Login | Register

Structural Response of Multi-Story Buildings Subjected to Foundation Differential Settlements


Structural Response of Multi-Story Buildings Subjected to Foundation Differential Settlements

Chen, Wenxue (2020) Structural Response of Multi-Story Buildings Subjected to Foundation Differential Settlements. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

[thumbnail of Wenxue_PhD_S2021.pdf]
Text (application/pdf)
Wenxue_PhD_S2021.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.


Differential settlement between foundation units of a multi-story structure has been responsible for serious damage to buildings, and often catastrophic failure and loss of life. The dynamic changes in the loading conditions of the structure, and the variability of the underlying ground due to environmental changes, are causing the undesirable differential settlement, which is manifested in the form of additional stresses in beams, columns and distortion of the structure elements.
The structural response to the differential settlements depends on the type of the structure (concrete or steel), type of beam-to-column connections (rigid or semi-rigid), the number of floors, height of the floor and the spans of the beams in the building.
Due to the complexity of the problem, and the enormous amount of the governing parameters, research in this field is lagging behind, which further attributed to the lack of communication between structure and geotechnical engineers. Yet, the current design codes of structures do not include these additional stresses. Engineers are dealing with this problem by using empirical formula, recommendations given in the literature, or by increasing the factor of safety of the superstructure.
This study presents experimental and numerical investigations on the problem stated. Experimentally a four-floor aluminum structure was developed in the laboratory. The model was instrumented to measure the stresses and strains induced in beams and columns as a result of the settlement of a center, edge and corner column respectively, which are the critical columns in the structure. Numerically a 3-D finite Element model was developed using the commercial software “ABAQUS”
After being validated with the present experimental results, the numerical model was used to analyze a 9-floor steel structure and to conduct a parametric study. The results are presented in the form of stress distributions in the structure, the role of beam-to-column connections and guideline for the design of these structures.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Chen, Wenxue
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Civil Engineering
Date:December 2020
Thesis Supervisor(s):Adel, Hanna
Keywords:Structural Response; Multi-Story Buildings; Foundation Differential Settlements
ID Code:987841
Deposited By: WENXUE CHEN
Deposited On:29 Jun 2021 20:42
Last Modified:29 Jun 2021 20:42


