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Journal of Structural Engineering

Vol. 39, No. 5, December 2012 - January 2013 pp. 393-418 No. 39-51

Review of different Structural irregularities in buildings

S.Varadharajan*, V.K. Sehgal**, and B.Saini*
* Civil Engineering Department, National Institute of Technology Kurukshetra, Haryana - 136 119, INDIA.

Received: 28 April 2011; Accepted: 09 September 2011

The present study summarizes the research works done in the past regarding different types of structural irregularities
i.e. Plan and vertical irregularities. Criteria and limits specified for these irregularities as defined by different codes
of practice (IS1893:2002, EC8:2004 etc.) have been discussed briefly. It was observed that the limits of both Plan and
vertical irregularities prescribed by these codes were comparable. Different types of modeling approaches used have
also been discussed briefly. The review of previous research works regarding different types of plan irregularities
justified the preference of multistorey building models over single storey building models and concept of balanced
CV (Center of strength) CR (Center of rigidity) location was found to be useful in controlling the seismic response
parameters. Regarding the vertical irregularities it was found that strength irregularity had the maximum impact and
mass irregularity had the minimum impact on seismic response. Regarding the analysis method MPA (Modal pushover
analysis) method even after much improvement was found to be less accurate as compared to dynamic analysis.

KEYWORDS: Plan irregularity; vertical irregularity; structural irregularities in buildings.

When a building is subjected to seismic excitation, (Horizontal) and Vertical irregularity as shown in
horizontal inertia forces are generated in the building. Fig.1.
The resultant of these forces is assumed to act through
the center of mass (C.M) of the structure. The vertical
members in the structure resist these forces and the
total resultant of these systems of forces act through Vertical
a point called as center of stiffness (C.S). When
Asymmetrical Re-Entrant Diaphragm
the center of mass and center of stiffness does not Mass Stiffness Strength Setback Irregular distribution of Mass,
plan shapes corners discontinuity Strength, Stiffness along plan

coincide, eccentricities are developed in the buildings Fig. 1 Classification of irregularities

which further generate torsion. When the buildings
are subjected to lateral loads, then phenomenon of A structure can be classified as irregular if the
torsional coupling occurs due to interaction between structure exceeds the limits as prescribed by different
lateral loads and resistant forces. Torsional coupling seismic design codes. The irregularity limits for both
generates greater damage in the buildings. Eccentricity horizontal and vertical irregularities as have been
may occur due to presence of structural irregularities. discussed briefly in Table 1 and Table 2.
These irregularities may be broadly classified as Plan


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
Type of Irregularity IS 1893:2002] [14] EC8 2004 [26] UBC 97 [81] NBCC 2005 [57]
a) Re-entrant corners Ri 15% (Fig.2) Ri 5% Ri 15% -
b) Torsional irregularity dmax 1.2 davg rx > 3.33 eox
ry > 3.33 eoy dmax 1.2 davg dmax 1.7 davg
rx and ry > ls,
c) Diaphragm Od > 50% rx2 > ls2 + eox2 Od > 50% -
Discontinuity 2 2 2
Sd > 50% ry > ls + eoy Sd > 50%
a) Mass M i < 2 Ma Should not reduce abruptly Mi < 1.5 Ma Mi < 1.5 Ma
b) Stiffness Si < 0.7Si+1 Or Si < Si < 0.7Si+1 Or Si < 0.8 Si < 0.7Si+1 Or Si < 0.8 Si < 0.7Si+1 Or Si < 0.8
0.8 (Si+1 + Si+2 + Si+3) (Si+1 + Si+2 + Si+3) (Si+1 + Si+2 + Si+3) (Si+1 + Si+2 + Si+3)
c) Soft Storey Si < 0.7Si+1 or Si < 0.8 - Si < 0.7Si+1 Or Si < 0.8 Si < Si+1
(Si+1 + Si+2 + Si+3) (Si+1 + Si+2 + Si+3)
d) Weak Storey Si < 0.8Si+1 - Si < 0.8Si+1 -
e) Setback irregularity SBi < 1.5 SBa (Fig 2c) Rd < 0.3Tw < 0.1 Tw at any SBi < 1.3 SBa SBi < 1.3 SBa

Type of Irregularity IBC 2003 [37] TEC 2007 [71] ASCE 7.05 [5]
a) Re-entrant corners - Ri 20% Ri 15%
b) Torsional irregularity - dmax 1.2 davg dmax 1.2 davg
dmax 1.4 davg
c) Diaphragm Discontinuity - Oa > 33% Oa > 50% S > 50%
a) Mass Mi < 1.5 Ma - Mi < 1.5 Ma
b) Stiffness Si < 0.7Si+1 Or - Si < 0.7Si+1 Or
Si < 0.8 (Si+1 + Si+2 + Si+3) Si < 0.8 (Si+1 + Si+2 + Si+3)
c) Soft Storey Si < 0.7Si+1 Or [ki = (i / hi) avr / Si < 0.7Si+1 Or
Si < 0.8 (Si+1 + Si+2 + Si+3) (i+1 / hi +1) avr > 2.0 or Si < 0.8 (Si+1 + Si+2 + Si+3)
d) Weak Storey Si < Si+1 [ci = (Ae)i / < 0.80] Si < 0.6Si+1 Or
Si < 0.7 (Si+1 + Si+2 + Si+3)
e) Setback irregularity SBi < 1.3 SBa - SBi < 1.3 SBa

The Horizontal and vertical irregularity limits as per Figure 2 Shows the pictorial representation of
IBC 2003, Turkish code 2007 and ASCE 7 05 are different irregularity limits as per IS 1893:200219.
shown in Table 2.


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
represent the actual building systems. So predictions
A/L >0.15 - 0.20 A/L >0.15 - 0.20
given by these models are less accurate. In the second
L L A/L >0.15 - 0.20 type of models the plastic hinges are modeled at end of
beams and columns to evaluate the nonlinear response
of building systems. Some researchers have adopted
(a) this type of model as given in Table 17. These models
are closer to reality as compared to first type of models
but still do not represent the actual building systems.
The application of first two models is more frequent in
case of 2D plane frames than 3D building frames due
to complex geometry of 3D building frames. The third
(i) (b) (ii)
type of models can be termed as 3D frame models and
these models have been developed by recent researchers.
These models are quite complex and involve large
Heavy Mass
number of degree of freedom systems and are prepared
with the help of complex software programs. These
models are very close to the actual building systems and
yield accurate results.
A The second system of classification of building
A/L >0.15 systems is based on the force displacement hysteretic
A/L >0.10
relationship of resisting elements of buildings. The
A A resisting elements can have different type of force-
A/L >0.25
deformation represented by models namely
L L A L A a. Elasto plastic and bilinear hysteric model
d1 d2 d3 b. Cloughs model
c. Takedas model
Fig. 2 a) Re-entrant corner irregularity b) Irregular stiffness
These models have been pictorially described in
distributions c) Irregular mass distributions d) Vertical
Setback irregularity. Fig.3.
a. Elasto- plastic and bilinear hysteric models
Models Used for Analytical Study
The elasto-plastic hysteretic model has been used by
The models used by authors can be broadly categorized many researchers due to its simplicity. The maximum
by two systems of classifications. As per first system of displacement of a building system with elasto-plastic
classification these models can be broadly categorized force deformation relationship was found same as for
into three types namely Shear beam (SB), plastic hinge elastic force deformation relationship for building
(PH) and 3D frame models. In the first model the building systems with initial time period greater than 0.5 s. To
system is assumed to consist of a rigid rectangular deck account for the strain hardening effect a positive slope
of mass m supported by lateral load resisting elements was assigned to post yield stiffness and this model was
represented by a shear beam. This type of building model called as bilinear model. The main disadvantage of this
is used to represent single and multistorey building model is that with increase in displacement amplitude
systems with lesser degree of freedom. But use of this reversal this model does not represent the stiffness
model to represent multistorey systems is questionable degradation appropriately. So, this model is not suited
due to variety of reasons as discussed in Table 17.This for non-linear analysis of RC structures.
model is used by a large number of researchers due
b. Cloughs model of stiffness degradation
to its simplicity and easy representation. Since the
shear beam model (SB) is not suitable for representing A qualitative model incorporating the stiffness
multistorey building systems these models does not degradation in conventional elasto plastic model


