Technical Papers

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A roof isolation system is proposed as a means to reduce the detrimental effect of earthquakes in buildings. This roof isolation system entails the insertion of flexible laminated rubber bearings between a building's roof and the columns that support it and the addition of viscous dampers connected between the roof and the rest of the building. The properties and dimensions of the rubber bearings and viscous dampers are selected in a way that makes the roof, bearings, and dampers form a highly damped vibration absorber. Presented also is a comparative study with a simple five story steel building under a strong earthquake ground motion that is carried out to assess the effectiveness of the proposed system. In this comparative study, it is found that the roof isolation scheme reduces the floor displacements and interstory drifts of the analyzed building by as much as 83 percent. On the basis of these results and in view of its simplicity, it is concluded that the proposed roof isolation system has the potential to become a practical and effective way to reduce earthquake damage in buildings.

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