to the structure, which can be
resisted by the structure without or with minimum earthquake resistant provisions.
iv. Neutralizing the earthquake forces: In this the building itself respond actively
against earthquakes and tries to control the vibrations. Such buildings are also
known as Dynamic Intelligent Building (DIB). This is achieved by Active Control
System, which consists of sensors to measure structural response, computer
hardware and software to compute control forces on the basis of observed
response and actuators to provide the necessary control forces.

(b) Increasing the capacity of structure to resist earthquakes

A structure can be safe guarded from earthquakes by increasing its resistance
capacity by introducing earthquake resistant features.
Intelligent framing system, careful design and construction detail can vastly
improve the performance of a structure to resist earthquakes. Great improvements in
earthquake codes for design and construction have been made worldwide and this will
certainly reduce loss of life and property damage in future earthquakes.

Earthquake resistance of a structure can be increased with better understanding of

earthquake behaviour of structures and by careful planning, design and construction. For
an improved conventional method of design following are some of the important points,
which should be considered.

Planning considerations
In the very early stage of planning the type of structure the configuration, basic
materials, and the framing of the structure have to be carefully chosen. These selections

result in greatly improved and economical design of a structure and increase the seismic
safety. Following should he taken care as far as possible at the planning stage of a
structure [Code 4326(1976)].
• Proper selection of site : Considerable advantage can be gained by choosing the
best site/spot from the earthquake hazard point of view or the best type of
structure for that site. The local geological structures, active faults and the soil
characteristics together with the economic and social consequences of destructive
earthquakes determine the suitable location. Building located on soft soil and near
the steep vertical slope is liable to more damage and such sites should therefore be
• Use of proper material properties: Structural materials have their own
performance characteristics and should be selected according to the location and
functions of structure. The earthquake force is proportional to mass and therefore
the building should be as light as possible consistent with structural safety and
fundamental requirements. Roof and upper stories of buildings should be
designed as light as possible. The material selected should have high strength to
weight ratio, high deformability, and high strength in compression, high tension
and shear strength and reasonable cost. The mortar used should have sufficient
strength. Good quality of construction is insurance for good performance of
building during earthquake.
• Configuration of structure: Irregular configured buildings usually develop
torsion due to seismic forces. Hence, the structural configuration should be as
simple as possible and symmetrical with respect to mass and rigidity so that the
centers of mass and center of rigidity of the structure coincide with each other.
Due to functional change etc. some accidental eccentricity should be considered.
If functional requirements dictate adoption of geometrical asymmetry in the plan
of building, then adjust moments of inertia of shear walls so that the center of
mass and center of stiffness of building coincides. If not, provision should be
made for extra shear due to torsion.

Irregular shaped buildings in plan such as T, L, U, H and other similar shapes

undergo damages of one block or the other under strong motion earthquakes. These may
be designed as a combination of few regular shaped blocks (i.e square or rectangular)
with suitable construction joints. There should be enough clearance at the seismic,
construction joints so that two adjacent blocks do not pound each other.
It is also desirable to avoid drastic changes in vertical configuration of building.
Also joints may separate parts of different rigidities. Between the seismic joint, the length
to width ratio of a structure should not normally exceed three.

• Stiffness distribution:
Strength in various directions

The structure should be capable of resisting earthquake forces about both the
principal directions. This can be achieved by providing shear wall system and/or bracings
to complement the frame’s strength and stiffness along both the axes of the building.

Fig. 2 shows inadequate and adequate stiffness distribution

Shear walls should be well distributed over plan along both principal axes, which
result in. symmetrical stiffness distribution. Avoid concentration of shear walls.
Architects have liberty to locate these resisting elements and comply with structural
The structure should be able to resist the reversible nature of earthquake forces.
Continuity of construction
All the elements of building should be suitably tied so that all the resisting
elements counter the ear forces as one unit without separating from each other. Integrity
of structures are obtained by providing reinforced concrete bands at appropriate locations
in the buildings. Plinth, lintel and roof bands are used to tie up the brick masonry and
stone masonry buildings.

Roof and floor systems should be firmly tied or integrally cast to the perimeter
walls. The floor slabs should be continuous throughout the structure as far, as possible.
Concrete slabs arid support beam should be cast together. The roof trusses should be held
down to walls by bolts. The r.c.c. Rigid slabs should be made continuous with the
perimeter walls.