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
was developed by Clough and this model was called F F
cloughs stiffness degrading models. In this model the Force Force rki
main response point during the loading cycle shifted
ki ki
towards the maximum response point but the slope ki ki
during unloading remained same as the initial elastic ki ki
d Displacement d
slope. By virtue of this modification, the Cloughs
model was able to represent the flexural behavior of rki
reinforced concrete. From the analysis of series of
SDOF system using this model Clough arrived at the
following conclusion
a. For building systems with higher initial time (a) (b)
period both cloughs and elasto-plastic model
yielded same results in terms of ductility demand Force F
b. The cloughs model yielded larger ductility rki
demand as compared to elasto-plastic model for Previous yield in Tension
short period structures.
d Displacement
c. Response waveforms of both models were ki No yield in compression
The main advantage of this model is that it is simple
and can be used for non-linear analysis using strain (c)
hardening characteristics.
d. Takedas hysteretic model Force F

A more refined and complex model for representing the

Previous yield
stiffness degradation was prepared by Takeda in 1970 ki

based on his experimental observations. The proposed d

dy dm
model includes the stiffness changes due to flexural Displacement
cracking, yielding and strain hardening. In Takedas rki No yield
model the stiffness during unloading cycle was reduced
as the fraction of the previous maximum deformation. (d)
Takeda also prepared set of guidelines for the load Fig. 3 a) Elasto-plastic model b) Bi-linear hysteresis models
reversals within the outermost hysteresis loop which c) Cloughs degrading stiffness model d) Takedas
were major improvement over Cloughs model. The hysteresis model
main disadvantage of this model was that extensive
damage caused by shear and bond deterioration was In Fig. 3 Ki, rKi and Ku are intial, modified and
not considered in this model. unloading stiffness

REVIEW OF RESEARCH WORKS Single Storey Building Models

REGARDING PLAN IRREGULARITIES Earlier studies investigated the torsional effects on plan
Assessment of the performance of building structures irregular building systems with single storey building
during past earthquakes suggests that plan irregularities models. One of the main reasons for adopting single
are one of the important causes of damage during storey models was their simplicity. These models
occurrence of an earthquake. Plan irregularity may were used to determine the influence of torsion on
occur due to irregular distribution of mass, stiffness seismic response parameters and these results were
and strength along the plan. In past years lot of research used to formulate design methodologies for plan
effort has been done to study the behavior of plan irregular building systems. However in recent years
asymmetric buildings during seismic excitation74-77. multistorey building models are used to determine the


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
realistic inelastic torsional response of plan irregular on the ductility demand after the elastic range. The
building systems. But due to complexities, the use of comparison of results of showed a 20 % difference in
multistorey building models is limited and it is one of the results obtained.
the major reasons that single storey building models Irregular distributions of strength and stiffness are one
are still preferred by many researchers46-48. Previous of the major causes of failures during the earthquakes.
researchers on plan irregularities using single storey Both of these irregularities are interdependent and
models mainly focused on variation of positions of to study the effect of these irregularities on seismic
C.M (Center of mass) or C.S (Center of stiffness) with response, the researchers like Tso and Bozorgnia
respect to each other to create eccentricity. The Main (1986) determined the inelastic seismic response of
aim of these researches was to determine the torsional plan asymmetric building models (as described in
response of building systems due to eccentricity. To Table 3) with strength and stiffness eccentricity using
create eccentricity some researchers varied position curves proposed by Dempsey and Tso. Results of
of C.S or C.R keeping position of C.M. constant, analytical study showed the effectiveness of the curves
the eccentricity generated in this case was called as proposed by Tso and Dempsey except for torsionally
stiffness eccentricity (es)76, 77. Some researchers varied stiff structures with low yield strength.
position of C.M. keeping position of C.S as constant, Sadek and Tso (1989) performed inelastic analysis
the eccentricity generated in this case was called of mono-symmetric building systems with strength
as mass eccentricity(em)46. Differing from earlier eccentricity as described in Table 3. The center of
approaches some researchers created differences in strength was defined in terms of yield strength of
strengths of resisting elements to vary position of center resisting elements. From analytical studies it was
of strength (C.V) with respect to C.M the eccentricity found that the code defined eccentricities based on
generated was known as strength eccentricity (ev)10,66. stiffness criteria were useful in predicting the elastic
The definitions of eccentricity have been described seismic response. However in inelastic range parameter
pictorially in Fig. 4. of strength eccentricity was found to be useful in
determining seismic response.
e.m e.m


S.No Model Name Description
1 M Mass eccentric model with all
three resistant elements having
equal yield deformation
2 S1 Stiffness eccentric Model with
C.V C.M identical yield strength.
3 S2 Stiffness eccentric Model with
(c) identical yield deformation.
Fig. 4 Definitions of different types of eccentricity a) Mass
eccentricity, b) Stiffness eccentricity, c) Strength Pekau and Guimond (1990) checked the adequacy
eccentricity of accidental eccentricity to account for the torsion
induced due to the variation of strength and stiffness
Research works on plan irregular building systems of the resisting elements which was achieved using
started in early 1980s with Tso and Sadek (1985) elasto-plastic force-deformation relationship. Results
determined the variation in ductility demand by of analytical study showed occurrence of torsional
performing inelastic seismic response of simple one amplification due to strength and stiffness variation.
storey mass eccentric model with stiffness degradation Finally the code prescribed provision of 5% for
using Cloughs stiffness degradation model and bi- accidental eccentricity was found to inadequate.
linear hysteric model. Results of analytical study Duan and Chandler (1991) based on their analytical
showed that the time period had predominant effect studies on plan irregular building systems the change


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
in design eccentricity in Mexico code 87 was models were further divided into two types namely A1
recommended as 1.5es + b and 0.5es - 0.1b. as compared and A2 having moderate and low torsional stiffness.
to the earlier value of es 0.1b and es 0.05b. Results of analytical studies showed the variation in
Chandler and Hutchinson (1992) determined the seismic response in models A1 and A2 with flexible
effects of torsional coupling on one storey stiffness edge experiencing greater deformation as compared
eccentric building systems and from analytical to the stiff edge. The stiff edge of building systems
studies the strong dependence of torsional coupling with small time period (T < 1 Sec) designed according
effects on natural time period of the structure was to NZS 4203 [58] and EC8:198924 experienced least
found. The authors also evaluated the effectiveness of additional ductility demand. However the additional
torsional design provisions as prescribed by different ductility demand was found to be largest for building
codes of practice (ATC 3-06, NEHRP, NBCC 90, and systems with T > 1 Sec. In case of TU systems designed
EC8:1989). The code evaluation results obtained for according to EC 8 -1989 the ductility demand exceeded
asymmetric building system as per different codes are by 2.5 % as compared to the TB system.
shown in Table 4.
Zealand code of practice. The authors carried out Elastic
and inelastic analysis methods on one storey stiffness S.No Code Name Results
eccentric building systems. Results of analytical study 1 NZS [58] Conservative Estimate of displacement
showed the greater displacement of flexible edge 2 UBC [79] Conservative Estimate of displacement
for DAF/FRF = 1
as compared to stiff edge. The results obtained by
consideration of different codes are given in Table 5. 3 NBCC [56] Conservative Estimate of displacement
for DAF/FRF = 0.6-1.0
Ferhi and Truman (1996) determined seismic
response of building systems with presence of stiffness
S.No Code Results and strength eccentricity. Both elastic and inelastic
1 NEHRP [59] Inadequate for building systems with seismic behavior were studied. From analytical study
small and moderate eccentricity.
of the building systems it was found that the seismic
Satisfactory results for building
systems with large eccentricity. response showed greater dependence on stiffness
2 ATC [6] Same as NEHRP.
eccentricity and in the inelastic range influence
of strength eccentricity on seismic response is
3 NBCC [56] Inadequate for buildings with low
time periods (T<0.5S) predominant.
Over-conservative for higher time Duan and Chandler (1997) developed an optimized
periods at all eccentricities. procedure for determining the seismic response of
4 EC8 [24] Conservative for small eccentricity. torsion balanced and unbalanced structures. The
Over conservative for medium to parameters like eccentricity (e), normalized stiffness
large eccentric buildings system with
higher time periods.
radius of gyration (Pk), force reduction factor (R) and
uncoupled lateral period (Ty) were included in the
Tso and wong (1995) made assessment of torsional proposed optimized procedure. The authors proposed
provisions as prescribed by seismic design design eccentricity expression and over strength
Chandler et al. (1995) verified the torsional factor expressions and compared it with code defined
provisions prescribed by different codes of practice. expressions. The codes used in the study were UBC
For analytical study the authors considered two types of 9480, EC8-9325 and NBCC-9557 .The analytical study
building models namely torsionally balanced(TB) and was conducted both on Torsionally balanced (TB)
torsionally unbalanced (TU).The torsional unbalance and torsionally unbalanced (TU) models. Results of
in the building model was created by varying position analytical study showed that the over strength factor
of center of stiffness inducing stiffness eccentricity proposed by authors was found to be substantially
equal to 0.05b. The torsionally unbalanced building lower as compared to UBC-94 and NBCC-95 but higher


