Assessment of Analytical Procedures for Designing Metal Buildings for Wind Drift Serviceability

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Virginia Tech


While designing metal buildings for wind drift, for simplicity of analysis and design, connection at base of column is considered as pinned which provides no rotational restraint. The actual behavior of the connection however, is partially rigid, that provides some rotational stiffness even in case of single row of bolts. Moreover, using a two-dimensional (planar) structural model for analysis ignores any load distribution provided by roof and wall sheeting. Simulation of true behavior of base connection and diaphragm stiffness can substantially reduce drift caused due to lateral forces thereby lessening the conservatism in traditional design practices. This thesis provides results obtained from full-scale experimental testing and analytical study for a metal building.

A full scale load test was conducted to quantify the lateral stiffness of an existing metal building. A static lateral load, consistent in magnitude with the building's design wind pressure, was applied to the knee of a primary frame, and the resulting lateral displacements and column-base rotations for all primary frames were measured. The test procedure was repeated at several locations. The experimentally obtained results were then validated using two-dimensional and three-dimensional analytical models. The three-dimensional models explicitly simulated the primary and secondary framing, roof and wall diaphragms, and column-base stiffness. A couple of approaches have been proposed to model column-base plate connection varying in complexity and accuracy. Once validated, the FE model is utilized to quantify the relative stiffness contributions of the metal building system components to lateral drift.

While performing analysis some other parameters were also studied. These consisted of effect of base plate thickness and length of anchor bolts on column-base rigidity. Also, effect of including shear deformations and considering the haunch (column-rafter junction) as rigid were studied. Another small but important part of the paper is comparison of wind pressures obtained using different procedure of ASCE 7-05 with database assisted design pressures. Once these parameters are quantified practical engineering guidelines are developed to incorporate the influence of secondary framing, roof diaphragms, wall cladding, and column-base stiffness and wind loads in metal building design.



Wind drift serviceability, Low-rise structures, Metal Buildings