Sudden change of stiffness

Arbitrary position of infill walls, arbitrary introduction of bracing walls, or
stepped elevation cause sudden change of stiffness. Avoid use of stiff walls between
flexible frames. Short column and short beam attract lot of forces due to its high stiffness
and therefore liable to undergo damages and therefore should be avoided. It is desirable
to provide sliding joint on end of the flight of a staircase so as to permit relative
movement and avoid strut action. Avoid planes of weakness by avoiding continuous rows
of openings in load bearing walls.
• Safe space between adjacent buildings

Separation of adjoining structures is required to avoid damage during an
earthquake due to collision when they have different total heights or storey height at
intermediate levels and different dynamic characteristics. Separation or gap should be
more than the sum of dynamic deflection of the two buildings.
• Ductility provision
To avoid sudden collapse of the structures during earthquake and enable them to
absorb energy beyond yield point, the main structural elements and their connections
should be so designed such that the failure is of ductile nature. Ductility enables them to
absorb energy by deformation.
• Damage to nonstructural elements
The nonstructural elements such as partitions, staircase, cladding, door-window
frames etc., which are generally ignored in the analysis, provide much strength to the
structure. Because of damage to these elements lot of energy is absorbed and is the reason
of survival of many structures during earthquakes.
Suitable details have to be planned out for connecting the nonstructural parts with
the structural framing so that the deformation of the structural frame leads to minimum
damage of the non-structural elements.
Infill structure makes the structure rigid, and therefore attracts large force. This
may cause damage in the brittle infill. If it is desired that panel or infill wall should not
act as bracing element, it should be connected to main structure in such a manner so as to
minimize their damage during an earthquake since the repair of these parts is quite costly.
The above arrangements of infill wall will permit considerable deflection of frame
.yet it will be held by the top beam from overturning.
• Projecting parts
Projecting parts such as parapets, cornices, balconies, canopies and chajjas be
avoided as far as possible. Ceiling plaster should not be thicker than 6.0 mm for
reinforced concrete and 12 mm for reinforced brickwork.
• Foundation
Avoid damage to the structure due to foundation failure for buildings founded on
soils liable to liquefy by suitable design considerations. Sandy sand with high water table
has high liquefaction potential. Liquefaction may result tilting, overturning and even
sinking of structures unless they are founded properly taking such an eventualities into
Loose fine sand, silt and expansive clays may give rise to large differential
settlements causing damage to the structures, which they support and should generally be
avoided. Raft foundation in such soil is less vulnerable. The hard ground is suitable to all
types of structures. The entire building should be founded on same type of soil in order to
avoid differential settlement. Avoid construction of buildings on filled in soil or weak
soil, which will consolidate during earthquake resulting in large differential settlements.

To avoid large differential settlement of building, ties to the cap/columns should
connect all the individual footings or pile caps in soft soil. The ties and cap should be
designed to take up these forces.
While analyzing for earthquake forces, the structure-soil-foundation interaction
should be considered which might influence significantly the response of structure due to
the deformation of soil-foundation system. The transfer of overturning moments and
forces to foundations requires special attention.
• Other planning considerations
Fire generally follows an earthquake and therefore, buildings shall be constructed
to make them fire resistant in accordance with the provisions of relevant Codes for fire
safety. Equipments should be properly anchored to the floor.
Design considerations
Earthquake load is an occasional load unlike the permanent loads due to self-
weight of (including the fixtures, furniture etc.) and live loads. A fraction of live load is
taken for design depending upon the probability of its presence at the time of earthquake.
For design purposes, it is assumed that the maximum earthquake will not simultaneously
occur with maximum of other occasional forces like wind, floods etc.
The design of less important structure is therefore carried out for self weight etc. and then
the design is checked for infrequent earthquake loads by permitting the increase in
permissible stresses.
The code specifies the use of elastic design (working stress method) permitting an
increase of 33- %% in the normal working stresses in material (concrete, steel, wood etc.)
when effects of earthquake load are combined with other normal dead and live loads.
Allowable bearing pressure in soil is increased whenever the earthquake forces are
considered along with normal design forces. In the ultimate load method of analysis, the
factor for reinforced concrete and steel structures for earthquake condition is taken 1.4
instead of 1.85 under normal condition.
A seismic design of a structure to remain elastic during a future maximum
earthquake, which may or may not occur within the useful life of a structure would be
highly uneconomical. A limited damage due to such an event is therefore allowed without
permitting the collapse of the structure thus ensuring safety against loss of live and
property. It may turnout to be less expensive to repair while allowing limited damage
when hit by an earthquake rather than making the structure earthquake damage proof.
The design shall be safe considering the reversible nature of earthquake forces.
For preliminary design of important structures and for routine structures,
empirical coefficients are used to evaluate the earthquake forces.
The computed eccentricity should be increased by some percentage of the
dimension of structure to take into account the accidental eccentricity. Overturning effect
of horizontal load causing tension and compression at the extreme ends should be
adequately considered. Nonlinear dynamic analysis in time domain is carried to establish
the inelastic deformation.