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
than EC8 for entire range of Pk. However the results Elastic analysis using unidirectional seismic excitation
of proposed procedure are comparable to code defined was found to overestimate the seismic response.
procedures for torsionally unbalanced structures (TU). De Stefano and pintuchhi (2002) considered the
The parameters e, pk, R, Ty considered in the design phenomenon of inelastic interaction between axial
procedure were found to influence the seismic response. force and horizontal forces in modeling of plan irregular
Finally the procedure was found to be applicable to stiffness asymmetric building systems. Based on results
single storey and multistorey torsionally unbalanced of analytical study it was concluded that consideration
structures. of interaction phenomenon between axial force and
De-La-Colina (1999) studied the effects of torsion horizontal force resulted in reduction of floor rotation
on simple torsionally unbalanced building systems by 20%.
considering the earthquake components in two Dutta and Das (2002) studied the seismic response
perpendicular directions. The effects of following of a single storey plan asymmetric structures subjected
parameters were studied a) seismic force reduction to bidirectional seismic excitation. For analytical study
factor b) design eccentricity c) natural time period. The the authors proposed two hysteric models as represented
structural model used for the analytical study is shown in Fig 6 (a, b). These hysteric models account for
in Fig 5. strength and stiffness deterioration of RC structural
E4 elements subjected to cyclic loading. From results of
nb analytical study it was found that local deformation
demands both at stiff and flexible edge showed
E2 E5 variation when strength deterioration was considered.
E1 E3 The consideration of unidirectional seismic excitation
results in lower values of deformation demands at both
flexible and stiff edge. These results were found similar
to Tso and Myslimaj (2002).
E6 Force
Fig. 5 Structural model considered by De-La colina Unloading branch with initial F
stiffness k k F = 1-3
= 1-2
Based on the results of analytical study it was F Displacement = 1-
conclude that, with increase in the force reduction - Rate of strength deterioration
Deteriorated loading
factor, the ductility demand reduces for flexible element. branch
Regarding the effect of initial lateral time period it was Target points of loading
branch (a)
found that for torsionally unbalanced stiff elements the
ductility demand increased with time period and vice

versa for torsionally unbalanced flexible elements and Unloading branch with initial
increase in value of stiffness eccentricities reduced the stiffness k k(1-2)
k Displacement
= 1-3
normalized ductility demand. Based on these results it = 1-2 k(1-3)
was concluded that strength eccentricity had greater = 1-

effect on seismic response as compared to stiffness - Rate of strength deterioration

Ghersi and Rossi (2001) determined the influence Fig. 6 (a, b): Second Hysteretic model proposed by Dutta and Das
of bidirectional seismic excitation on seismic response (2002)
of stiffness eccentric one storey building systems using
elastic and inelastic analysis. The seismic response of Tso and Myslimaj (2003) proposed a new approach
the inelastic analysis was compared with the results called yield distribution based approach for strength
of elastic analysis. Results of analysis showed that and stiffness distribution. For analytical study the
the consideration of effects of bidirectional seismic authors modeled a single storey structure with a rigid
excitation results in minor variation in seismic response. rectangular deck supported by two resisting elements


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
in X and five resisting elements in Y direction. The Tso and Myslimaj (2003) to evaluate best performance
resisting elements were modeled using elasto-plastic, level of the structure. Based on the analytical study it
the bilinear and Cloughs hysteresis models for force was concluded that the best location of CV-CR (Center
deformation relationship. The authors proposed of stiffness and Center of rigidity) depended upon the
a design parameter on which location of center of required performance level of the structure and also on
mass (C.M), rigidity (C.R), strength (C.V) and yield damage indices.
displacement (C.V) depend. Table 6 shows different Shakib and Ghasemi (2007) have determined
position of centers for different values of . The models the effect of consideration of near fault and far fault
were subjected to dynamic analysis to determine the excitations on seismic response of different type of
balanced CV-CR location. From results of analytical plan asymmetric structures with stiffness asymmetry.
study it was found that the structure satisfied balanced Following Tso and Myslimaj (2002) who suggested
CV-CR location and had low torsional response when balanced CV-CR location to minimize rotational
value of lies between zero and unity. deformation, the authors suggested a new approach
Fujii et al. (2004) suggested a simplified non-linear to minimize rotational deformation. In the proposed
analysis procedure for plan asymmetric structures with approach in which the strength distribution pattern is
stiffness eccentricity modeled as SDOF and MDOF made equal to Yield displacement distribution modified
system. Results of analytical study showed that the by a parameter . From results of analytical study it
torsionally stiff building systems experienced greater was found that in case of near fault motions when
oscillations in first mode as compared to the torsionally > 0, the displacement demand on stiff edges is greater
flexible building systems. On comparison of responses as compared to the flexible edges. In case of far fault
of MDOF and SDOF models for TS and TF building motions when < 0, the displacement demands are
systems it was found that SDOF models were found to greater on flexible edges as compared to stiff edges.
be applicable to torsionally stiff building systems only.
Jarernprasert et al. (2008) determined the inelastic
Finally the proposed analysis procedure was found to
torsional response of single storey plan asymmetric
efficient in determining the seismic response of TS
systems with stiffness eccentricity designed in
building systems.
accordance with IBC 2006 and Mexico city building
TABLE 6 code 2004. For analysis of this building model modal
DIFFERENT POSITION OF CENTERS OF MASS, analysis procedure was adopted. The affect of seismic
STIFFNESS, STRENGTH AND DISPLACEMENT FOR excitation on following parameters was studied, a)
ratio of uncoupled torsional to transitional frequencies,
S.NO Positions of C.M, C.V, C.D
b) design target ductility, c) elastic natural time period
1 1 Position of CV coincides with CD, strength and normalized static eccentricity. The authors also
distribution takes same shape as yield
proposed new reduction and amplification factor for
these parameters (a,b,c). From results of analytical
2 0-1 Value of ev decreases position of CV starts
shifting from CD towards CM. study it was found that these parameters (a,b,c) had
3 0 Position of CV coincides with CM and
large influence on the inelastic behavior of the building
position of CR is shifted towards left of system. Regarding the comparison of codes it was
C.M at a distance equal to ed. found that IBC 200638 code overestimate the design
4 <1 CR and CV shift towards left of CM. forces at both flexible and stiff edge of building system
whereas the Mexico city building code overestimates
Moghadam and Aziminejad (2005) performed PBD
design forces at flexible side. The use of reduction and
(Performance based design) of asymmetric structures.
amplification parameters leads to the ductility demands
The authors evaluated the seismic response of single
closer to target ductility demands but the displacements
storey structures (code designed) with irregular
computed are nearly four times to that of equivalent
configuration for optimizing mass, stiffness and strength
symmetric structure.
center configurations corresponding to different levels
of plastic hinge formations. The author has adopted Ladinovic (2008) represented inelastic seismic
the concept of balanced CV-CR location proposed by response of plan asymmetric structures with stiffness


