Novel application of geosynthetics to reduce residual drifts of mid-rise buildings after earthquakes

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 2019, 116 pp. 331 - 344
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Geosynthetics have been used in variety of geotechnical engineering projects, such as ground improvement, erosion control, slope stabilisation and foundation strength improvement and they have been proved to be cost and time effective in many cases. In this study, a geosynthetic reinforced composite soil (GRCS) foundation system is proposed for seismic protection of mid-rise buildings supported by a shallow foundation potentially suffering from residual structural drift or permanent foundation settlement. To evaluate the proposed GRCS, a conventional reinforced concrete moment resisting building sitting on this composite ground under the earthquake excitations of 1978 Tabas, 1994 Northridge and 1995 Kobe was numerically simulated using FLAC3D software. The effect of soil-structure interaction (SSI) was captured using direct method of analysis adopting a three-dimensional numerical model. By adopting direct calculation method, the soil deposit, the geosynthetic reinforcement, the foundation and the structure were simulated simultaneously. Inelastic behaviour of the structure was considered, while hysteretic damping algorithm was adopted representing the variation of the shear modulus and corresponding damping ratio of the soil with cyclic shear strain capturing the energy dissipation characteristics of the soil. Both material and geometry nonlinearities were taken into account at the interface between the foundation and ground surface. The results are then presented in terms of mobilised tensile force in geosynthetic layers, the response spectra at bedrock and ground surface level, the shear force developed in the superstructure, the maximum foundation rocking angle, the maximum lateral deflection, the maximum inter-storey drift, and most importantly the residual inter-storey drift and permanent foundation settlement. The results showed that the proposed GRCS could offer design engineers a rational and cost-effective alternative solution to conventional deep foundations such as pile foundations, particularly for mid-rise buildings potentially suffering from earthquake-induced residual drifts and permanent settlements.
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