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By Roberto Villaverde, l Member, ASCE

ABSTRACT: The developments in the last three decades in the area of seismic design of mechanical and
electrical equipment, architectural components, as well as other secondary structures and nonstructural compo-
nents. attached to the floors, roof, and walls of buildings are reviewed here. A description is made of what
constitutes a secondary structure, the characteristics that make these systems particularly susceptible to the effects
of earthquakes, an~ the par~eters that af~ect t.heir response to earthquakes. The methods that have been pro-
posed and are avatlable to Improve and slmphfy the analysis of this type of structure, the methods that are
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currently use~ as refl~cted by various ~uildin.g codes and seismic provisions, and the experimental studies and
field observ~ttons carned out to further IOvestigate some of their dynamic properties and response characteristics
are also reviewed here. The paper closes with a summary of what research is still needed to advance current
eff~rts to protect .these sys~ems against the effects of earthquakes and to develop methods and techniques to
achieve thIS goal 10 a practIcal and economical way.

INTRODUCTION tanks; the failure of emergency power systems and heating,

Secondary structures are those systems and elements housed ventilation, and air conditioning units; damage to suspended
or attached to the floors, roof, and walls of a building or in- ceilings and light fixtures; and some broken windows (Hall
dustrial facility that are not part of the main or intended load- 1994, 1995).
bearing structural system for the building or industrial facility, It is also recognized that damage to secondary structures
repre~ents a threat to life, may seriously impair a building's
but may also be subjected to large seismic forces and must
depend on their own structural characteristics to resist these function, and may result in major direct and indirect economic
lo~s~s. Clearly, ~h.e collapse of suspended light fixtures, hung
forces. In general, these secondary structures may be classified
into three broad categories: (1) Architectural components; (2) celhngs, or partItIOn walls; the plunging onto the ground of
mechanical and electrical equipment; and (3) building con- failed cladding panels, parapets, signboards, ornaments, or
tents. Examples in the first category are elevator penthouses, glass panels; the overturning of heavy equipment, book-
stairways, partitions, parapets, heliports, cladding systems, shelves, storage racks, or pieces of furniture; and the rupture
signboards, lighting systems, and suspended ceilings. Some of pipes or containers with toxic materials are all capable of
examples in the second category are storage tanks, pressure causing serious injury or death. A most unfortunate case in
vessels, piping systems, ducts, escalators, smokestacks, anten- point is the death of a student, who, during the 1987 Whittier
nas, cranes, radars and object-tracking devices, computer-and Narrows earthquake in California, was struck by a falling pre-
data-acquisition systems, control panels, transformers, switch- cast panel while walking out of a parking structure (Taly
gears, emergency power systems, fire protection systems, boil- 1988). Likewise, it is easy to see that the normal activities in
ers, heat exchangers, chillers, cooling towers, and machinery a building may be critically disrupted when some essential
such as pumps, turbines, generators, engines, and motors. equipment fails or when debris from failed architectural com-
So~e examples in the third category include bookshelves, file
ponents obstruct living and working areas. Examples that il-
cabmets, storage racks, decorative items, and any other piece lustrate the consequences of such an event are the unwanted
of furniture commonly found in office buildings and ware- solidification of melted metal in an industrial facility, the in-
acces~ibility of financial records in a banking institution, and
houses. Alternative names by which these systems are also
known are "nonstructural components," "nonstructural ele- the fal~ure to fill pending orders in a manufacturing plant. Fi-
ments," "building attachments," "architectural, mechanical, nally, 10 regard to the economic impact caused by the failure
and electrical elements," "secondary systems," and "second- of nonstructural components, evidence from earthquakes has
ary structural elements." repeatedly shown that the cost associated with the loss of the
In spite of their name, secondary structures are far from nonstructural components themselves, the loss of inventory,
being secondary in importance. It is now widely recognized and the loss of business income may easily exceed the replace-
that the survival of secondary structures is essential to provide ment cost of the building that houses those nonstructural com-
emergency and recovery services in the aftermath of an earth- ponents (NonstructuraI1984). And in today's high-technology
quake. Experience from earthquakes has shown that the failure environment, it is likely that such cost may be exacerbated as
of equipment, and the debris caused by falling objects and a r~sult of the widespread use of electronic and computer
overturned furniture, may critically affect the performance of equipment and the dependence of industry on this type of
vital facilities such as fire and police stations, emergency com- equipment. It is thus clear that secondary structures should be
mand centers, communication facilities, power stations, water the subject of a rational and careful seismic design (in much
~upply and treatment plants, and hospitals. For example, dur-
the same way as their supporting structures) and should be the
109 the 1994 Northridge earthquake in the Los Angeles, Calif., continuing object of a careful performance assessment follow-
area, several major hospitals had to be evacuated. This was ing strong earthquakes.
not because of structural damage, but because of the water
damage caused by the failure of water lines and water supply
Some secondary structural elements have an insignificantly
'Prof., Civ. Engrg. Dept., University of California, Irvine, CA 92697. small mass, are exceptionally rigid, or are hinged-connected
Note. Associate Editor: Chia-Ming Uang. Discussion open until Jan- to their supporting structure (Le., hung from above). These
uary I, 1998. T? extend the closing date one month, a written request ~ypes of secondary elements, therefore, are usually not signif-
m~st be filed WIth the ASCE Manager of Journals. The manuscript for
thIS paper wa~ sUbmitt~d for review and possible publication on February Icantly affected by earthquake ground motions. Many others,
20, 1996. ThIS paper IS part of the ]ourlUll of Structural Engineering ~0.wever, possess several of the following physical character-
Vol. 123, No.8, August, 1997. ASCE, ISSN 0733-9445197/oo08~ IStiCS that make them particularly susceptible to the effects of
1011-1019/$4.00 + $.50 per page. Paper No. 12654. earthquakes:

J. Struct. Eng., 1997, 123(8): 1011-1019

1. They are usually attached to the elevated portions of a secondary element system may result in a system with
building, and thus they are subjected not to the ground closely spaced natural frequencies. As such, the response
motion generated by an earthquake, but to the amplified of a secondary element may be controlled by its response
motion generated by the dynamic response of the build- in two or more of its modes of vibration, as opposed to
ing. just a single mode, as is common for structures.
2. Their weight is light in comparison with that of the struc- 7. The response of a secondary structural element is af-
ture to which they are connected, and their stiffness is fected by its own inelastic behavior as well as that of its
also much smaller than that of the structure as a whole. supporting structure.
As a result, some of their natural frequencies are often
equal, or nearly equal, to the natural frequencies of the METHODS OF ANALYSIS: HISTORICAL
structure. Hence, their dynamic response to the motion PERSPECTIVE
at their supports may be extraordinarily high.
A great deal of research effort has been devoted over the
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3. Their damping ratios may be quite low, much lower than

those for the structure, and thus they do not possess the past 30 years to the development of rational methods for the
damping characteristics that are necessary for their pro- seismic analysis of secondary structures. For the most part,
tection against sharp resonant motions. however, this effort has been driven by the need to guarantee
4. They may be connected to the structure at more than one the survivability of critical equipment such as piping and con-
point and, hence, may be subjected to the distortions in- trol systems in nuclear power plants. Therefore, these methods
duced by the differential motion of their supports. have been successfully applied in the analysis of such facilities
5. They are often designed to perform a function other than but have not been used extensively for the analysis of ordinary
to resist forces. As such, they are built with materials secondary elements in conventional buildings. Notwithstand-
that are far from the ideal materials to resist seismic ing this fact, many methods of analysis have been proposed
forces and may possess parts that are sensitive to even as a result of this research effort, some of them with a strong
the smallest level of vibration. empirical base and others based on rigorous principles of
structural dynamics.
GENERAL RESPONSE CHARACTERISTICS In the development of methods for their analysis, it is gen-
erally recognized that secondary structures are difficult to an-
The special physical characteristics described make second- alyze accurately and efficiently. It is always possible to con-
ary structural elements not only susceptible to earthquake sider them in conjunction with the analysis of their supporting
damage, but also make their response to earthquake ground primary structures, but a combined primary-secondary system
motions unique and different from that of a building structure. generally results in a system with an excessive number of de-
That is, the response of a secondary structural element exhibits grees of freedom and a large difference in the values of its
characteristics that are not common in the response of a struc- various masses, stiffnesses, and damping constants. Such char-
ture; following are some of these characteristics: acteristics usually render conventional methods of analysis ex-
pensive, inaccurate, and inefficient. For example, a modal
1. The response of a secondary element depends on the analysis presents difficulties in the computation of natural fre-
response of the structure to which it is connected, and quencies and mode shapes; a step-by-step integration method
thus it depends not only on the characteristics of the becomes extraordinarily sensitive to the selected integration
ground motion that excite the base of the structure, but time step; and a random vibration approach turns out to be
also on the dynamic characteristics of the structure. particularly susceptible to the assumptions made about sta-
2. The response of a secondary element depends on its lo- tionarity and earthquake duration in the probabilistic model
cation within the structure. As a result, identical elements adopted. Furthermore, such an approach is impractical since,
respond differently to the effects of an earthquake if they during the preliminary design of the secondary structure, the
are located on different floors of the structure. primary structure would have to be reanalyzed every time a
3. The motion of a secondary element may modify the mo- change is introduced in one of the parameters of the secondary
tion of its supporting structure, which in turn may mod- elements. Considering that primary and secondary structures
ify the response of the secondary element itself. That is, normally are designed by different teams at different times,
there may be a significant interaction between a second- this would result in serious problems of schedule and effi-
ary element and its supporting structure. In such cases, ciency in the design process. Thus, most of the proposed meth-
therefore, one cannot predict the response of the second- ods have been the result of an effort to avoid the analysis of
ary element without knowing in advance the dynamic a combined primary-secondary system and to overcome the
properties of both the secondary element and the struc- aforementioned difficulties.
ture. One of the simplified methods first used in the analysis of
4. When the secondary element is connected to the structure secondary structures is the so-called systems-in-cascade, or
at more than one point, the element's supports are ex- floor response spectrum, method. In this method, the acceler-
cited by motions that are different and out of phase. ation time history of the point or floor of the structure to which
5. Since the damping in the secondary element is usually the secondary structure is attached is determined by means of
much lower than the damping in the structure, the damp- a step-by-step integration with a recorded time history or a
ing in the system formed by the structure and its sec- synthetic one consistent with a given ground response spec-
ondary elements, which is the system that characterizes trum. Then, this in-structure acceleration time history is used
the response of the secondary elements, is not uniform. to generate a response spectrum-that is, a floor response
This means that the response of the secondary element spectrum or in-structure spectrum, which in turn is used as
is governed by the response of a system whose natural input to carry out a response spectrum analysis of the second-
frequencies and mode shapes are complex valued. That ary system in much the same way a primary structure may be
is, the response of a system without classical modes of analyzed using a ground response spectrum. Although simple
vibration. in concept and somewhat rational, this method was quickly
6. Since, as mentioned earlier, some of the natural frequen- recognized to be impractical since it requires lengthy numer-
cies of a secondary element may be close in value to ical integrations. For this reason, several methods were pro-
those of its supporting structure, the combined structure- posed to generate floor response spectra directly from a spec-