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
and structural eccentricity in form of base shear torque was found to be greater in y direction. Further it was
surface (BST). The factors influencing BST surface concluded that the torsionally stiff building systems
were strength eccentricity, lateral capacity, torsional with balanced CV-CR location perform better than
capacity and distribution of strength along plan. other building models both in case of near and far field
Aziminezad and Moghadam (2010) determined the excitation.
effects of strength distribution and configuration of Luchinni et al. (2011) determined the nonlinear
strength, rigidity and mass on seismic response of one seismic response of single storey building models with
storey plan asymmetric building system subjected to eccentricities in both directions with BST procedure
near field and far field ground motions. Eight models and verified the BST approach using IDA analysis. For
with different values of yield displacement, strength analytical study four types of building models namely
and stiffness eccentricity were considered as shown in S1, S2, R1, and R2 were modeled. The S1 model was a
Fig.7 and Table 7. one way asymmetric system with es = 0.1b.The model
d d d
S2 was a two way asymmetric system with es = 0.05b
Cm Cv Cm Cm Cm in both directions. The model R1 contained uniform
Cr Cr Cv Cr Cv Cr Cv
strength distribution in x-direction only whereas model
Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 R2 contained uniform strength distributions in both
directions. The results of analytical study showed that
d d
Cm Cm
Cm BST surface is efficient in predicting the location of
Cr Cv Cr Cv Cr Cv Cr Cv center of rigidity. The seismic response predicted by
Model 5 Model 6 Model 7 Model 8 BST is comparable with that of IDA analysis. Table
Fig. 7 Models considered by Aziminejad and Moghadam [10]
8 shows Summary of research work regarding single
storey Plan irregular building models.
In Table 8 es, em and ev are stiffness, mass and
strength eccentricities and b is the Longer plan width.
VALUES OF . Multistorey Plan Asymmetric Structures
S.No Model Number Model Name ev/ed In previous analytical studies on plan irregular
1 1 Symmetric 0 structures the single storey models were widely used
2 2 Stiffness Symmetric 1 due to their simplicity and their ability to clearly depict
3 3 Balance 0.75 the effect of different seismic response parameters.
4 4 Balance 0.5 Most of the design criteria were formulated on basis
5 5 Balance 0.25 of results obtained in single storey models. But several
6 6 Strength Symmetric 0 researchers66 proved that single storey models give
7 7 - -0.33
inaccurate prediction of torsional response. The
development of powerful software tools has made
8 8 - -1
modeling and analysis of multi-storey building models
The models were analyzed by dynamic nonlinear much simpler and moreover the multi-storey building
analysis and from results of analytical study it was models give realistic prediction of torsional response.
found that for torsionally flexible building systems, the Although studies on plan irregular building models
strength distribution and configuration of centers had started in 1990s, Fajfar et al. (2002) was one of the
minor effect both for near field and far field excitations. major researcher in this field who proposed a new
But seismic response of torsionally stiff building method which was an extension of N2 method. The
systems was largely influenced by strength distribution proposed method was applicable to the realistic 3D
and configuration of centers. Regarding the modal building models. For analytical study a eight storey
periods it was found that modal periods along X-axis R.C. building with structural walls modeled. The mass
had the maximum value as compared to other two eccentricity was introduced in the building model by
modal periods and ratio of lateral to torsional frequency displacing center of mass in both horizontal directions


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
S.No Researcher Year Type and extent of eccentricity Main conclusion
1 Tso Sadek 1985 es = 0 - 0.25b Cloughs and bilinear hysteric model, a 20 % difference
in results of both models was observed.
2 Sadek Tso 1989 es and ep = 0 -0.2b Code defined eccentricities were valid for elastic range
only. For the inelastic range Strength eccentricity is
more effective.
3 Duan Chandler 1991 ea= 0 - 0.1b The recommended change in design eccentricity
es= 0.1b- 0.3b in Mexico code 87 as 1.5es + b and 0.5es - 0.1b. as
compared to the earlier value of 1es 0.1b and 1ess
4 Chandler Hutchinson 1992 es = 0.05b-0.2b Different codes of practice yielded different results.
5 Chandler et al. 1995 ea = 0.05b The codified value of accidental eccentricity of 0.05 b
was most consistent.
6 De-La colina 1999 es = 0 - 0.20b R =1,3,6 For torsionally unbalanced stiff elements the ductility
demand increases with time period and vice versa for
torsionally unbalanced flexible elements
7 Dutta Das 2002 es = 0.05b - 0.2b Strength and stiffness irregularities are
8 Fujii et al. 2004 es= 0.682b, 0.5b Drift demand due to stiffness degradation
underestimated by SDOF model.
9 Shakib and Ghasemi 2007 es = 0.09b -0.01b For > 0 - displacement demand on stiff edges is
ev = 0.03b - 0.06b greater as compared to the flexible edges. For < 0,
the displacement demands are greater on flexible dges
as compared to stiff edges.
10 Ladinovic 2008 em-0.1b -0.5b Distribution of strength. Stiffness eccentricity along
es = ev -0.12b plan does not affect the shape of the BST surface.
11 Aziminejad Moghadam 2010 es = 0.025b - 0.10b, Torsionally flexible building systems are least affected
ev = 0 0.2b by strength distribution and location of centers both in
case of near and far field excitations. Torsionally stiff
building systems with balanced CV-CR location show
better seismic performance both in case of near and far
field excitations.
12 Luchinni et al. 2011 es = 0 0.3 b The seismic response predicted by BST is comparable
eith that of IDA analysis.

by 5% and 15%. The results of proposed procedure were (EI Centro earthquake). Analytical studies were carried
compared with that of non-linear dynamic analysis. out on several 5 storey buildings having mass and
From comparison of results the ability of proposed stiffness eccentricity. Shear beam models were used by
method to predict the seismic response of torsionally researchers to represent resisting elements. Based on
stiff structure was justified. However, the method did the code defined procedures the authors had found out
not include the effects of lateral torsional coupling and the optimal values of storey eccentricity.
was found to be under-conservative as compared to the Chopra and Goel (2004) proposed a new method
N2 method. based on extension of their earlier method (Chopra
De-la-Colina (2003) made assessments of several and Goel 2002). In the proposed method the torsional
code specified procedures regarding analysis procedures amplification of the structure was accounted for by
for multistorey building systems with mass and stiffness application of the lateral forces in combination with the
irregularity subjected to bidirectional seismic excitation torsional moments at each floor of the structure. The


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
lateral forces and torsional moments were obtained from the elastic spectral analysis and these vectors
from the modal analysis of the structure. A comparison were applied on the structure to carryout 3D pushover
between the results of the proposed method and non- analysis. The results of the proposed procedure were
linear dynamic analysis were made for building compared with that of non-linear dynamic analysis.
systems with different uncoupled lateral to torsional From the results it was found that the inelastic seismic
vibration periods. From the results of analytical study response obtained by both methods vary by 10% in
the accuracy of proposed procedure for symmetric case of single storey structures and by 20 % in case of
structures was verified. However the accuracy of multistorey structures.
proposed procedure decreases with the increase in Marusic and Fajfar (2005) determined the elastic and
magnitude of torsional coupling which is due to the use inelastic seismic response of five storey steel framed
of CQC modal combination rule. structure with mass eccentricity. The eccentricities
Correlating with his earlier studies29 Fajfar et al. were taken as 5%, 10% and 15% of plan dimensions.
(2005) again proposed a new method based on N2 For Analytical study the author modeled three types of
method. In the proposed method, combination of building models as described in Table 9.
modal responses obtained from pushover analysis of
3D structures were made with the results obtained from
linear dynamic analysis. In the proposed procedure FAJFAR (2005)
the displacements and deformation distributions
Model Name Description
along height were controlled by N2 method and the
S Torsionally stiff building model with moment
magnitude of torsional amplification is defined by the resistant beam column connections (All beam-
linear dynamic analysis. column connections).
Stathopoulos and Anagnostopoulos (2005) were F1 Building Model with torasional stiffness equal
one of the few researchers who had made attempt to to Model S with moment resisrtant beam
evaluate torsional response of realistic 3D structures column connections (Corner beams only)
by nonlinear analysis (Both as per EC8 and UBC 97). F2 Building Model with torasional stiffness less
than Model S and F1.
The authors conducted analytical studies on realistic 3
storey and 5 storey RC framed buildings (with flexible For the building model the first storey height was
and stiff edges) subjected to bidirectional excitations. kept as 4m and other storey heights were kept as
From the results obtained (Multistorey structures) it 3.5m. The multistorey structure was subjected to the
was found that the inelastic displacement was found to bidirectional seismic excitation. The results obtained at
be greater at flexible side as compared to the stiff side, flexible edges were almost comparable with Perus and
however the results obtained in case of single storey fajfar (2005). However, the results of both papers did
structures were contradictory to the results obtained in not correlate in case of stiff edges of torsionally stiff
case of multistorey structures with mass irregularity and flexible building systems.
under the action of bidirectional seismic excitation. Stefano et al. (2006) determined the difference
Furthermore the authors found that the torsionally stiff between the inelastic seismic response of single
building systems undergo less plastic deformation as storey and multistorey plan asymmetric structures.
compared to the torsionally flexible building systems. For analytical study a single storey and a six storey
These findings contradict the results obtained from steel frame with mass applied at 0.15 b (b is the width
single storey models. of longer plan) of the geometric structure, thus mass
Penelis and kappos (2005) proposed a method eccentricity was created in the building model. The
to determine the inelastic torsional response of plan effect of over-strength of resisting elements was also
asymmetric single storey and multistorey structures. evaluated. Analytical studies showed the influence
The models used for analytical studies were single of over-strength on ductility demand of the building
degree of freedom (SDOF) systems and incorporated systems and this influence showed variation for single
the effects of torsional and transitional modes. In the and multistorey building systems. Finally it was found
proposed method the spectral load vectors were obtained that seismic response obtained from single storey


