Structural performance and economics of tall high strength RC buildings in seismic regions

Benedict T. Laogan, Amr S. Elnashai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


For a multitude of economic and societal considerations, high rise structures are on the increase. This in turn promotes the use of high strength materials to reduce column size and construction times. Whereas design guidance and engineering understanding of high strength RC structures under static loading is well-developed, little work has been undertaken on the economics of whole buildings and their performance under earthquake loading. In this paper, 10 buildings of 24 stories are designed and detailed according to modern seismic codes. The buildings are all nominally equivalent, using a stiffness equivalence criterion and its derivatives. The cost of construction is compared in terms of steel, concrete and formwork. The static inelastic response of the buildings is also assessed, followed by a full nonlinear dynamic analysis of all buildings using three earthquake records at the design acceleration and twice the design value. Comprehensive assessment of the static and dynamic results is undertaken. It is concluded that the cost increase is mainly due to the steel, whilst significant member reductions may be availed of by using high strength concrete. The behaviour of high strength concrete structures is not inferior to that of normal strength materials. Indeed, it is observed that lower levels of overstrength can be achieved in high strength materials than in their normal strength counterparts, mainly due to the over-reinforcement of the latter to resist vertical forces. Recommendations on the use of equivalent cracked stiffness for period calculation in design, and also effective periods for use in displacement-based design, are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-204
Number of pages34
JournalStructural Design of Tall Buildings
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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