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Buildings, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2012), Pages 173-383

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Why Buildings Fail: Are We Learning From Our Mistakes?
Buildings 2012, 2(3), 326-331; doi:10.3390/buildings2030326
Received: 30 August 2012 / Accepted: 31 August 2012 / Published: 5 September 2012
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Abstract
Most building professionals have investigated or performed remedial designs for at least one architectural or engineering system failure during their careers. Other practitioners, especially those who work for forensic consultants or firms specializing in disaster response and repair, are more familiar with [...] Read more.
Most building professionals have investigated or performed remedial designs for at least one architectural or engineering system failure during their careers. Other practitioners, especially those who work for forensic consultants or firms specializing in disaster response and repair, are more familiar with the variety and extent of building failures as they assist their clients in restoring damaged or deficient buildings. The advent of social medial and twenty-four-hour news channels along with the general ease of finding more examples of failures in the Internet have made us realize that building failures in the broad sense are much more common than we may have realized.Relatively recent events leading to building failures such as the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes, the roof/parking deck of the Algo Centre mall in the northern Ontario, Canada city of Elliot Lake and the Indiana State Fairground stage collapse in the US are just a few reminders that much more work needs to be done on a variety of fronts to prevent building failures from a life safety standpoint. The need is compounded by economic concerns from what would be considered more mundane or common failures. Inspections by the author after Hurricane Katrina revealed a huge number of failures associated rain water alone as roofs, windows, flashing, mechanical penetrations etc. failed leading to interior water penetration often resulting in more damage from damp conditions and mold propagation than outright structural collapses. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Failures)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Comparison of Energy Dissipation, Stiffness, and Damage of Structural Oriented Strand Board (OSB), Conventional Gypsum, and Viscoelastic Gypsum Shearwalls Subjected to Cyclic Loads
Buildings 2012, 2(3), 173-202; doi:10.3390/buildings2030173
Received: 3 May 2012 / Accepted: 11 June 2012 / Published: 28 June 2012
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Abstract
A key element in the seismic load resisting system of a wood framed structure is the shear wall which is typically sheathed on one side with plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) and gypsum on the other. The shear capacity of gypsum [...] Read more.
A key element in the seismic load resisting system of a wood framed structure is the shear wall which is typically sheathed on one side with plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) and gypsum on the other. The shear capacity of gypsum sheathed shear walls is typically neglected in high seismic areas due to the susceptibility of conventional drywall screw connections to damage caused by earthquakes. The earthquake resistance of an innovative viscoelastic (VE) gypsum shearwall is evaluated and compared to conventional structural and non-structural walls. Ten 8 ft × 8 ft wood framed wall specimens of three configurations [nailed-OSB, screw-gypsum, and VE polymer-gypsum] were subjected to a cyclic test protocol. The energy dissipation, stiffness, and damage characteristics of all shearwalls are reported herein. Testing results indicate the VE-gypsum walls can dissipate more energy than the OSB structural panels and 500% more energy that the conventional gypsum sheathed walls and contains a constant source of energy dissipation not seen in the structural and non-structural walls. The wall stiffness of the OSB wall degrades at a far greater rate that the VE gypsum wall and at continued cycling degrades below the VE wall stiffness. Unlike both of the conventional wall types, the VE wall showed no visible or audible signs of damage when subjected to shear displacements up to 1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earthquake Resistant Buildings)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Social Interaction and Communications on Innovation in the Architectural Design Studio
Buildings 2012, 2(3), 203-217; doi:10.3390/buildings2030203
Received: 22 April 2012 / Revised: 7 June 2012 / Accepted: 26 June 2012 / Published: 5 July 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (126 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
Design is a social phenomenon and researchers suggest that social interaction, negotiations and communication between designers are essential to initiate creativity. Within the design studio environment, a number of factors affect the healthy social interaction and design negotiations, such as the teaching [...] Read more.