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
models was different from those obtained from multi- it was concluded that building systems with strength
storey models. From results of analytical study it was eccentricity equal to one fourth of distance between
found that for e/r 0.5 and 0.4, number of resistant positions of strength and stiffness performed better on
planes in direction of seismic response had no influence rotation and drift criteria.
on seismic response and the lateral displacements Stahopoulos and Anangnopoulos (2010) evaluated
decrease with increase in ductility demand. Finally the the effectiveness of accidental eccentricity provisions.
Parameters like degree of torsional coupling, uncoupled For analytical study the authors created four types of
lateral time period and eccentricity had larger influence building models. The first and second models were one
on seismic response. storey shear beam with stiffness eccentricity and one
Ghersi et al. (2007) determined the effectiveness storey frame models with mass eccentricity respectively.
of modal analysis procedure in evaluating the inelastic The third model was three storey frame type building
seismic response of multistorey plan asymmetric and fourth one was five storey frame type of models,
structure. A six storey steel framed building and both these models had combination of mass and stiffness
asymmetry was induced by variation of applying load asymmetry along plan. The shear beam models were
at 0.15L away from geometric center inducing mass modeled considering a bilinear force-displacement
eccentricity. Results of modal analysis was compared behavior and magnitude of strain hardening was taken
with that of static analysis and by chandler procedure equal to 0.05. For idealization of frame members,
to check the proposed procedure. The proposed method plastic hinge model was used and Takedas moment-
leads to good seismic performance of buildings as rotation relationships were used in creating the plastic
compared to other methods of analysis. However the hinge model. The one storey and three storey building
strength distribution along plan given by the proposed models were subjected to the accidental eccentricities
method is comparable with method suggested by Ghersi from 0 to 0.05L, whereas the five storey building model
and Rossi but it is simpler in application as compared was subjected to an additional eccentricity of 1.0L in
to the latter method. addition to earlier mentioned eccentricities.. Results of
analytical study suggest that in case of one storey shear
TABLE 10 beam models, the consideration of accidental design
DIFFERENT MODEL CONFIGURATIONS PROPOSED eccentricity (ADE) results in reduction of ductility
S.No Model Name Ratio of Stiffness to demands of edge elements in case of building systems
Yield displacement with larger time period(Ty). For Ty > 0.5s the ductility
eccentricity (ev/ed) demand reduces by 10 % for ADE = 0.05L and by 10-
1 Symmetric 0 20% for ADE = 0.10L.
2 Stiffness Symmetric 1
Anangnopoulos et al.(2010) determined inelastic
3 Balance (0.75Cv Cr) 0.75 torsional response of single storey and multi-storey
4 Balance (0.5Cv Cr) 0.5 building models with mass and stiffness eccentricity.
5 Balance (0.25Cv Cr) 0.25 The building models were designed in accordance with
6 Strength Symmetric 0 EC8 and IBC code provisions. The inelasticity in the
7 De-Stefano (0.25Cm-Cr) -0.33 building models were introduced by assuming Takedas
8 De-Stefano (0.5Cm-Cr) -1 moment-rotation relationship and strain hardening ratio
was taken as 0.05. The inelastic plastic hinge models
Aziminejad and Moghadam (2009) determined were further subdivided into three categories namely
seismic performance of eight 5 storey plan asymmetric SIMP1, SIMP2 and SIMP3 as described in detail in
(Stiffness and strength) building systems with different Table 10. The building models were analyzed using time
strength distributions. The eight different building history analysis using ANSR software programs. From
systems in location of position of center of rigidity results of analytical study it was found that for models
and strength (Table 10). These building models SIMP1 and SIMP2 the flexible edges of building were
were analyzed for nonlinear dynamic response using found to be the critical elements which correlates with
OPENSEES software. From results of analytical study results obtained for single storey models by previous


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
researchers. The seismic response of SIMP3 model singly or in combination. Different types of vertical
was found to be strongly dependent on seismic loading irregularities have different effects on seismic response.
and in this case critical elements were stiff edges which So, the effect of these irregularities should be considered
contradicts with results obtained for single storey and incorporated in current seismic design codes. The
models. Table 11 shows Summary of research works research works concerned with vertical irregularities
regarding Multi storey plan asymmetric structures. started in early 1970s with Chopra (1973) who studied
the seismic response of series of eight storey shear
REVIEW OF RESEARCH WORKS buildings subjected to the earthquake motion data. The
REGARDING VERTICAL IRREGULARITIES main objective of the author was to determine the effect
of yielding of first storey on upper stories. From results
Irregularities of mass, stiffness, strength and geometry of analytical study it was found that an ideal plastic
along building height may be termed as vertical mechanism and a low yield force are required in the
irregularity. These irregularities may be present first storey for safety of higher floors of the structure.

S.No Researcher Year N Type and extent of Main conclusion
1 Stahthopoulos 2003 3 5 em= 0.1b - 0.3b The Building Systems with biaxial eccentricity
Anagnopoulos es = 0 - 0.3L showed the increased ductility demand.
The displacements at flexible edge was found
ea = 0 - 0.05b
to be greater for SB models as compared to PH
models. SB models were found inefficient in
assessment of codal provisions.
2 Chopra Goel 2004 9 em = 4.57m Accuracy of proposed procedure decreased with
the increase in magnitude of torsional coupling.
3 Fernandez et al. 2005 5 es = 0.25r - 0.75r For e/r 0.5 and (Ductility coefficient) 0.4,
number of resistant planes in direction of seismic
response have no influence on seismic response.
4 Stefano et al. 2006 6 em = 0.15b Overstrength factor influences the seismic
5 Ghersi et al. 2007 6 em = 0.05b - 0.30b The proposed method leads to good seismic
performance of buildings as compared to other
methods of analysis.
7 Luchinni et al. 2009 2 es = 0, 0.5b The deformation demand in the Irregular
buildings was found to be non-linear.
8 Aziaenmizad 2010 5 es = 0 - 0.14b est =0 In building systems with strength eccentricity
Moghadam - 0.25b equal to one fourth of the distance between
positions of strength and stiffness performed
better on rotation and drift criteria.
9 Stahthopoulos 2010 1 3 5 em = 0 0.3b es=0.1b Consideration of accidental design eccentricity
Anagnopoulos - 0.7b ea = 0 - 0.10b (ADE) results in reduction of ductility demands
of edge elements in case of building systems with
larger time period (Ty). For Ty > 0.5s the ductility
demand reduces by 10 % for A = 0.05L and by 10-
20% for A= 0.10L.
10 Anangnopoulos 2010 3 5 em es= 0-0.30 b ea = For models SIMP1 and SIMP2 the flexible edges
et al. 0.05b were the critical elements. In SIMP3 models the
stiff edges were critical elements.
N Represents number of stories


