Enhancing Sustainability of Structures: Retrofit of a Historic Building Using Energy Dissipation

Energy dissipation was used to retrofit a historic high-rise reinforced concrete building in California. The building was constructed in the 1920’s and was the first high-rise structure in the state capital. It has 14 stories and a basement. The building is a California registered historic structure, and has many important architectural features such as terra cotta tile finish. Concrete moment frames with limited ductility comprise the lateral-load resisting system. As part of the city’s downtown revitalization, this historic structure is being transformed from an old office building into a premier boutique hotel. Due to this change of occupancy, the building needs to satisfy California Building Code performance objectives. Performance Based Engineering revealed that the building would experience excessive story drift at its middle stories. This drift ratio could cause damage to both structural and especially to the historic architectural components. Energy Dissipaters were added to these critical stories to alleviate this deficiency and to satisfy the performance objectives. Sustainability of this structure was enhanced by using the innovative technology.

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