Emergency structures such as hospitals, fire stations, water supply, military
Stations and other services such as power houses, broadcasting stations, telephone and
telegraph buildings, cultural treasures, museums and monuments must be designed for
higher safety. Special attention is needed for nursery schools, kinder gardens, primary
schools and lunatic asylums. The community hails, assembly hails, places of worship and
cinema halls should be adequately designed. Other important structures need special
attention are nuclear power plants, gas and oil tanks, chemical factories, gasoline stations
etc. and detailed dynamic analysis should be carried out. For detailed dynamic analysis
the following procedure is adopted.
i. Estimate the design response spectra and its compatible ground motion.
ii. Establish a mathematical model of structure representing its dynamic behaviour
under the earthquake excitations. Interaction between the structure, foundation
and the supporting soil should be considered in the model. Generally spring-mass-
dashpot system is used to represent a structure. Model should be as simple as
possible. Finite element modeling of structures is found to be suitable for many
problems. In deriving a mathematical model, masses are generally lumped at
convenient locations. Stiffness properties are worked out from the effective length
of members, moment f inertia, area of cross section, modulus of elasticity. The
damping values are selected based on experimental values and judgment. The
damping is assumed to be viscous. This assumption is due to the convenience in
tile solution of differential equations.
iii. Determine the first few natural frequencies and mode shapes of vibration.
iv. Determine the time history response either by direct integration or time wise
mode superposition of first few modes.
A detailed design criterion for multistorey building is presented elsewhere [6].
Construction detail
In construction all those features as discussed in planning considerations have to
be taken care as far as possible for improved performance. Strict supervision during
construction should be made
• To ensure use of good quality material, good construction, improved
workmanship and proper curing;
• To ensure certain details particularly at critical sections and junctions in seismic
• To ensure the ties in the column should be properly hooked. Beam reinforcement
is taken well inside the columns and the beam-column reinforcement is laid
carefully since the detail is very critical;
• To take care that the concrete is well compacted so that there is no honey
• To see that the end of reinforcement should not be left in any joint and the
overlapping of rein is made at the point of maximum shear;

• To ensure that adequate gap is provided at the crumple section;
• To see that the plinth beams or foundation beams are provided;
• To ensure that the tiles or other loose roofing unit are tied properly.
• To ensure that the bricks should be thoroughly wet before laying in good quality
of mortar (not less than 1:6) and the vertical joints in brick masonry are properly
filled up.
• It is desirable to provide sliding joint at one end of the flight of a stair case so as
to permit relative movement and avoid strut action.


IS1893-2002 AND IS4326-1993
This Indian standard (part 1)(Fifth revision) was adopted by the Bureau of Indian
standards, after the draft finalized by the Earthquake Engineering Sectional Committee
had been approved by the civil Engineering Division council.
IS-1893-2002 has 5 parts
Part 1: General provisions and buildings
Part II: Liquid retaining tanks-elevated and ground supported
Part III: Bridges and retaining walls
Part IV: Industrial structures including stack like structures
Part V: Dams and embankments.
Our scope of the discussion is about the part-1 only
The following are the major and important modifications made in the fifth revision..
a) The seismic zone map is revised with only four zones, instead of five, zone I has
been merged to zone II
b) The factor s of seismic zone factors have been changed; these now reflect more
realistic values of effective peak ground acceleration considering maximum
considered earthquake and service life of structure in each zone.
c) Response spectra are now specified for three types of founding strata namely
rock and hard soil, medium soil, soft soil.
d) Empirical expression for estimating the fundamental natural period Ta of
multistoried buildings with regular moment resisting has been revised.
Ta=0.07h0.75 for RCC buildings
=0.085h0.75 for steel buildings
=0.09h/sqrt (d)

e) The concept of response reduction due to ductile deformation, or frictional
energy dissipation in the cracks is brought in to the code explicitly by introducing
the response reductions factor in place of the earlier performance factor.
f) Lower bound is specified for the design base shear of buildings based on
empirical estimate of the fundamental natural period Ta.
g) The soil foundation factor is dropped instead a clause introduced to restrict the
one of foundation vulnerable to differential settlements in severe seismic zone.
h) Tensional eccentricity values have been revised upwards in a view of serious
damages observed in building with irregular plan.
i) Modal combination rule in dynamic analysis of building has been revised.
j) Other clauses have been redrafted where necessary for more effective
This standard (part 1) deals with the assessment of seismic loads on various structures
and earthquake resistant design of buildings. Its basic provisions are applicable to
buildings; elevated structures; bridges concrete masonry and earth dams; embankments
and retaining wall and other structures

General principles and design criteria is given by the clause 6 of page 12 of the code
6.1.1 Ground motion: The characteristics (intensity duration, etc) of seismic
ground vibrations expected at any location depends upon the magnitude of
earthquake, its depth of focus, distance from epicenter, characteristics of the
path through which the waves travel, and the soil strata on which cause the
structure to vibrate, can be resolved in any three mutually perpendicular
Earthquake –generated vertical inertia forces are to be considered in
design unless checked and proven by specimen calculations to be significant.
Vertical acceleration should be considered in structures with large spans,
those in which stability is a criterion for design, or for over all stability
analysis of the structures.
6.1.2 The response of the structures to ground vibrations is a function of the
nature of foundation soil; materials form size and mode of construction of
structures and the durations and the characteristics of ground motion. This
standard specifies design forces for structures standing on rocks soils, which
do not settle, liquefy or slide due to loss of strength during ground vibrations.