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
The irregularities of mass, stiffness and strength are frames of nine storey having 3 bays each and the third
represented by parameters of mass ratio (Mr), stiffness frame was also of 9 storey but had prismatic wall, this
ratio (Sr), Strength ratio (STr) which may be defined as model represented the building systems without any
the ratio of mass, stiffness and strength of storey under irregularity. The Vertical irregularities were introduced
consideration to the adjacent storey. in the building models by discontinuation of shear wall
Humar and Wright (1977) studied the seismic at first storey and this building models were designated
response of multistorey steel building frames with and as FSW Rest of the features in both FFW and
without setback irregularity using one ground motion FSW were same. The displacements of top floor were
data. Based on analytical study it was concluded that, computed for all these building models using elastic and
in case of building frames with setbacks, the storey drift inelastic dynamic analysis. From the analytical study it
was found to be greater at upper portion of setback and was concluded that in case of FSWductility demand
smaller in the base portion. Also, the drift of building increased abruptly at the vicinity of discontinuity
frames with setbacks was found to be lesser as compared of shear wall and this increase was found to be 4 to
to the building frames without setback irregularity. 5 times higher as compared to the FFW models.
Further the inelastic dynamic analysis was found to
Aranda (1984) extended the approach of earlier
be more efficient as compared to the elastic analysis in
researchers36.The author determined and compared the
determining the effect of structural discontinuities.
seismic response of structure with and without setback
irregularity founded on soft soil. From the results of Barialoa (1988) determined the effects of strength
analytical studies it was confirmed that the ductility and stiffness variation on nonlinear seismic response
demand and its increase in upper portion of setback was of multistorey building frames. For analytical study 8
higher as compared to the base portion and structures storey building with 5 bays were modeled. The building
with setbacks experienced higher ductility demand as frames were subjected to three different category of
compared to their regular counterparts. time periods namely low, medium and high. Each
building category was further subdivided into two
Fernandez (1983) determined the elastic and inelastic
more categories based on base shear namely weak and
seismic response of multistorey building frames with
strong. In the weak building the base shear was 15 %
irregular distribution of mass and stiffness. Reduction
of total seismic weight whereas in strong building the
in storey stiffness resulted in increased storey drift and
bases shear was 30 % of total weight of the structure.
structures with constant variation of mass and stiffness
The results of analytical study showed that the time
in vertical direction showed better seismic performance
period of structure increases during seismic excitation
as compared to the structures with abrupt variations.
and this increase is more pronounced in case for weaker
Presence of shear walls leads to variation in stiffness
structures. A linear elastic spectrum can be used to
and researchers like Moelhe (1984) determined the
determine the seismic response if increase in damping
seismic response of R.C structures with irregularities.
along with increase in damping is considered.
For analytical study, nine storey building frames with 3
bays and structural walls were modelled. The irregularity Ruiz and Diederich (1989) conducted analytical
in building models was created by discontinuation of studies on five and twelve storey building models with
structural walls at different storey heights. Based on the strength irregularity. The strength irregularity in the
analytical results it was found that the seismic response building model was created by modeling first storey of
not only depended on extent of structural irregularities the structure as the weak storey in the first case. In the
but also on the location of irregularities. Experimental second case the infill walls in top storey were modeled
studies are necessary to verify the accuracy of analytical as brittle and in the third case the infill walls were
results and researchers like Moehle and Alarcon (1986) modeled as ductile. From results of analytical study it
performed experimental tests on two small prototype was found that the yielding, failure and formation of
R.C. building frames subjected to the ground motion plastic hinges in infill walls was greatly influenced by
data. The tests were performed using shake table. The time period of seismic excitation.
two building models used for the study were named Shahrooz and Moehle (1990) determined the
as FFW and FSW. The FFW model had two seismic response of building systems with vertical


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
setbacks. The authors conducted both experimental Three types of building systems as described in Table
and analytical tests to improve methodologies for 13 were studied.. In case of SDOF models the strength
design of setback buildings. For performing the demand was represented in terms of strength reduction
experimental study model of a six storey R.C. frame factor which represents the reduction in strength of
having 50 % setback at midheight was prepared. From structural elements. In case of MDOF systems it was
results of experimental study it was found that there found that strength demand and target ductility ratios
was no abrupt variation in the displacement along the depend on failure mechanisms developed and presence
building height. The interstorey drifts were found to be of weak first storey increased the ductility demand and
largest with increased damage and abrupt reduction in overturning moments.
lateral force at location of setbacks. The distribution of Esteva (1992) evaluated the seismic response of
lateral displacement and force along building height building frames with soft first storey by using non-
suggest that the translational seismic response of the linear analysis. For simplification of analytical study
building parallel to direction of setback is influenced the shear beam model was used to represent the building
by fundamental mode of vibration. For performing systems. The first main purpose of analytical study was
analytical study six storey building frames with six to observe the bilinear hysteric behavior of the building
different patterns of setbacks were modeled and systems with and without consideration of P-Delta
designed in accordance with UBC code of practice. effects. The second main purpose of the analytical study
For all of these frames the floor plan dimensions and was to determine the affect of influence ratio r (which
mass ratios were varied from 3 to 9 times as suggested was defined as the ratio of average value of lateral shear
by UBC 1988 code of practice which differentiated safety factor for upper stories to the bottom stories) on
symmetric and setback structures on basis of plan ductility demand. The results of analytical study are
dimensions and mass ratios. The analyses of these shown in Table 13.
frames were carried out by modal analysis procedure as
prescribed by UBC 1988 code of practice. From results
of analytical study it was concluded that all these frames ESTEVA (1992)
experienced similar magnitude and distribution of
S.No Time period Influence ratio Ductility Demand
ductility demand. The frames with similar mass ratios
1 Low Increase from Increase by 30 %
and floor plan dimensions but with different setback
1.0 to 3.0
heights experienced different amount of damage which
2 Medium No impact No impact
contradicted the approach of UBC 1988 code.
3 High Increase from Increase from 50 %
Nasser and Krawlinker (1991) conducted parametric 1.0 to 3.0 - 100%
study on multistorey (3, 5,10,20,30, 40 storey) SDOF
and MDOF systems (with strength irregularity) with Wood (1992) found that presence of setbacks did
different periods of seismic excitation ranging from not affect the dynamic seismic response which was
0.217s 2.051s. The models used are described in more or less similar for symmetrical structures.
Table 12. Wong and Tso (1994) used elastic response spectrum
analysis to determine seismic response of structures
with setback irregularity and it was observed that
buildings with setback irregularity had higher modal
masses causing different seismic load distribution as
S.No Model Name No. of Stories Model Description
compared to the static code procedure.
1 Beam Hinge 3,10,20,30,40 Plastic hinges form Duan and Chandler (1995) conducted analytical
in beam only
studies on building systems with setback irregularity
2 Column Hinge 3,10,20,30,40 Plastic hinges form
using both static and modal spectral analysis and based
in column only
on the results of analytical studies, it was concluded
3 Model 3 3,10,20,30,40 Plastic hinges form
in columns of first that both static and modal analysis procedures were
storey only inefficient in preventing the concentration of damage
in structural members near level of setbacks.


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
Vamudson and Nau (1997) evaluated seismic that the parameter of storey strength as prescribed
response of multistorey buildings with vertical by EC8 and IBC codes was ineffective in predicting
irregularities. For analytical study two dimensional strength irregularity.
shear beam building models with five, ten and twenty Das and Nau (2003) evaluated the effects of stiffness,
stories were prepared. The structural irregularities were strength and mass irregularity on inelastic seismic
introduced in the building models by varying the mass, response of large number of multistorey structures. For
stiffness and strength. From analytical studies it was analytical study a large number of buildings with three
found that introduction of mass and stiffness irregularity bays in direction of seismic action and with number of
resulted in minor variation in the seismic response. The stories ranging from 5-20 were modeled.
storey drifts were increased in range of 20% - 40 %
for 30 % decrease in the stiffness of the first storey,
with constant strength. The strength reduction of 20 %
doubled the ductility demand.
Al-Ali and Krawinkler (1998) evaluated the effect
of mass, stiffness and strength and their combinations TYPE A TYPE B TYPE C
on seismic response of a 10 storey structure. Elastic and (a) TYPE A,B,C Taller first, intermediate and top storey
inelastic dynamic analyses were used for the analytical
study. Based on the results of analytical study it was
observed that, when irregularities were considered
separately; the strength irregularity had the maximum
impact on roof displacement and mass irregularity had TYPE t TYPE m TYPE b
the minimum impact on the roof displacement. When (b) TYPE t, m, b - Irregular mass distributions
combination of irregularities was considered, the
combination of stiffness and strength irregularity had
the maximum impact on roof displacement.
Kappos and Scott (1998) made comparison between
static and dynamic methods of analysis for evaluating
the seismic response of R.C frames with setback
TYPE E1 - E2 TYPE E3 - E6
irregularity. On comparison between results of both
(c) E1-E2 Open ground floor, E3 E6 Partial infill
methods it was concluded that dynamic analysis yielded
results different from that of static analysis. However a) TYPE A,B,C Taller first, intermediate and top storey b)
in the analytical study the other forms of irregularities TYPE t, m, b - Irregular mass distributions c) E1-E2 Open
like mass, stiffness and strength irregularity were not ground floor, E3 E6 Partial infill
included. Fig. 8 Different types of vertically irregular building models, Das
Magliulo et al. (2002) conducted parametric studies and Nau19
on multistorey RC frames (5, 9 storey) with mass,
stiffness and strength irregularity designed for low The structural irregularities in these building
ductility class as per EC 8 provisions. The authors models were introduced by variation of mass ratio,
evaluated the seismic response of the irregular frames stiffness ratio , storey strength and by considering the
and have compared it with the seismic response of effect of masonry infills. These frames were designed
building frames without any irregularity. From the as special moment resisting frames (S.M.R.F.) based
analytical studies it was found that mass irregularity on strong column weak beam design philosophy in
does not effect plastic demands. In case of strength accordance with different codes of practice namely
irregularity, irregular distribution of strength in beams ACI 1999 and UBC 97. The forces on these S.M.R.F
increased the seismic demand. However seismic frames were computed using ELF (Equivalent Lateral
demands were not affected due to irregular strength force) procedure as prescribed in ACI 99 and UBC 97
distribution in columns. Finally the authors concluded code. From results of analytical study it was concluded


