Dynamic behavior, Hybrid coupled wall system, Inelastic seismic analysis, RC shear walls, Seismic design, Steel coupling beams


A key consideration in seismic design of buildings is to ensure that the lateral load resisting system has an appropriate combination of strength, stiffness and energy dissipation capacity. Hybrid coupled wall systems, in which steel beams are used to couple two or more reinforced concrete shear walls in series, can be designed to have these attributes and therefore have the potential to deliver good performance under severe seismic loading. This research presents an investigation of the seismic behavior of this type of structural system. System response of 12- and 18-story high prototypes is studied using transient finite element analyses that accounts for the most important aspects of material nonlinear behavior including concrete cracking, tension stiffening, and compressive behavior for both confined and unconfined concrete as well as steel yielding. The developed finite element models are calibrated using more detailed models developed in previous research and are validated through numerous comparisons with test results of reinforced concrete walls and wall-beam subassemblages. Suites of transient inelastic analyses are conducted to investigate pertinent parameters including hazard level, earthquake record scaling, dynamic base shear magnification, interstory drift, shear distortion, coupling beam plastic rotation, and wall rotation. Different performance measures are proposed to judge and compare the behavior of the various systems. The analyses show that, in general, hybrid coupled walls are particularly well suited for use in regions of high seismic risk. The results of the dynamic analyses are used to judge the validity of and to refine a previously proposed design method based on the capacity design concept and the assumption of behavior dominated by the first vibration mode. The adequacy of design based on the pushover analysis procedure as promoted in FEMA-356 (2000) is also investigated using the dynamic analysis results. Substantial discrepancies between both methods are observed, especially in the case of the 18-story system. A critical assessment of dynamic base shear magnification is also conducted, and a new method for estimating its effects is suggested. The method is based on a modal combination procedure that accounts for presence of a plastic hinge at the wall base. Finally, the validity of limitations in FEMA-368 (2000) on building height, particularly for hybrid coupled wall systems, is discussed.


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Graduation Date





El-Tawil, Sherif


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Civil and Environmental Engineering








Release Date

January 2005

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic