Michael Gemmill, Kurt Lindorfer, H. Kit Miyamoto

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In many metropolitan areas, midrise buildings are constructed adjacent to existing buildings, and incorporate concrete shear walls to act as a barrier between the two buildings. The orientation of these shear walls often causes severe torsional response within the building. The addition of a few well-placed nonlinear Fluid Viscous Dampers (FVD’s) can significantly decrease the torsional excitation, thereby increasing building performance.

The project involves the retrofit of an 18-story steel frame building that exhibits severe torsional response from the “property line” condition at the lower two stories. The FVD’s significantly reduce the displacement and acceleration of the second and third floors of the building, where sensitive telecommunications equipment is being housed. They reduce the demand and drift on the stories above with no additional construction required on these floors.

FVD’s offer a very economical and effective means of mitigating undesirable building response due to torsional irregularities. Their use would be effective in the retrofit of many existing buildings with similar “property line” conditions.