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
that the seismic response parameters like first mode Gantes (2005) investigated the effectiveness of Modal
shape and fundamental time period as computed by pushover analysis procedure (MPA) in determination
ELF procedure were similar for symmetrical and of multistorey steel braced frame (4, 9 storey) with
unsymmetrical structure. The storey drift computed for stiffness irregularities. Based on the results of analytical
five storey and ten storey structures with combination study it was concluded that MPA procedure was
of mass, strength and stiffness irregularities at bottom incapable of predicting failure mechanism and collapse
storey showed an abrupt increase over code prescribed of the structure.
limit of 2 %. The ductility demands showed an abrupt Khoure et al. (2005) designed a 9 storey steel framed
increase near the location of irregularity but this increase structures with setback irregularity as per Israeli steel
never exceeded the designed ductility capacity of the code SI 1225(1998).The authors made variation in
members. Finally the mass irregularity had least impact height and location of setbacks in building frames.
on the structural damage index and for all the building Results of analytical studies confirmed that higher
models analyzed it was found to be less than 0.40. torsional response was obtained in tower portion of
Chintanpakdee and Chopra (2004) evaluated setbacks.
the effects of strength, stiffness and combination of Some researchers preferred dynamic analysis over
strength and stiffness irregularity on seismic response MPA procedure to evaluate seismic response due to
of multistorey frames. For analytical study, different 12 its accuracy. Fragiadakis et al. (2006) proposed an
storey frames were modeled based on strong column IDA (Incremental dynamic analysis) procedure for
weak beam theory. The irregularity in strength and estimating seismic response of multistorey frame (9
stiffness were introduced at different locations along storeys) with stiffness and strength irregularity contrary
height of the building models. The building models were to Lignos and Gantes (2005), Alba et al. (2005) who
analyzed using time history analysis by subjecting the used MPA procedure to evaluate the seismic response
building model to 20 different ground motion data. From of building frames with stiffness irregularity. Based
analytical studies it was concluded that irregularities in on the analytical results the authors concluded that the
strength and stiffness when present in combination had proposed method was effective in predicting effects
the maximum affect on the seismic response. Further of irregularity in building frames. Finally, the authors
maximum variation in the displacement response along concluded that effect of irregularity is influenced
height was observed when irregularities are present on by location and type of irregularity and building
the lower stories. systems subjected to unidirectional seismic excitation
Tremblay and Poncet (2005) evaluated the seismic underestimate the seismic demand significantly.
response of building frames with vertical mass Tremblay and Poncet (2005) conducted extensive
irregularity (Fig. 15) designed according to NBCC study on multistorey building frames with mass
provisions by static and dynamic analysis. Based on irregularity as per NBCC code. Ayidin (2007) evaluated
the analytical study it was concluded that both static the seismic response of buildings with mass irregularity
and dynamic method of analysis (as prescribed by by ELF procedure (as prescribed by Turkish code of
NBCC provisions) resulted in similar values of storey practice) and by time history analysis. The researcher
drifts and hence they were ineffective in predicting the had modeled multistorey structure ranging from 5 to
effects of mass irregularity. 20 storey height. The mass irregularity is created by
Fragiadakis et al. (2005) determined the seismic variation in mass of a storey with constant mass at other
response of building systems with irregular distribution stories. Based on the analytical study author concluded
of strength and stiffness in vertical direction. After that the mass irregularity effects the shear in the storey
conducting the analytical study it was concluded that below and ELF procedure overestimates the seismic
seismic performance of the structure depended on type response of the building systems as compared to the
and location of irregularity and on intensity of seismic time history analysis.
excitation. Modal pushover analysis (MPA) procedure Basu and Gopalakrishnan (2007) developed a
is an important analytical tool to evaluate the seismic simplified method of analysis for determination
performance and several researchers like Lignos and of seismic response of structures with horizontal


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
setbacks and torsional irregularity. The assessment three frames two ten storey plane frames were modeled
of the proposed method was made by applying it with two and four large setbacks in their upper floors
on four building models. In case of building models and the third frame was regular in elevation. These
with scattered positions of C.M. the proposed method three frames were subjected to 30 different ground
evaluates seismic response considering average value motions d and designed by the researchers as DCH and
of position of C.M. whereas perturbation analysis DCM frames (Designed for high ductility and medium
considers exact location of positions of C.M. at different ductility) as per Euro code 8.Then non linear dynamic
floor levels to evaluate the seismic response. Results analysis of the frames was carried out by subjecting the
of analytical study showed that for building systems frame to the ground motion data of the earthquake and
with vertically aligned C.M. the frequencies obtained parameters of rotation, base shear and interstorey drift
by proposed procedure and perturbation analysis were were evaluated. Based on the analytical study it was
found to be in close agreement, but results of frame found that the performance of both DCM and DCH
shear forces differed by 7 %.. In case of second example, frames were found to be satisfactory as per guidelines
the modal response obtained by proposed method and of Euro code 8.
perturbation analysis was similar, but difference in Karavallis et al. (2008) evaluated the seismic
frame shear force was found to be 4% for upper stories response of family of 135 plane steel moment resisting
and 1 % for base stories. In case of third building frames with vertical mass irregularities and created
model, the frequencies obtained by proposed procedure databank of analytical results. Furthermore the authors
and perturbation analysis were in close agreement, but used regression analysis technique to derive simple
difference of results in case of frame shear forces were formulae to evaluate seismic response parameters
10 % at ground storey level and 4% at first storey level. using the analysis databank. Results of analytical
In case of fourth example the difference of results in studies suggested that the mass ratio had no influence
estimation of frame shear forces were as high as 50 %, on deformation demand. The results obtained from
so it was concluded that the proposed position is not proposed formulae were found to be comparable with
applicable to the building models where the prescribed results of dynamic analysis.
limit of scattering of C.M. is exceeded.
Sadasiva et al. (2008) evaluated the effect of location
Karavallis et.al. (2008) performed extensive of vertical mass irregularity on seismic response of the
parametric study on steel frames with different types of structure. A 9 storey regular and irregular (with vertical
setback irregularity designed as per European seismic irregularity) frame was analyzed and designed as per
and structural codes. From analysis the databank of New Zealand code of practice in two ways, firstly it was
different output parameters like no. of stories, beam designed to have maximum interstorey drift at all levels
to column strength ratio, geometrical irregularity etc. (represented as CDCSIR) . Secondly, it was designed
which influence the deformation demands was created. to have a constant stiffness (represented by CS) at all
Based on the deformation demands four performance levels. To make clear distinction between regular and
levels were identified and these are a) occurrence of irregular structure, a special notation form was used
first plastic hinge b) Maximum interstorey drift ratio by the authors of form NS-M-L-(A), where N-no.of
(IDRmax) equal to 1.8 % ; c) IDRmax equal to 3.2% stories, S-Shear beam, M- Type of model [i.e. S(Shear
d)IDRmax equal to 4.0%. The results for different beam) or SFB (Shear Flexure beam), (A) Mass ratio].
types of setback structure were expressed in terms of The deformation is represented in form of graphs. For
these performance levels . From analytical study it was making the study Los Angeles earthquake records had
concluded that interstorey drift (IDR) ratio increased been used and authors carried out inelastic time history
with increase in storey height and tower portion analysis of the structure using Ruamoko software. Based
of setback experienced maximum deformation as on this analysis it was concluded that in case of both
compared to the base portion. CS and CISDR model the interstorey drift produced is
Athanassiadou (2008) made the assessment of seismic maximum when mass irregularity is present at topmost
capacity of the RC structures irregular in elevation. The storey and irregularity increases the interstorey drift of
author modeled three multistorey frames, out of these the structure. However this magnitude varies for both


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
CS and CISDR type of models . 14 shows the summary of research works regarding
Sarkar et al. (2010) developed a new parameter vertical irregularity.
called as regularity index (defined as the ratio of 1st In Table Mr, Sr and STr are mass, stiffness and
mode participation factor of the stepped building frame strength ratios.
to the regular frame) to express the extent of irregularity
and the authors developed an empirical formula to COMPARISON OF MODELS USED BY
calculate the fundamental time period of building DIFFERENT RESEARCHERS
frames with vertical setbacks. By use of this formula Classification 1: Table 15 shows First system of
the fundamental time period was represented as the classification of models used by different researchers
function of regularity index. To validate the approach,
modal analysis of 78 different building frames with M 1 - Elasto-plastic hysteric model
different types of setback irregularity were conducted M 2 - Bi-linear hysteric model
and it was found that the empirical formula yielded M 3 - Cloughs hysteric model
accurate results even for 3D building models. Table M 4 - Takedas hysteric model