6.1.3 The design approaches adopted in this standard is to ensure that the
structure posses at least a maximum strength

1. To with stand minor earthquakes which occur frequently, with out damage;
2. To resist moderate earthquake without significant structural damage though
some non structural damage may occur; and
3. Aim that structures withstand major earthquakes without collapse of the
6.1.4 Soil structure interaction: The soil-structure interaction refers to the effects
of the supporting foundation medium on the motion of structure. The soil

structures interaction may not be considered in the seismic analysis for the
structures supported on rock or rock -like material.
6.1.5 The design lateral force specified in this standard shall be considered in each
of the two orthogonal horizontal directions of the structures.
6.1.7 Addition to existing structure: Addition shall be made to existing structures
only as follows
An addition that is structurally independent from existing structures shall be
designed and constructed in accordance with the seismic requirement for new

6.1.8 Change in occupancy: When a change of occupancy results in a structure is

being reclassified to a higher importance factor (I) , the structure shall confirm
to the seismic requirement for a new with the higher importance factor
6.3. Load combinations: Load combination and increase in permissible stresses are
given by the clause no 6.3 of IS code 1893 Load factors for plastic design of steel structures the following load
combination can be accounted for
1) 1.7(DL+LL)
2) 1.7(DL+EL)
3) 1.3(DL+LL+EL) Partial safety factors for limit state design of prestressed concrete and RCC
1) 1.5(DL+LL)
2) 1.2(DL+LL+EL)
3) 1.5(DL+EL)
4) 0.9DL+1.5EL

6.3.5 INCREASE IN PERMISSIBLE STRESSES Increase in permissible stresses in materials: When earthquake forces are

considered along with other normal design forces, the permissible stresses in material,
in the elastic method of design, may be increased by one-third. Allowable pressure in soils is given in table 1 of IS code 1893
6.4 Design spectrum: For the purpose of determining seismic forces the country is
classified into four Zones
The design horizontal seismic coefficient Ah for the structure shall be determined
from the following:
Ah=(Z/2) x (I/R) x (Sa/g)
7.5.3 Design base shear: The total design lateral force or design seismic base shear
(Vb) along any principal direction shall be determined from the following expression
Vb = Ah x W
7.8 Dynamic analysis: Dynamic analysis shall be performed to obtain the design
seismic force, and its distribution to different levels along the height of the building and
to the various lateral load-resisting elements, for the following buildings:

a) Regular buildings: Those greater than 40m in height in zones IV and V, and those
greater than 90m in height in zone II and III.
b) Irregular buildings: All framed buildings higher than 12m in zone IV and V, and
those greater than 40m in height in zones II and III.
7.8.2 the dynamic analysis can be carried out in the following methods
7.8.3 Time history method: Time history method of analysis, when used, shall be based
on an appropriate ground motion and shall be performed using accepted principles of
7.8.4 Response spectrum method: Response spectrum method of analysis shall be
performed using the design spectrum or by site- specific design spectrum. Free vibration analysis: Undamped Free vibration analysis of the entire building
shall be performed as per established methods of mechanics using the appropriate masses
and elastic stiffness of the structural systems, to obtain natural periods (T) and mode
shapes (φ) of those of its modes of vibration that need to be considered.

IS4326 – 1993 – E.Q. Resistant design and construction of

1. Scope:
1.1 This standard is deals with the selection of materials, special features of design and
construction for EQ buildings including masonry constructions using rectangular
masonry units, timber construction and buildings with pre fabricated flooring / roofing


4.1 Lightness: Since EQ force is a function of a mass; the building shall be as light as

4.2 Continuity of construction:

4.2.1 As far as possible, the parts of the building should be tied together in such a manner
that the building acts as one unit.
4.2.2 For parts of the building, the floor slab shall be continuous except at the
expansion joints, floor slab should be integrally cast with beams.
4.2.3 Additions and alterations to the structures shall be accompanied by the provision
of separation or crumple sections between the new and existing structures as for
as possible.
4.3 Projecting and suspended parts:

4.4 Building configuration

Building configuration is to minimize the torsion and stress concentration.
4.4.1 Simple rectangular plan and symmetrical
4.4.2 If the structure is not as per in 4.4.1 then the torsion and stresses should be
considered in the structural design.
4.4.3 Building with other configuration should be provided with separations at suitable

4.5 Strength in various directions: The structure shall be designed to have a adequate
strength against EQ effects along both the horizontal axes.

4.6 Foundations: The structure shall not be founded on such loose soils, which will
subside or liquefy during an EQ, resulting in a large differential settlement.

4.7 Ductility: The main structure elements and their connection shall be designed to have
a ductile failure.

4.8 Damage to nonstructural parts: Suitable details shall be worked out to connect the
non-structural parts with structural framing.

4.9 Fire safety: Fire frequently follows an EQ and therefore, building shall be
constructed to make them fire resistant in accordance with provisions of the following
Indian standards for the fire safety , as relevant: IS 1641; 1988, IS1642;1989, IS
1643;1988, IS 1644:1988, and IS 1646:1986.