J. Struct. Eng., 1997, 123(8): 1011-1019

Hied ground response spectrum, or design spectrum, without approaches, in recognition of the convenience and flexibility
utilizing a time-history analysis. These methods use as input of the floor response spectrum method and its wide use in the
a specified ground response spectrum and the dynamic prop- nuclear power industry, corrections are introduced to this
erties of the structure. Examples are the methods proposed by method to account (in an approximate manner) for the inter-
Biggs and Roesset (1970), Amin et al. (1971), Kapur and Shao action between the primary and secondary subsystems and the
(1973), Peters et al. (1977), Vanmarcke (1977), Atalik (1978), out-of-phase support motions. Examples of these methods are
and Singh (1980). those proposed by Lee and Penzien (1983), Igusa and Der
Floor response spectrum methods have been proven accu- Kiureghian (1985b), Singh and Sharma (1985), Asfura and
rate for secondary elements whose masses are much smaller Der Kiureghian (1986), Gupta and Jaw (1986), Burdisso and
than the masses of the supporting structure and whose natural Singh (1987), and Suarez and Singh (1987a). In the other ap-
frequencies are not too close to the natural frequency of the proach, the response of the secondary structure is obtained on
structure. However, these methods may yield overly conser- the basis of an approximate modal or random vibration anal-
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vative results for secondary elements that do not have such ysis of the combined primary-secondary system, but using,
characteristics [Toro et al. (1989) report that errors may be through a modal synthesis, the dynamic properties of its sep-
significant when secondary to primary mass ratios are greater arate components. This approach eliminates the main source
than 1O- 3J. The reason for this conservatism is that, by con- of error inherent in the floor response spectrum method since,
sidering a secondary element separately from its supporting by considering the two subsystems together as a single unit,
structure, floor response spectrum methods neglect the dy- the interaction between the two subsystems and the different
namic interaction between the primary and secondary systems. and out-phase support motions are implicitly taken into ac-
That is, they do not account for the fact that the response of count. This approach is also a practical one. By formulating
the secondary system may modify the response of the sup- the analysis in terms of the dynamic properties of independent
porting structure and vice versa. An additional reason is that primary and secondary systems, one avoids the numerical dif-
floor response spectrum methods cannot take into considera- ficulties associated with the large difference in the values of
tion the fact that the masses of the primary and secondary parameters of the primary and secondary systems when con-
systems vibrate out of phase, which results from the fact that, ventional methods of analysis are used. Furthermore, one
in general, a combined primary-secondary system does not avoids the solution of large eigenvalue problems, the need to
possess classical modes of vibration and cannot be assumed generate intermediary floor response spectra (since the earth-
to do so without introducing a significant error. There is now quake input is defined at the ground level), and the need to
ample analytical evidence that demonstrates that ignoring reanalyze the structure every time the parameters of the sec-
these two effects may indeed lead to gross errors in the cal- ondary system are changed.
culation of some secondary systems' responses [refer, for ex- Conceptually, the idea of determining the response of a sec-
ample, to Igusa and Der Kiureghian (1985a), and Chen and ondary element in terms of an analysis of the compound sys-
Soong (1988)]. tem it forms with its supporting structure, but utilizing only
Another problem with floor response spectrum methods is the properties of the individual components, is a simple one.
that they cannot be rationally applied for the analysis of a Its implementation, however, is not free of complications and
secondary structure with multiple points of attachment (Wang difficulties. For example, if one wants to analyze such a com-
et al. 1983). This is because these methods cannot realistically pound system by means of the response spectrum method, one
take into account the fact that each of the supports of such a needs to determine first its natural frequencies, mode shapes,
secondary structure is subjected to a different, and out-of- damping ratios, and maximum modal responses. Then, one
phase, motion. Attempts have been made to overcome this needs to combine these modal responses using a modal com-
