Tall building performance-based seismic design using SCEC broadband platform site-specific ground motion simulations

Kuanshi Zhong, Ting Lin, Gregory G. Deierlein, Robert W. Graves, Fabio Silva, Nicolas Luco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The scarcity of strong ground motion records presents a challenge for making reliable performance assessments of tall buildings whose seismic design is controlled by large-magnitude and close-distance earthquakes. This challenge can be addressed using broadband ground-motion simulation methods to generate records with site-specific characteristics of large-magnitude events. In this paper, simulated site-specific earthquake seismograms, developed through a related project that was organized through the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) Ground Motion Simulation Validation (GMSV) Technical Activity Group, are used for nonlinear response history analyses of two archetype tall buildings for sites in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino. The SCEC GMSV team created the seismograms using the Broadband Platform (BBP) simulations for five site-specific earthquake scenarios. The two buildings are evaluated using nonlinear dynamic analyses under comparable record suites selected from the simulated BBP catalog and recorded motions from the NGA-West database. The collapse risks and structural response demands (maximum story drift ratio, peak floor acceleration, and maximum story shear) under the BBP and NGA suites are compared. In general, this study finds that use of the BBP simulations resolves concerns about estimation biases in structural response analysis which are caused by ground motion scaling, unrealistic spectral shapes, and overconservative spectral variations. While there are remaining concerns that strong coherence in some kinematic fault rupture models may lead to an overestimation of velocity pulse effects in the BBP simulations, the simulations are shown to generally yield realistic pulse-like features of near-fault ground motion records.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-98
Number of pages18
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • SCEC Broadband Platform
  • code-based design
  • performance-based assessment
  • site-specific ground motion simulation
  • tall building


Dive into the research topics of 'Tall building performance-based seismic design using SCEC broadband platform site-specific ground motion simulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this