5.1 Separation of adjoining structures:

Minimum width of separation gaps shall be
Sl.no Gap width/Storey, in mm for
Type of construction Design seismic coefficient=0.12
1 Box system or frames with shear walls 15.0
2 Moment resistant reinforced concreter frame 20.0
3 Moment resistant steel frame 30.0

NOTE: minimum total gap shall be 25mm.


5.3.2 The sub grade below the entire area of the building shall preferable be of the same
type of soil.
5.3.3 loose fine sand, soft silt and expansive clays should be avoided. Or raft foundation,
pile taken to the hard stratum can be used.
 Sand piling, soil stabilization
5.3.4 Isolated footings for columns

5.4 Roofs and floors: Corrugated iron or asbestos sheets shall be preferable

5.4.2 Pent roofs: all roof trusses shall be supported on RCC or reinforced brick works

5.5 Stair cases: (Fig are given in IS code 4326 page 8)

(1) Separated stair cases, (2) built in stair cases (3) stair cases with sliding .


6.1 The types of construction usually adopted in buildings are as follows

• Framed construction,
• Box type constructions.
6.2 Framed construction:

6.2.1 Vertical load carrying frame constructions: Moment resistant frames with shear wall

Box type construction:

This type of construction consists of prefabricated or in situ masonry, concreter or
RCC wall along both the axes of the building. The wall support vertical loads and also act as
shear walls for horizontal loads acting in any directions. All traditional masonry constructions
fall under this category.



8.3 Openings in bearing walls :(Table 4 and figure 7)

8.4 Seismic strengthening arrangements:

8.4.1 All masonry buildings shall be strengthened by the methods, as specified for
various categories of buildings, as listed in table 5, and detailed in subsequent clauses.

8.5 Framing of thin load bearing walls: Load bearing walls can be made thinner than
200 mm say 150 mm inclusive of plastering on both sides.

8.6 Reinforcing Details for Hollow Block Masonry

8.6.1 Horizontal Band: U- shaped blocks may be used for construction of horizontal
bands at various levels of the stories as shown in IS code, where the amount of horizontal
reinforcement shall be taken 25 % more than that given table and provided by using four
bars and 6mm dia stirrups. Other continuity details shall be followed, as shown in figure
9 Floors / roofs with small precast components:

9.1 Precast RCC roof/floor: The nominal width varies from 300mm to 600mm, its
height from 100mm to 200mm

9.1.1 Precast RCC cored unit roof or floor: the unit is a RCC component having a
nominal width of 300mm to 600mm and thickness of 130mm to 150mm having to
circular core of 90mm dia throughout the length of the unit.

9.1.2 Precast RC plank and joint scheme for roof/floor: max 1.5m and 300mm width.

9.1.5 Precast RCC waffle unit roof/floor: lateral dimension up to 1.25m and depth
depending upon the span of the roof / floor to be covered, the min thickness shall be

10 Timber constructions:
10.1 Timber has a higher strength per unit weight and is therefore very suitable for E.Q.
resistant construction.
10.2 Timber construction shall be restricted to two storeys
10.3 Safety against fire should be considered mainly.

10.5 Foundations:
10.5.1 Timber construction preferably starts above the plinth level, the portion below
being in masonry.
It can be connected to foundation in two ways. (As shown in Fig 31)

10.6 Types of framing

The types of construction usually adopted in timber buildings are as follows:


The stud wall construction consists of timber studs and corner post framed into
sills, to p plates and wall plates. (Fig 32)


The brick nogged timber frame consists of intermediate vertical columns, sills,
wall plates, horizontal noggin members and its diagonal braces framed into each other
and the space between framing members filled with tight fitting brick masonry in
stretcher bond. (Fig 33)


This chapter deals with problems of studying various dynamic effects on soil
caused by dynamic loads.
The various dynamic loads are
1. Dynamic loads from unbalanced machines
2. Seismic effects
3. Earth vibrations caused by transport vehicles and
4. Explosions
The nature of the loads may be
1. Slow repetitive
2. Fast repetitive (or)
3. Transient

Loading in nature is not truly periodic.Also,the magnitude of the loads in
subsequent cycles may not be the same. Further, purely dynamic loads do not occur in
nature, only combinations of static and dynamic loads occur.
Some soils increase in strength under rapid cyclic loading while saturated sands or
sensitive clays may lose strength with vibration. The behavior of soils in earthquake will
discussed under the following 3 sub-headings
1. Settlement of dry sands
2. Liquefaction of saturated cohesionless soils
3. Dynamic design parameters of soil (shear modulus damping coefficient)

