Seismic design of acceleration-sensitive non-structural elements in New Zealand: State-of-practice and recommended changes
Acceleration-sensitive non-structural elements not only constitute a significant portion of a building’s component inventory, but also comprise components and systems that are indispensable to the operational continuity of essential facilities. In New Zealand, Section 08 of the seismic loadings standard, NZS 1170.5: Earthquake Actions, and a dedicated standard, NZS 4219: Seismic Performance of Engineering Systems in Buildings, address the seismic design of non-structural elements. This paper scrutinizes the design provisions for acceleration-sensitive non-structural elements in NZS 1170.5 and NZS 4219, and provides an international perspective by comparing with the design provisions for non-structural elements specified in ASCE 7-16, the latest ATC approach and Eurocode 8. This is followed by a detailed discussion on the improvements required for component demand estimation, the need for design criteria that are consistent with performance objectives, definition of realistic ductility factors, and recommendations for the future way forward in the form of an improved design procedure and its application through a new seismic rating framework.
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