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The Effect of Reducing Superimposed Dead Load on the Lateral Seismic Deformations of Structures

Authors: H. Alnajajra, A. Touqan, M. Dwaikat


The vast majority of the Middle East countries are prone to earthquakes. Despite that and from a seismic hazard point of view, the higher values of the superimposed dead load intensity of partitions and wearing materials of the constructed reinforced concrete slabs in these countries can increase the earthquake vulnerability of the structures. The primary objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of reducing superimposed dead load on the lateral seismic deformations of structures, the inter-story drifts and the seismic pounding damages. The study utilizes a group of three reinforced concrete structures at three different site conditions. These structures are assumed to be constructed in Nablus city of Palestine, and having superimposed dead load value as 1 kN/m2, 3 kN/m2, and 5 kN/m2, respectively. SAP2000 program, Version 18.1.1, is used to perform the response spectrum analysis to obtain the potential lateral seismic deformations of the studied models. Amazingly, the study points that, at the same site, superimposed dead load has a minor effect on the lateral deflections of the models. This, however, promotes the hypothesis that buildings failed during earthquakes mainly because they were not designed appropriately against gravity loads.

Keywords: Gravity loads, inter-story drifts, lateral seismic deformations, reinforced concrete slabs, response spectrum method, SAP2000, seismic design, seismic pounding, superimposed dead load.

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