1. Settlement of dry sands:-

It is well known that loose sand can be compacted by vibration. In earthquake
such compaction causes settlements, which may have serious effects on all types of
constructions. It is therefore important to be able to assess the degree of vulnerability to
compaction of a given sand deposit. Unfortunately this is difficult to do with accuracy,
but it appears that sand with relative density less than 60% or with standard penetration
resistance less than 15% are susceptible to significant settlement. The amount of
compaction achieved by any given earthquake will obviously depend on the magnitude
and direction of shaking as well as on relative density.
Attempts have been made to predict the settlement of sands during earthquake and a
simple method is presented below. It should be noted that this ignores the effect of
important factors such as confining pressure and no. Of cycles but no fully satisfactory
methods of settlement prediction as yet exists.
There is a critical void ratio ecr above, which a granular deposit will compact when
vibrated. If the void ratio of the stratum is e>ecr the max amount of possible settlement
can be shown to be

ΔH =( ecr - e )*H / (1- e );

Where, H =depth of the stratum
ecr = e min+( e max- e min)* e [-0.75a/g]
e min = minimum possible void ratio as determined by testing
e max = maximum possible void ratio.
a = amplitude of applied acceleration
g = acceleration due to gravity
2. Liquefaction of saturated cohesionless soils:-
Under earthquake loading some soils may compact, increasing the pore
water pressure, and causing a loss in shear strength. This phenomenon is generally
referred to as liquefaction. Gravel or clay soils are not susceptible to liquefaction. Dense
sands are less likely to liquefy than loose sands, while hydraulically deposited sands are
particularly vulnerable due to their uniformity.

Liquefaction can occur at some depth causing an upward flow of water.

Although this flow may not cause liquefaction in the upper layers it is possible that the
hydrodynamic pressure may reduce the allowable bearing pressure at the surface.
Extensive liquefaction at Niigata (Japan) during the 1964 earthquake led to increased
attempts to quantify liquefaction potential. As yet no generally accepted unified criterion

has been developed for liquefaction potential. If liquefaction is likely to be a hazard the
use of deep foundations or piling may be necessary in order to avoid unacceptable
settlement or foundation failure during an earthquake. In most cases specialist advice on
liquefaction should be taken.

3. Dynamic design parameters of soils:-

Dynamic properties of soils are strain dependent, according to the strain amplitude, it
is divided into two categories:
a) Large strain amplitudes (order of 0.01% to 0.1%) caused by earthquakes, blasts,
and nuclear explosions.
b) Small strain amplitudes (order of 0.0001% to 0.001%) caused by machines.
The soils properties, which are needed in analysis and design of a structure,
subjected to dynamic loading are
(i) Dynamic moduli, such as young’s modulus E, shear modulus G, and
bulk modulus K.
(ii) Poisson’s ratio
(iii) Dynamic elastic constants, such as co-efficient of elastic uniform
compression cu, coefficient of elastic uniform shear cτ , coefficient of
elastic non-uniform compression cΦ and coefficient of elastic non-
uniform shear cΨ .
(iv) Damping ratio ζ.
(v) Liquefaction parameters, such as cyclic stress ratio, cyclic deformation
and pore pressure response
(vi) Strength-deformation characteristics in terms of strain rate effects.
Various laboratory and field techniques have been developed to measure these properties
over a wide range of strain amplitudes.

Laboratory techniques:-
i. Resonant column test
ii. Ultrasonic pulse test
iii. Cyclic simple shear test
iv. Cyclic torsional simple shear test, and
v. Cyclic triaxial compression test.

(i) Resonant column test:-

It is used to obtain the elastic modulus E, shear modulus G and damping
characteristics of soils at low strain amplitudes. This test is based on the theory of wave
propagation in prismatic rods. Either a cyclically varying axial load or torsional load is
applied to one end of the prismatic or cylindrical specimen of soil. This is turn will
propagate either a compression wave or a shear wave in the specimen. In this technique
the excitation frequency generating the wave is adjusted until the specimen experiences
resonance. The value of the resonant frequency is used in getting the value of E and G
depending on the type of the excitation (axial or torsional).
Several versions of torsional resonant columns device using different and
conditions to constraint the test specimen are available. Some common and conditions
used in developing the equipment are:

a) Fixed – free:
b) Free– free:
c) Fixed –partially restrained:
(ii) Ultra sonic pulse test:
The theory of ultrasound is similar to that of audiable sound. Sound is the result
of mechanical disturbance of a material that is a vibration. Ultrasonic pulsars of either
compression or shear waves can be generated and received by suitable piezoelectric
crystals. Using elastic theory, a relationship between the speed of propagation and wave
amplitude of these waves and certain properties of the media through which they are
traveling can be determined as follows.
E=ρ v2c (1+ μ)(1-2 μ)/(1- μ);
G= ρv2s;
μ=(1-0.5(vc / vs)2) / (1-(vc / vs)2);
δ=(2.302/n) * log10(A0/An);

E = young’s modulus;
ρ =mass density;
vc =velocity of compression wave;
μ =Poisson’s ratio;
G =shear modulus;
vs =velocity of shear wave;
δ = logarithmic decrement
A0= initial value of amplitude;
An= amplitude after n oscillations;

(iii) Cyclic simple shear-test:

During an earthquake or other source of ground vibrations, a soils element below
a foundation or in an embankment is subjected to an initial sustained stress together with
a superimposed serious of repeated and reversals of shear stresses. The magnitude of
induced shear stresses depends on the magnitude of acceleration of the dynamic force. In
a direct shear box test, uniform state of shear strain occurs only on either side of failure
plane. The simple shear device was designed to overcome this limitation of direct shear
box by enabling a uniform state of shear strain throughout the specimen. This simulates
the field conditions in a much better way.