Design is a social phenomenon and researchers suggest that social interaction, negotiations and communication between designers are essential to initiate creativity. Within the design studio environment, a number of factors affect the healthy social interaction and design negotiations, such as the teaching style of tutors and the culture that governs a design studio’s environment. This may in turn affect the utilization of the outcome of negotiations in the design project. Design studio students from the third to fifth years at the College of Architecture, University of Dammam (UD), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), were surveyed to find out how far the design studio’s culture and communication would impact the production of innovative design projects. The results show that frequent communication and the establishment’s shared grounds are essential to develop knowledge and positively influence the design outcome. On the other hand, the research found that negative qualities on a personal level and on that of a design studio environment would hinder a student’s creativity. However, to develop students’ design/innovative abilities, the researcher recommends that certain measures should be considered. These would include transforming the design studio into an interactive and friendly learning environment, adjusting the teaching methodology, and developing interactive communication abilities of students and tutors. Full article
Open AccessArticle Uncertainty in Seismic Capacity of Masonry Buildings
Buildings 2012, 2(3), 218-230; doi:10.3390/buildings2030218
Received: 17 April 2012 / Revised: 25 May 2012 / Accepted: 19 June 2012 / Published: 6 July 2012
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Abstract
Seismic assessment of masonry structures is plagued by both inherent randomness and model uncertainty. The former is referred to as aleatory uncertainty, the latter as epistemic uncertainty because it depends on the knowledge level. Pioneering studies on reinforced concrete buildings have revealed [...] Read more.
Seismic assessment of masonry structures is plagued by both inherent randomness and model uncertainty. The former is referred to as aleatory uncertainty, the latter as epistemic uncertainty because it depends on the knowledge level. Pioneering studies on reinforced concrete buildings have revealed a significant influence of modeling parameters on seismic vulnerability. However, confidence in mechanical properties of existing masonry buildings is much lower than in the case of reinforcing steel and concrete. This paper is aimed at assessing whether and how uncertainty propagates from material properties to seismic capacity of an entire masonry structure. A typical two-story unreinforced masonry building is analyzed. Based on previous statistical characterization of mechanical properties of existing masonry types, the following random variables have been considered in this study: unit weight, uniaxial compressive strength, shear strength at zero confining stress, Young’s modulus, shear modulus, and available ductility in shear. Probability density functions were implemented to generate a significant number of realizations and static pushover analysis of the case-study building was performed for each vector of realizations, load combination and lateral load pattern. Analysis results show a large dispersion in displacement capacity and lower dispersion in spectral acceleration capacity. This can directly affect decision-making because both design and retrofit solutions depend on seismic capacity predictions. Therefore, engineering judgment should always be used when assessing structural safety of existing masonry constructions against design earthquakes, based on a series of seismic analyses under uncertain parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earthquake Resistant Buildings)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Reinforcement Geometry on Strength and Stiffness in Adhesively Bonded Steel-Timber Flexural Beams
Buildings 2012, 2(3), 231-244; doi:10.3390/buildings2030231
Received: 2 June 2012 / Accepted: 26 June 2012 / Published: 10 July 2012
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Abstract
A finite element model is developed to analyse, as a function of volume fraction, the effects of reinforcement geometry and arrangement within a timber beam. The model is directly validated against experimental equivalents and found to never be mismatched by more than [...] Read more.
A finite element model is developed to analyse, as a function of volume fraction, the effects of reinforcement geometry and arrangement within a timber beam. The model is directly validated against experimental equivalents and found to never be mismatched by more than 8% in respect to yield strength predictions. Yield strength increases linearly as a function of increasing reinforcement volume fraction, while the flexural modulus follows more closely a power law regression fit. Reinforcement geometry and location of reinforcement are found to impact both the flexural properties of timber-steel composite beams and the changes due to an increase in volume fraction. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Comparative Cradle-to-Gate Life Cycle Assessment of Mid-Rise Office Building Construction Alternatives: Laminated Timber or Reinforced Concrete
Buildings 2012, 2(3), 245-270; doi:10.3390/buildings2030245
Received: 23 April 2012 / Revised: 25 June 2012 / Accepted: 26 June 2012 / Published: 17 July 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this project was to quantify and compare the environmental impacts associated with alternative designs for a typical North American mid-rise office building. Two scenarios were considered; a traditional cast-in-place, reinforced concrete frame and a laminated timber hybrid design, which [...] Read more.
