Dynamic behavior of perimeter lateral-system structures with flexible diaphragms

R. B. Fleischman, K. T. Farrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Building structures are typically designed using the assumption that the floor systems serve as a rigid diaphragm between the vertical elements of the lateral load-resisting system. However, long-floor span structures with perimeter lateral load-resisting systems possess diaphragms which behave quite flexibly. The dynamic behaviour of such structures is dissimilar to the behavior expected of typical structures. This difference can lead to unexpected force and drift patterns. If force levels are sufficiently under-estimated, inelastic diaphragm behaviour can occur, exacerbating the effects of diaphragm flexibility. Such response may lead to a non-ductile diaphragm failure or structural instability due to high drift demands in the gravity system. Analytical models were developed which capture the diaphragm flexibility of structures with long-floor spans and perimeter lateral-systems. Modal examination and time-history analyses were performed to determine the effect of diaphragm flexibility and diaphragm inelastic behaviour on the dynamic behaviour of these structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-763
Number of pages19
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Diaphragm flexibility
  • Drift demand
  • Earthquake-resistant design
  • Lateral force distribution
  • Non-linear time-history analysis
  • Seismic responce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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