(iv) Cyclic torsional simple shear test:-

In cyclic simple shear apparatus, it is not possible to measure the confining
pressure and the test is performed under consolidation conditions. A torsional simple
shear device has been developed to overcome these difficulties.

(v) Cyclic triaxial compression test:-

In one directional loading only compression of the sample is done while in two
directional loading both compression and extension is done. In general the stress-
deformation and strength characteristics of a soil depend on the following factors.
 Type of soil

 Relative density in case of cohesion less soils; consistency limits, water content
and state of disturbance in cohesive soils.
 Initial static stress level i.e sustained stress
 Magnitude of dynamic stress
 No. of pulses of dynamic load
 Frequency of loading
 Shape of wave and form of loading
 One directional or two directional loading

All the factors listed above can be studied lucidly on a triaxial setup.

Field methods generally depend on the measurement of velocity of waves
propagating through the soil or on the response of soil structure systems to dynamic
excitation. The following methods are in use for determining dynamic properties of soil.
i. Seismic cross-borehole survey
ii. Seismic up-hole survey
iii. Seismic down-hole survey
iv. Vertical block resonance test
v. Horizontal block resonance test
vi. Cyclic plate load test
vii. Standard penetration test

Seismic cross-borehole survey:-

This method is based on the measurement of velocity of wave propagation from

one borehole to another. A source of seismic energy is generated at the bottom of one
bore hole, and the time of travel of the shear wave from this bore hole to another at
known distance is measured. Shear wave velocity is then computed by dividing the
distances between the boreholes by the travel time.
As discussed above, seismic cross borehole survey can be done using two
boreholes one having the source for causing wave generation and another having
geophone for recording travel time.

) Seismic up-hole survey:-

In this method, the receiver is placed at the surface, and shear waves are generated
at different depths within the borehole. The major disadvantage in seismic up-hole survey
is that it is more difficult to generate waves of the desired type.

(ii) Seismic down-hole survey:-

In this method , seismic waves are generated at the surface of the ground near the
top of the borehole , and travel times of the body waves between the source and the
receivers which have been clamped to the bore hole wall at predetermined depths are
obtained. The main advantage of this method is that low velocity layers can be detected

even if trapped between the layers of greater velocity provided geophone spacing are
close enough.

(iii) Vertical block resonance test:-

This test is used for the determining the values of coefficient of elastic uniform
compression, young’s modulus and damping ratio of the soil. According to IS-5249:
1984, a test block size 1.50 x 0.75 x 0.70 m is cast in M15 concrete in a pit of plan
dimensions 4.50 x 2.75 m and depth equal to the proposed depth of foundation.
Foundation bolts should be embedded in to the concrete block at the time of casting for
fixing the oscillator assembly. The line of action of the vibrating force should pass
through the center of gravity of the block. Two acceleration displacement pickups are
mounted on the top of the block such that they sense the vertical motion of the block.

(v)Horizontal block resonance test:-

This test setup is similar to that of Vertical block resonance test, only change is
Three acceleration displacement pickups are mounted on the side of the block such that
they sense the horizontal motion of the block.

(vi)Cyclic plate load test:-

The cyclic plate load test is performed in a test pit dug up to the proposed base
level of foundation. The equipment is same as used in static plate load test. Circular or
square bearing plates of mild steel not less than 25mm thickness and varying in size from
300 to 750mm with chequred or grooved bottom are used. The test pit should be at least
five times the width of the plate.
To commence the test , a seating pressure of about 7Kpa is first applied to the
plate. It is then removed and dial gauges are set to read zero. Load is then applied in
equal cumulative increments of not more than 100Kpa or of not more than one fifth of the
estimated allowable bearing pressure. In cyclic plate load test ,each incremental load is
maintained constant till the settlement of the plate is completed .The load is then released
to zero and the plate is allowed to rebound . The reading of final settlement is taken . The
load is increased to next higher magnitude of loading and maintained constant till the
settlement is complete , which again is recorded . The load is then reduced to zero and the
settlement reading is taken . The next increment of load is then applied . The cycles of
unloading and reloading are continued till the required final load is reached. From these
data ,the load intensity versus elastic rebound is plotted ,and the slope of the line is co-
efficient of elastic uniform compression.