S.No Name of Researcher Year Key Parameters N Main conclusion

1 Ruiz and Diedrich 1989 Sr 4,0.9 5 The behavior of infill wall is greatly influenced by
Sr - 0.65-2.0 time period of seismic excitation.
2 Shahrooz and Moelhe 1990 50 % setback 6 High rotational ductility in vicinity of irregularity
Mr 300 % to 900%
3 Vamudsson and Nau 1997 Mr - 0.1,0.5,1.5,2,5 5, ELF predicts accurate response upto Mr =5.
Sr - 0.5- 0.9 10, Storey stiffness reduction by 30 % increases
STr - 0.5-0.9 20 storey drift by 20 40% and reduction of storey
strength by 20 % doubles the ductility demand.
4 Ali Ali and Krawlinker 1997 Mr - 0.25,0.5,2,4 10 Mass irregularity had the least impact whereas
Sr - 0.1,0.25,0.5, 2,4,10 strength irregularity had the maximum impact.
STr -0.5
5 Das Nau 2003 Mr - 2.5-5.0 5 Ductility demands increased in vicinity of
Sr - 0.09 -1.6 10 irregularity but never exceeded design ductility
- 0.09 - 1.7 20 demand.
- 0.08 - 1.81
STr - 0.27-1.05
6 Chintanpakdee Chopra 2004 Sr 0.25,0.5, 2.0,5.0 12 Irregularities in upper stories had least influence
STr -0.25,0.5, 2.0,5.0 on displacement demand as compared to
irregularities in lower stories.
7 Fragiadakis 2006 Sr - 0.5,2.0 9 Seismic response depends on type of structural
STr - 0.5,2.0 irregularity.
8 Ayidin 2007 Mr 0.1,0.5,1,1.5,2,5 5 10 20 ELF procedure overestimates seismic response.
Mass irregularity affects shear.
9 Karavallis et al 2008 Mr = 2,4,6 3 9 15 Mass ratio has no influence on drift, rotation and
ductility demands.
10 Sadasiva et.al. 2008 Mr = 2.5,5 9 Effects of irregularity depends on Structural
model, Location and type of irregularity.


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
M Reference Advantages Disadvantages S. M Reference Advantages Disadvantages
no. No no.
1 23, 34, 35, Simple Less accurate for building 1 SS 1, 13, 15, Simple Easy Does not represent
74, 77, 82 systems with T>0.5s. 18, 20, 21, idealization and the actual
2 13, 22, 39, Includes strain Does not account for 22, 23, 34, formulation. structure.
67, 68, 74 hardening effect. stiffness change due to 35, 39, 46, Does not involve
increase in displacement 48, 67, 68, building systems
amplitude reversal. 69, 74, 75, with large degree
76, 77 of freedom.
3 20, 21, 74, Used for nonlinear Larger ductility demand
77, 82 analysis includes as compared to elasto 2 MS 1, 2, 3, 4, Represents More complex and
strain hardening plastic elements. 8, 9, 10, 11, actual structure. difficult to model
effect. Comparable values with 12, 16, 18, Seismic response as compared to
model 1 for high period 19, 28, 29, obtained much SB models.
structures. 30, 31, 32, closer to reality.
Need of
36, 40, 41, Can involve large s o p h i s t i c a t e d
4 19, 33, 68 Includes effects of Excessive damage caused
42, 43, 47, no. of degree of softwares.
flexural, cracking by shear and bond not
48, 50, 52, freedom.
and strain considered.
53, 62, 63,
64, 67, 68,
69, 72, 82,
Classification 2: Table 16 shows Second system of 83, 84.
classification of models used by different researchers
SS - Single-storey models Classification 3: Table 17 shows third system of
classification of models used by different researchers
MS Multi-storey models

S.No M Reference no. Advantages Disadvantages
1 SB 3, 9, 13, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, Simple Does not represent the actual structure. Does not
39, 46, 63, 66, 67, 68, 69, Easy idealization and formulation. involve building systems with large degree of
73, 74, 75, 76, 77 freedom.
Not suitable to represent multistorey building
systems as simplified S-B models are not designed
for gravity loads. So relation between strength and
stiffness for these models is different from that
of actual strength stiffness relation of framed
Strength of resisting elements can be adjusted
without changing the stiffness. However it has
been already proved by researchers that both these
parameters are interdependent.
2 PH 3, 9, 21, 67, 68, 69 Non linear analysis. Inelastic seismic More complex and difficult to model as compared
response prediction. Plastic hinges to SB models. Seismic response depends on
formed at ends of beams and columns. location of plastic hinge. Plastic hinge assumed to
occur at ends of beams and columns only.
3 3D 4, 8, 11, 12, 17, 19, 27, 28, Closer to actual buildings. Complex and difficult formulations.
30, 36, 40, 41, 42, 43, 47,
52, 53, 60, 62, 64, 65, 66,
68, 70, 72, 82, 83, 84


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
SB - Shear Beam seismic response parameters for optimization is up to
PH - Plastic hinge the priority of designer and it may vary according to
user requirements and building specifications. From
3D - 3D frame models result of researches it was found that different locations
Some authors also have used two or more than two of CV, CR and CM yielded different results and the
models so same reference number in some cases appears effects of these locations were different on different
against two model names in classification 1, 2 and 3. seismic response parameters. Further optimum position
of CV-CR was found to be highly depended of type and
DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS period of seismic excitation23.
Research works regarding vertical irregularities
The presence of structural irregularity changes the are fewer in number as compared to Plan irregularities
seismic response and the change in the seismic and the main focus of research works was to vary
response depends upon type of structural irregularities. either mass, stiffness and strength ratios to study the
As mentioned previously structural irregularities may effect of this variation in seismic response8,41,62,63.
be classified into horizontal and vertical irregularities. Some researchers have varied either mass, stiffness
On comparing research works regarding plan and or strength ratios only i.e. the effect of presence of
vertical irregularity, it was found that large number of single irregularity is studied, however the realistic
research works were conducted on Plan irregularities structures contain combination of irregularities and
as compared to vertical irregularities. consideration of single irregularity will not result in
In Plan irregularities some researchers used single realistic prediction of seismic response. So effect of
storey models and others used multistorey building combination of irregularities should be studied and
models as described in Table 16. The uses of former very few researchers have made an attempt towards
models were larger in comparison to the latter. Most this area1,82. One of the main conclusion was that
of the building models in recent years are single storey effect of irregularity depended on extent and location
building models, so the expressions for seismic response of irregularity and variation in seismic response
parameters and design philosophies formulated are not parameters was found at the vicinity of irregularity.
valid for multistorey building models. So most of the Some of the vertical irregularities like strength and
design codes which use expressions were formulated stiffness were found to be interdependent and their
on basis of single storey models need to be revised. relation was evaluated by some of the researchers. Many
The expressions obtained considering a particular researchers created stiffness and strength irregularity
multistorey model needs to be generalized so that it is by discontinuation of Shear walls at particular storey
applicable to all kinds of multistorey structures. height, this method of introducing irregularity was
Different centers of buildings like CM, CV and adopted for building models of different storey heights
CR have a huge impact on seismic response of and height and location of discontinuation of shear wall
building systems as torsion generated depends upon was also varied and in every such case it was observed
positions of these centers with respect to each other. that there was a large variation in ductility demand in
Several researchers10,73,74 have proposed the concept vicinity of discontinuation of irregularity11,30,52,53.
of balanced CV-CR location to generate minimum Regarding vertical setback irregularity, the top
torsional response. One of the main issues in this portion of setback was found to have greater deformation
concept is that the previous researchers have not been as compared to the base. Some of the researchers7,42
able to find a CV-CR location which gives optimum proposed new methods to estimate the seismic
values for all the seismic response parameters like response of vertically irregular structures but the code
drift, ductility and rotation etc. In general it was found defined procedures were found to be satisfactory and
that if some position of CV, CR, CM reduces drift and appropriate in predicting the seismic behavior.
ductility, then other portion reduces rotation i.e. no Regarding the method of analysis used by various
particular position of CV, CR and CM result in optimum researchers, Inelastic dynamic analysis and Pushover
values of seismic response parameters. So, selection of analysis were used by majority of researchers and


Vol. 39, No. 4, OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012
researchers especially like Chopra and Goel17,18 had rx, ry - Torsional radius in x and y direction.
done extensive work in improvement of pushover
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