Spatial seismic modeling of base-isolated buildings pounding against moat walls: effects of ground motion directionality and mass eccentricity

Eftychia A. Mavronicola, Panayiotis C. Polycarpou, Petros Komodromos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Structural impact between adjacent buildings may induce local and, in some extreme cases, severe damage, especially in the case of seismically isolated buildings. This study parametrically investigates in the three-dimensional domain the effect of pounding on the peak response of base-isolated buildings, which are simulated as nonlinear three-dimensional multi-degree-of-freedom systems. Firstly, it is shown that considering unidirectional, instead of bidirectional, excitations may lead to underestimation of the base drift demands. Subsequently, the peak responses of seismically isolated buildings utilizing lead rubber bearings are studied while varying important parameters, such as the incidence angle of seismic excitations, the available seismic clearance, and mass eccentricities, under the action of bidirectional horizontal excitations. A large number of numerical simulations are performed using a specially developed software that implements an efficient approach to model impacts, taking into account arbitrary locations of contact points. It is found that the peak interstory drift ratio is significantly influenced by the directionality of the ground motion. Therefore, the seismic performance of structures should ideally be assessed examining the peak structural response while bidirectional ground motions are imposed at various incident angles. Furthermore, it is also observed that the interstory drift ratios increase while decreasing the available gap size, up to a certain value. Finally, the parametric analyses indicate that the effects of impact are more severe for structures with mass eccentricities, and in which case, the estimation of the critical incidence angle becomes more laborious.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161-1179
Number of pages19
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • angle of seismic incidence
  • force-based approach
  • gap size
  • mass eccentricity
  • three-dimensional pounding


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