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Modeling, optimization and experimental validation of an innovative modularized suspended building structure

Research Scholar

Zhihang Ye, PhD candidate, Southeast University (China)
Abdollah Shafieezadeh, faculty mentor


  • Hometown: Foshan, China
  • Degrees received: Bachelor of Science in civil engineering, South China University of Technology, China.

What is the issue or problem addresses in your research?

Suspended buildings dissipate seismic energy through interactions between their main and suspended elements. They are also architecturally appealing. Although previous studies showed the potential of the systems, they were based on simplified numerical models that were not experimentally validated; complex nonlinear dynamic behaviors of components and their interactions were not adequately captured. Moreover, as new structural concepts, their design process is significantly understudied.

What methodology did you use in your research?

  • We proposed a modularized structure composed of a primary wall and suspended modules.
  • Finite element models of the bare structure and the supplemental dampers are established in OpenSees and calibrated respectively based on our shake-table experiment data; then for the combined model of the structure with the dampers, the matching level to the data are verified.
  • Numerical optimization based on genetic algorithms to capture multi-objective global optimum parameters sets.

What are the purpose/rationale and implications of your research?

We proposed the modularized suspended structure to reduce the fragility of the secondary structure and to enhance the overall attenuation of seismic-induced forces and vibrations in the structure. The experiment-based model is validated to provide more detailed insights of the behaviors and mechanisms of the system. Optimization is conducted to find design variables to achieve structural resilience with acceptable construction cost.