Necessity and adequacy of near-source factors for seismically isolated buildings

Saifullah M. K. , Alhan C.

EARTHQUAKES AND STRUCTURES, vol.12, no.1, pp.91-108, 2017 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.12989/eas.2017.12.1.091
  • Page Numbers: pp.91-108


Superstructures and isolation systems of seismically isolated buildings located close to active faults may observe increased seismic demands resulting from long-period and high-amplitude velocity and displacement pulses existent in nearfault ground motions as their fundamental periods may be close to or coincident with these near-fault pulse periods. In order to take these effects into account, the 1997 Uniform Building Code (UBC97) has specified near-source factors that scale up the design spectrum depending on the closest distance to the fault, the soil type at the site, and the properties of the seismic source. Although UBC97 has been superseded by the 2015 International Building Code in the U. S. A., UBC97 near-source factors are still frequently referred in the design of seismically isolated buildings around the world. Therefore it is deemed necessary and thus set as the aim of this study to assess the necessity and the adequacy of near-source factors for seismically isolated buildings. Benchmark buildings of different heights with isolation systems of different properties are used in comparing seismic responses obtained via time history analyses using a large number of historical earthquakes with those obtained from spectral analyses using the amplified spectrums established through UBC97 near-source factors. Results show that near-source factors are necessary but inadequate for superstructure responses and somewhat unconservative for base displacement response.