Effect of vertical structural irregularity on seismic design of tall buildings

Aman Mwafy, Sayed Khalifa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Many tall buildings are practically irregular as an entirely regular high-rise building rarely exists. This study is thus devoted to assessing the approach and coefficients used in the seismic design of real-life tall buildings with different vertical irregularity features. Five 50-story buildings are selected and designed using finite element models and international building codes to represent the most common vertical irregularities of reinforced concrete tall buildings in regions of medium seismicity. Detailed fiber-based simulation models are developed to assess the seismic response of the five benchmark buildings under the effect of 40 earthquake records representing far-field and near-source seismic scenarios. The results obtained from a large number of inelastic pushover and incremental dynamic analyses provide insights into the local and global seismic response of the reference structures and confirm the inferior local response of tall buildings with severe vertical irregularities. Due to the significant impacts of the severe irregularity types on the seismic response of tall buildings, the conservative code approach and coefficients are recommended for design. It is also concluded that although the design coefficients of buildings with moderate irregularities are adequately conservative, they can be revised to arrive at more consistent safety margins and cost-effective designs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1399
JournalStructural Design of Tall and Special Buildings
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Dec 25 2017


  • dynamic response
  • seismic design codes
  • seismic design coefficients
  • tall buildings
  • vertical irregularity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction


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