The objective of this project was to quantify and compare the environmental impacts associated with alternative designs for a typical North American mid-rise office building. Two scenarios were considered; a traditional cast-in-place, reinforced concrete frame and a laminated timber hybrid design, which utilized engineered wood products (cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam). The boundary of the quantitative analysis was cradle-to-construction site gate and encompassed the structural support system and the building enclosure. Floor plans, elevations, material quantities, and structural loads associated with a five-storey concrete-framed building design were obtained from issued-for-construction drawings. A functionally equivalent, laminated timber hybrid design was conceived, based on Canadian Building Code requirements. Design values for locally produced CLT panels were established from in-house material testing. Primary data collected from a pilot-scale manufacturing facility was used to develop the life cycle inventory for CLT, whereas secondary sources were referenced for other construction materials. The TRACI characterization methodology was employed to translate inventory flows into impact indicators. The results indicated that the laminated timber building design offered a lower environmental impact in 10 of 11 assessment categories. The cradle-to-gate process energy was found to be nearly identical in both design scenarios (3.5 GJ/m2), whereas the cumulative embodied energy (feedstock plus process) of construction materials was estimated to be 8.2 and 4.6 GJ/m2 for the timber and concrete designs, respectively; which indicated an increased availability of readily accessible potential energy stored within the building materials of the timber alternative. Full article
Open AccessArticle Innovative Procedures to Assess Seismic Behaviour of Existing Structures by Means of Non Linear Static Analysis: Polar Spectrum and Capacity Domains
Buildings 2012, 2(3), 271-282; doi:10.3390/buildings2030271
Received: 3 April 2012 / Revised: 11 June 2012 / Accepted: 25 June 2012 / Published: 18 July 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (536 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last few years, the need to evaluate the seismic performances of buildings on sustaining strong motion has encouraged the development of simplified non-linear static analyses. Several procedures are available today to assess the behavior of plane-frame systems or plan-regular framed [...] Read more.
In the last few years, the need to evaluate the seismic performances of buildings on sustaining strong motion has encouraged the development of simplified non-linear static analyses. Several procedures are available today to assess the behavior of plane-frame systems or plan-regular framed buildings suitable for engineering purposes. Less accurate procedures are instead available for irregular structures. This study introduces new tools to assess the seismic performance of irregular structures by using capacity domains and polar spectra. In particular, the capacity domains, plotted in terms of base shear and node control displacements and obtained by means of static non-linear analyses, lead to the evaluation of the direction of least seismic capacity of the investigated structure. The polar spectrum, instead, leads to taking into account the directivity and site effects of seismic events. In particular, the polar spectrum represents the spectral seismic response evaluated for different in-plan directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earthquake Resistant Buildings)
Open AccessArticle Contemporary Issues in Building Collapse and Its Implications for Sustainable Development
Buildings 2012, 2(3), 283-299; doi:10.3390/buildings2030283
Received: 9 May 2012 / Revised: 16 June 2012 / Accepted: 4 July 2012 / Published: 25 July 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines contemporary issues in building collapse and its implications for sustainable development in Nigeria. It explores whether the approach to construction by industry stakeholders is in line with the principles of sustainable development following the spate of building collapses in [...] Read more.
This paper examines contemporary issues in building collapse and its implications for sustainable development in Nigeria. It explores whether the approach to construction by industry stakeholders is in line with the principles of sustainable development following the spate of building collapses in Nigeria. The rationale for the investigation stems from the view by scholars that construction industry stakeholders’ do not seem to consider the future in their current activities. The study establishes that the approach to construction by industry stakeholders do not match sustainable principles, and contributes to general under perforxmance of buildings. The paper recommends an overhaul of planning and implementation policies for building development regulations (e.g., building codes). The Nigerian government, as a major construction stakeholder should initiate sustainable construction measures and enforce this as best practice for the construction industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Failures)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Seismic Vulnerability of a Historical Masonry Building
Buildings 2012, 2(3), 332-358; doi:10.3390/buildings2030332
Received: 9 July 2012 / Accepted: 10 August 2012 / Published: 13 September 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3483 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A multidisciplinary approach for assessing the seismic vulnerability of heritage masonry buildings is described throughout the paper. The procedure is applied to a specific case study that represents a very common typology of masonry building in Italy. The seismic vulnerability of the [...] Read more.
