Approximate Procedure for the Seismic Nonlinear Analysis of Nonstructural Components in Buildings

Document Type : Structural Earthquake Engineering


University of California, Irvine


An approximate method is proposed to estimate the seismic response of nonlinear nonstructural components attached to nonlinear building structures. The method is based on a previously developed procedure for the analysis of linear secondary systems mounted on a linear primary structure, the introduction of simplifying assumptions similar to those made in the derivation of the equivalent lateral force procedure for the seismic analysis of conventional buildings, and the use of strength reduction factors to account for the nonlinear behaviour of nonstructural component and supporting structure. Its application to any given nonstructural component only requires knowing the geometric characteristics, weights, and target ductilities of the nonstructural component and the structure to which it is connected, in addition to the fundamental natural period of the structure and the elastic response spectrum specified for the design of the structure. Presented also are a numerical example that illustrates the application of the method and the results of a comparative numerical study that is carried out to assess the method’s adequacy. Based on its simplicity and rationality and the results from the comparative study, it is concluded that the proposed method represents a simple but effective procedure for the seismic design of nonstructural components in buildings.