Technical Papers

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Prior to the 1994 Northridge earthquake, modern welded moment resisting steel frame structures were regarded as highly resistant to earthquake induced damage and few engineers regarded earthquake induced collapse of such structures as credible. This paradigm changed following the 1994 Northridge, California and 1995 Kobe, Japan earthquakes, creating a new class of potentially hazardous structures. In response to this new information, the Federal Emergency Management Agency retained a consortium of the Structural Engineers Association of California, the Applied Technology Council and the California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering, known as the SAC Joint Venture, to research the cause of the unexpected poor performance of these buildings and develop recommended design criteria. The resulting FEAM-351 publication provides performance based design criteria for the evaluation and upgrade of these structures. This paper presents the application of the FEMA-351 criteria to the design of structural upgrades employing energy dissipation technology to an existing 10-story steel structure. The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) administration building is nine stories tall, with three below grade basement levels and a rooftop, mechanical penthouse. It was completed in 1991, employing the standard vulnerable moment connections. Alternative upgrade strategies were investigated, including modification of individual connections and application of energy dissipation criteria. The latter approach, using viscous dampers, was selected.

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