Rutherford & Chekene engineers, Saeed Fathali Ph.D., P.E. and Bret Lizundia S.E., published the article, “Evaluation of current seismic design equations for non-structural components in tall buildings using strong motion records” in the December 12, 2011 publication of The Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings by Wiley Online Library.

Mr. Lizundia and Dr. Fathali recently completed a research study funded by the California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (CSMIP). The data interpretation project used recorded ground and floor motion data to evaluate a key ASCE/SEI 7-05 (and 7-10) equation for seismic design of acceleration-sensitive building nonstructural components. An improved equation was developed with two categories of revisions of the current code formula. The results of this study showed that improvements can be made in determining appropriate seismic demands with two relatively simple changes to the code formula, using two basic seismic design parameters (Ta and ap) without requiring further analyses such as modal or response history analyses. The paper evaluated tall buildings with at least 15 stories using the proposed equations and confirmed that the revisions provided improvements in matching design equations with recorded response.