Influence of Foundation Type on Seismic Performance of Buildings Considering Soil-Structure Interaction

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Journal Article
International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics, 2016, 16 (8)
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© 2016 World Scientific Publishing Company. In selecting the type of foundation best suited for mid-rise buildings in high risk seismic zones, design engineers may consider that a shallow foundation, a pile foundation, or a pile-raft foundation can best carry the static and dynamic loads. However, different types of foundations behave differently during earthquakes, depending on the soil-structure interaction (SSI) where the properties of the in situ soil and type of foundation change the dynamic characteristics (natural frequency and damping) of the soil-foundation-structure system. In order to investigate the different characteristics of SSI and its influence on the seismic response of building frames, a 3D numerical model of a 15-storey full-scale (prototype) structure was simulated with four different types of foundations: (i) A fixed-based structure that excludes the SSI, (ii) a structure supported by a shallow foundation, (iii) a structure supported by a pile-raft foundation in soft soil and (iv) a structure supported by a floating (frictional) pile foundation in soft soil. Finite difference analyzes with FLAC3D were then conducted using real earthquake records that incorporated material (soil and superstructure) and geometric (uplifting, gapping and P-Δ effects) nonlinearities. The 3D numerical modeling procedure had previously been verified against experimental shaking table tests conducted by the authors. The results are then presented and compared in terms of soil amplification, shear force distribution and rocking of the superstructure, including its lateral deformation and drift. The results showed that the type of foundation is a major contributor to the seismic response of buildings with SSI and should therefore be given careful consideration in order to ensure a safe and cost effective design.
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