A multidisciplinary approach for assessing the seismic vulnerability of heritage masonry buildings is described throughout the paper. The procedure is applied to a specific case study that represents a very common typology of masonry building in Italy. The seismic vulnerability of the examined building was assessed after the following: (a) historical investigation about the building and the surrounding area, (b) detailed geometrical relieves, (c) identification of materials by means of surveys and literature indications, (d) dynamic in-situ tests, (e) foundation soil characterization, (f) dynamic identification of the structure by means of a refined Finite Element (FE) model. After these steps, the FE model was used to assess the safety level of the building by means of non-linear static analyses according to the provisions of Eurocode 8 and estimate of the q-factor. Some parametric studies were also carried out by means of both linear dynamic and non-linear static analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earthquake Resistant Buildings)
Open AccessArticle Blast Analysis of Laminated Glass Curtain Walls Equipped by Viscoelastic Dissipative Devices
Buildings 2012, 2(3), 359-383; doi:10.3390/buildings2030359
Received: 5 June 2012 / Revised: 8 August 2012 / Accepted: 30 August 2012 / Published: 18 September 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (794 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nonlinear numerical simulations are reported for a conventional unitized laminated glass curtain wall subjected to high- and low-level air blast loading. The studied curtain wall, spanning floor to floor, consisted of a laminated glass panel, a continuous bead of structural silicone sealant, [...] Read more.
Nonlinear numerical simulations are reported for a conventional unitized laminated glass curtain wall subjected to high- and low-level air blast loading. The studied curtain wall, spanning floor to floor, consisted of a laminated glass panel, a continuous bead of structural silicone sealant, a split screw spline frame and four rigid brackets. Firstly, a linear elastic FE-model (M01) is presented to investigate dynamic stresses and deflections due to explosion, by taking into account geometrical nonlinearities. Since, in similar glazing systems, it is important to take into account the possible cracking of glass lites, a second model (M02), calibrated to previous experimental data, is proposed. In it, glass behaves as a brittle-elastic material, whereas an elastoplastic characteristic curve is assumed for mullions. As a result, the design explosion seriously affects the main components of the curtain wall, especially the bead of silicone. To address these criticalities, additional viscoelastic (VE) devices are installed at the frame corners (M03). Their effectiveness explains the additional deformability provided to the conventional curtain wall, as well as the obvious dissipation of the incoming energy due to blast loading. Structural and energy capabilities provided by devices are highlighted by means of numerical simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Failures)

Review

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Open AccessReview A Review of Seismic Isolation for Buildings: Historical Development and Research Needs
Buildings 2012, 2(3), 300-325; doi:10.3390/buildings2030300
Received: 24 April 2012 / Revised: 12 July 2012 / Accepted: 18 July 2012 / Published: 3 August 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1082 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Seismic isolation is a technique that has been used around the world to protect building structures, nonstructural components and content from the damaging effects of earthquake ground shaking. This paper summarizes current practices, describes widely used seismic isolation hardware, chronicles the history [...] Read more.
Seismic isolation is a technique that has been used around the world to protect building structures, nonstructural components and content from the damaging effects of earthquake ground shaking. This paper summarizes current practices, describes widely used seismic isolation hardware, chronicles the history and development of modern seismic isolation through shake table testing of isolated buildings, and reviews past efforts to achieve three-dimensional seismic isolation. The review of current practices and past research are synthesized with recent developments from full-scale shake table testing to highlight areas where research is needed to achieve full seismic damage protection of buildings. The emphasis of this paper is on the application of passive seismic isolation for buildings primarily as practiced in the United States, though systems used in other countries will be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earthquake Resistant Buildings)

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