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Horizontal irregularity of structures (ASCE 7, section 12.3.2.1)

February , 20th 2024 | Via: David González (Linkedin) | Seen: 577 times
A building may appear symmetrical but be considered irregular due to how its mass or the elements resisting seismic forces are distributed. Even with coincidence between the centers of mass and stiffness, torsions can be generated by effects such as seismic waves acting at unusual angles or by asymmetric cracks.
Horizontal irregularity of structures (ASCE 7, section 12.3.2.1)
This is addressed with torsional structural irregularities (Type 1), establishing designs that manage similar collapse risks for structures with and without torsional response, based on studies such as FEMA P-2012. Structures are required to have sufficient torsional resistance, not just stiffness, based on the need to withstand seismic loads even when forces act in directions not parallel to the resistance systems. This implies applying design rules that consider resistance in orthogonal directions. Configurations with significant reentrant corners or complex shapes such as cruciform or H shapes are considered irregular (Type 2) due to the differentiated response of their parts, which can generate higher concentrations of local forces. Significant variation in diaphragm stiffness (Type 3) or discontinuities in lateral force resistance (Type 4) also lead to considering a structure as irregular.

Structures whose resistance elements do not follow the principal orthogonal axes (Type 5) require a special design approach to ensure adequate seismic resistance, emphasizing the importance of considering all these variables in structural engineering against earthquakes. Also, vertical irregularities as shown in this other image must be taken into account.
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