ACI Committee 318. (2014). Building code requirement for structural concrete (ACI 318M-14) and commentary (ACI 318RM-14). Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete.
Ameri, M. R., Asce, S. M., Massumi, A., Masoomi, H., and Asce, S. M. (2019). “Effect of Structural Redundancy on Progressive Collapse Resistance Enhancement in RC Frame Structures.” Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 33(1).
ASCE/SEI 7-16. (2016). Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures.
NBCC. 2010. National Building Code of Canada 2010. Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
AASHTO. 2010. Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, D.C., USA.
Boscardin, B. M. D., and Cording, E. J. (1989). “Building Response to Excavation‐Induced Settlement.” 115(1), 1–21.
Brown, P. T. (1975). “The Significance of Structure-Foundation Interaction.” Second Australia-New Zealand Conference on Geomechanics, 79–82.
Burland, J. B., and Worth, C. P. (1974). “Settlement of Buildings and Associated Damage.” British Geotechnical Society’s Conference, 611–654.
Canadian Geiotechnical Society. (2006). Foundation engineering manual.
Anastasopulos, I. 2013. “Building damage during nearby construction: forensic analysis”, Engineering Failure Analysis, 34: 252-267.
Camos, C., Molins, C., and Arnau, O. 2014. “Case study of damage on masonry buildings produced by tunneling induced settlement”, International Journal of Architectural Heritage: Conservation, Analysis, and Restoration, 8(4), 602-625.
Boone, S. J.,Westland, J., and Nusink, R. 1999. “Comparative evaluation of building responses to an adjacent braced excavation.” Can. Geotech. J., 36, 210–223
Brown P. T. 1975. “The significance of Structural-Foundation Interaction” 2ed Aust. – N. Z. Conf. Geomechs., Brisbane.
Jieren Song. 2010. Analysis on reasons for integral collapse of Shanghai Lotus River Garden No.7 Building, Architecture Technology, 41(9), 843-847.
Terzaghi, K. & Peck, R.B. 1948. Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice, 1st Edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York.
Myerhof G.G. 1974. “The settlement Analysis of Building Frames”, Structural Engineer, Vol. 25(9), pp. 369-409.
Laefer, D., Ceribasi, S., Long. J., and Cording, E. 2009. “Predicting RC frame response to excavation-induced settlement”, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 135(11): 1605-1609.
Lefebvre D. and Theroux S. 2000. “Soil-structure Interaction for the Design of Buildings Shallow Foundation”, 53ed Canadian Geotechnical Conference. Montreal. pp. 1099.
Son, M., and Cording, E. 2011. “Response of buildings with differential structural types to excavation-induced ground settlement”, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 137 (4): 323-333.
Skempton A. W. and MacDonald D. H. 1956. “Allowable Settlement of Buildings”. Proc. Insyn. Civ. Engrs., Pt III, Vol. 5, pp. 727-768.
Burland, J. B., and C.P. Worth. 1970. Allowable and differential settlement of structures, including damage and soil-structure interaction, in Proc., Conf. on Settlement of structures, Cambridge University, U.K.:11.
Bray, J., and Dashti, S. 2014. “Liquefaction-induced building movement”, Bull., Eq., Eng. 12(3): 1129-1156.
Holtz, R.D. 1991. “Stress distribution and settlement of shallow foundation” Chapter 5, Foundation Engineering handbook, H.S. Fang, editor, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp. 166-222.
FEMA 356. (2000). Prestandard and commentary for the seismic rehabilitation of buildings.
Hanna, A. (2003). “Interactions between superstructure and substructure of buildings for achieving economical building design.” International Journal for Housing Science, 27(3), 167–175.
Hou, J., Song, L., and Liu, H. (2016). “Progressive collapse of RC frame structures after a centre column loss.” Magazine of Concrete Research, 68(8), 423–432.
Hun, K., and James, R. (2014). “Response of framed buildings to excavation-induced movements.” Soils and Foundations, Elsevier, 54(3), 250–268.
Kishi N, Chen WF. (1990) Moment- rotation relations of semi-rigid connections with angles. J Struct Eng ASCE 116(7):1813–1834
Kim, Y. J., Gajan, S., and Saafi, M. (2011). “Settlement Rehabilitation of a 35-Year-Old Building : Case Study Integrated with Analysis and Implementation.” PRACTICE PERIODICAL ON STRUCTURAL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION, 16(4), 215–222.
Laefer, D. F., Ceribasi, S., Long, J. H., and Cording, E. J. (2009). “Predicting RC Frame Response to Excavation-Induced Settlement.” JOURNAL OF GEOTECHNICAL AND GEOENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, 135(11), 1605–1619.
Lahri, A., and Garg, V. (2015). “EFFECT OF DIFFERENTIAL SETTLEMENT ON FRAME FORCES - A PARAMETRIC STUDY.” International Journam of Research in Engineering and Technology, 4(9), 453–464.
Lin, L., Sinha, A., Tirca, L., and Hanna, A. 2014. “Stresses induced in concrete frame structure due to differential settelement of its foundation”, Proceedings of the annual conference of the Canadian society for civil engineering, Halifax, May.
Lin, L., Hanna, A., Sinha, A., and Tirca, L. (2015). “Structural Response to Differential Settlement of Its Foundations.” Journal of civil engineering research, 5(3), 59–66.
Liu, Z., and Zhu, Y. (2018). “Progressive collapse of steel frame-brace structure under a column- removal scenario Progressive collapse of steel frame-brace structure under a column-removal scenario.” International Conference on Civil, Architecture and Disaster Prevention.
Meyerhof, G. G. (1947). “The settlement analysis of building frames.” The Structural Engineer, September, 370–409.
Pearson, C., Delatte, N., and Asce, M. (2005). “Ronan Point Apartment Tower Collapse and its Effect on Building Codes.” journal of performance of constructed facilities, 19(May), 172–177.
Polshin, D. E., and Tokar, R. A. (1957). “Maximum Allowable Non-uniform Settlement of Structures.” Fourth International Conference on Soil Mechanic and Foundation Engineering, 402–405.
Qian, K., Asce, A. M., and Li, B. (2013). “Performance of Three-Dimensional Reinforced Concrete Beam-Column Substructures under Loss of a Corner Column Scenario.” JOURNAL OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING, 139(4), 584–594.
Roy, R., and Dutta, S. C. (2001). “Differential settlement among isolated footings of building frames : The problem , its estimation and possible measures.” International Journal of Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 6(1), 165–186.
Russo, G., Pauletta, M., and Scibilia, N. (2013). “Long-Term Structural De fi ciencies in a Mat Foundation on Clay Soil.” journal of performance of constructed facilities, 27(3), 295–302.
Sasani, M., and Kropelnicki, J. (2007). “PROGRESSIVE COLLAPSE ANALYSIS OF AN RC STRUCTURE.” The Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings, 17, 757–771.
Sheidaii, M. R., Bayrami, S., and Babaei, M. (2013). “Collapse Behavior of Single-Layer Space Barrel Vaults under Non-Uniform Support Settlements.” International Journal of STEEL STRUCTURES, 13(4), 723–730.
Skempton A. W., and MacDonald, D. H. (1956). “The allowable settlement of buildings.” Surveyor and municiul and country engineer, 155(3344), 355.
Yi, W., He, Q., Xiao, Y., and Kunnath, S. K. (2008). “Experimental Study on Progressive Collapse-Resistant Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Frame Structures.” ACI Structural Journal, (July-August), 433–440.
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top