Impact between buildings during earthquakes


  • A. J. Carr University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • P. J. Moss University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand



A numerical study of the parameters affecting the impact between adjacent buildings subjected to seismic excitation has been carried out in an endeavour to quantify the relative importance of the structural parameters.

A two-dimensional inelastic dynamic analysis program was used to model various combinations of adjacent framed structures subjected to ground accelerograms and where the frames are assumed to be separated by distances sufficiently small as to permit contact. Collisions were modelled using special contact elements which will transmit forces when the specified gap has been closed.

It will be shown that where there are adjoining frames are of different heights, large increases in response are observed in the upper part of the taller frame. Pounding can also amplify the effects of localised changes in stiffness and strength up the frame-, producing member demands greatly in excess of the normal design values.


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How to Cite

Carr, A. J., & Moss, P. J. (1994). Impact between buildings during earthquakes. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 27(2), 107–113.