Cu = P / Se (in KN/m3)
P = Load intensity ,(KN/m2)
Se = Elastic rebound corresponding to P. (in m)

(vii) Standard Penetration Test :

The SPT is the most extensively used in-situ test in India and many other
countries. These test is carried in a bore hole using a split spoon sampler as per IS :2131-


In the seismic zones, the retaining walls are subjected to dynamic earth
pressure, the magnitude of which is more than the static earth pressure due to ground
motion. Since a dynamic load is repetitive in nature there is a need to determine the
displacement of the walls due to earthquakes and their damage potential. This becomes
essential if the frequency of dynamic load is likely to be closed to the natural frequency
of the wall –backfill-foundations- base soil systems. This essentially consists in writing
down the equation, motion of the system under free and forced vibrations. This requires
the information on the distribution of back fill soil mass and base soil mass participating
in vibrations .It is often difficult to assess these. Therefore, more often, pseudo-static
analysis is carried out for getting dynamic earth pressure. In this method, an equivalent
static force replaces the dynamic force.


Mononobe-okabe theory:- Mononobe-okabe (1929) modified classical coulomb’s

theory for evaluating dynamic earth pressure by incorporating the effect of inertia force .

Figure shows a wall of height (H) and inclined vertically at an angle α

retaining cohessionless soil with unit weight γ and angle of shearing resistance Φ . BC1 is
the trial failure plane, which is inclined to vertically by an angle θ. The backfill is
inclined and making an angle (i) with horizontal.
During an earthquake the inertia force may act an assumed failure wedge ABC1
both horizontally and vertically. If ah and av are the horizontal and vertical accelerations

caused by the earthquake in the wedge ABC1 .The corresponding inertial forces are
W1.ah/g horizontally and W1.av/g vertically , W1 being the weight of wedge . During the
worst condition W1.ah/g acts towards the fill and W1.av/g acts vertically over either in the
downward or upward directions. Therefore the direction that gives the maximum
increasing earth pressure is adopted in practice.

Weight W1 and the inertia forces W1 .αh and ± W1 . αv can be combined to give a
resultant W ,where

W = W1 {(1± αv)2 + αh2}1/2

The resultant W is inclined with vertical at angle Ψ, such that

Ψ = tan-1 (αh/1± αv)

The direction of all the three forces W, P & R are known at the magnitude of only one
force W is known .The magnitude of the other forces can be obtained by considering the
force polygon.

Mononobe & okabe (1929) gave the following relation for the computation of dynamic
active earth pressure.

(PA) dyn = 1/2 γH2 (KA) dyn

Where - (KA) dyn is co-efficient of dynamic active earth pressure and given by

(KA) dyn = {(1± αv) cos2 (Φ-Ψ –α)/(cosΨ. Cos2α.cos (δ + α +Ψ)} X

[1/{1+(sin (Φ+δ). sin (Φ-i-Ψ)/(cos(α- i).cos(δ+α+Ψ)}1/2]2

Mononobe & Okabe (1929) gave the following relation for the computation of
dynamic Passive earth pressure .

(PP) dyn = 1/2 γH2 (KP) dyn

Where - (KP) dyn is co-efficient of dynamic passive earth pressure and given by

(KP) dyn = {(1± αv) cos2 (Φ-Ψ +α)/(cosΨ. cos2α.cos (δ - α +Ψ)}X

[1/{1-(sin (Φ+δ). sin (Φ+ i-Ψ)/(cos(α- i).cos(δ-α+Ψ)}1/2]2

Stability of retaining walls:

Factor of safety
Case In an earthquake conditions In static conditions
Sliding ≥ 1.2 ≥1.5
Overturning ≥1.5 ≥2.0

Bearing failure ≥2.0 ≥3.0
Slip failure ≥1.3 ≥1.5

A 6m height retaining wall with back face inclined 20o with vertical retains
cohessionless backfill (Φ = 33o,γ=18 kN/m3,δ = 20o).The backfill surface is sloping at an
angle 10o to the horizontal ,if the retaining wall is located in a seismic region(αh=0.1)
determine the total static and dynamic active earth pressure.

Static active earth pressure:

PA=0.5 γH2 {cos2 (Φ-α)/(Cos2α.cos (δ + α)}*

[1/{1+(sin (Φ+δ). sin (Φ-i)/(cos(α- i).cos(δ+α)}1/2]2


Dynamic active earth pressure:

Assuming αv= (αh/2) =0.1/2=0.05

Ψ = tan-1 (αh/1± αv)

Ψ = tan-1 (0.1/1± .05);

=5.440(+αv) or 60 (-αv)

(PA) dyn = 0.5 γ H2 {(1± αv) cos2 (Φ-Ψ –α)/(cosΨ. Cos2α.cos (δ + α +Ψ)}*

[1/{1+(sin (Φ+δ). sin (Φ-i-Ψ)/(cos(α- i).cos(δ+α+Ψ)}1/2]2

For Ψ=5.440

(PA) dyn = 214.26 KN/m

For Ψ=60

(PA) dyn = 198.05 KN/m

Therefore + αv case governs the value of dynamic active earth pressure.