problem, but for the most part these attempts have been in the bination rule. However, the system that results from combining
form of empirical or ad-hoc procedures. For example, it has two structures with such a drastic difference in the values of
been proposed to determine the maximum response of a mul- their masses, stiffnesses, and damping constants is a system
tiply supported secondary system on the basis of the floor without classical modes of vibration and with closely spaced
spectra obtained for each of its supports as follows. First, the natural frequencies. This means that the natural frequencies
system is analyzed using each of these floor spectra as the and mode shapes of the system are complex-valued and that
earthquake input (one at a time) to obtain a series of esti- the combination of its modal responses requires, and highly
mates of the system's maximum response. Then these esti- depends on, an accurate rule to combine the modal responses
mates are combined in an empirical way to calculate the sys- of a system with nonclassical damping and closely spaced nat-
tem's true maximum response (Shaw 1975; Thailer 1976). ural frequencies. Notwithstanding such difficulties and com-
Common among these empirical procedures is the selection of plications, several methods that use this technique have been
the largest of all the maximum response estimates, or the com- proposed throughout the years-methods that basically differ
bination of them on the basis of the square root of the sum of in the way the dynamic properties of the components are syn-
their squares. Other techniques use a spectrum obtained by thesized in order to obtain the dynamic properties of the com-
enveloping all the floor spectra corresponding to the secondary bined system, and in the assumptions made to simplify the
system's supports, or that of including a "pseudostatic" com- procedure. In chronological order, some of these methods are
ponent of the response, determined in terms of the difference those suggested by Newmark (1972), Sackman and Kelly
between the peak displacements at the various attachment (1979), Newmark and Villaverde (1980), Der Kiureghian et al.
points. It is now recognized, nevertheless, that these tech- (1983), Hernried and Sackman (1984), Gupta (1984), Igusa
niques are often too crude and may lead in some cases to and Der Kiureghian (1985c), Villaverde (1986), Suarez and
overconservative results. Singh (1987b), Muscolino (1990), and Villaverde (1991).
In view of the limitations of the floor response spectrum All the methods referred to have been derived specifically
methods and the impracticality of a direct analysis of a com- for linear secondary systems mounted on linear primary struc-
bined primary-secondary system, several alternative methods tures without due consideration to the fact that most of the
have been developed that not only take into account the afore- structures to which secondary systems are attached are de-
mentioned effects, but also overcome the practicality problems signed to yield under the effects of a strong earthquake, and
associated with a direct analysis of the combined system. In that the secondary systems themselves or their anchors are also
general, two approaches have been followed. In one of these capable of resisting large inelastic deformations. However, as

J. Struct. Eng., 1997, 123(8): 1011-1019

pointed out by Lin and Mahin (1985), Aziz and Ghobarah include. the Uniform Building Code (UBC) (Uniform 1994);
(~988), Toro et at. (1989), Sewell et at. (1989), Igusa (1990), the ~~tlOnal Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP)
Smg~ et at. (1993), and Schroeder and Backman (1994), the provlslOns (1995); the Recommended Lateral Force Require-
nonhn~ar .behavior of the structure and the secondary system ments a~ Co~entary (1990); and the American Society of
may slgmficantly affect the behavior of the latter, in some Mechamcal Engmeers (ASME) boiler and pressure vessel code
cases in the form of a significant reduction over its linear re- (ASME, 1993). Only the provisions in the UBC and NEHRP
sponse, and in other cases in the form of an increase. Those codes will be discussed here. The UBC is selected for the
methods, therefore, may lead to either nonconservative or un- discussion because it is well-known worldwide. Similarly the
economical designs. On recognizing the importance of such !'lEHRP provisions are selected because they have rec~ntly
nonlinear behavior, a few investigators have made an effort to mcorporated a set of modern and comprehensive recommen-
de;ive simplified methods that incorporate the nonlinearity of dations that are more rational than those in most other codes.
pnmary and secondary structures. However, given the diffi-
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culties in obtaining explicit solutions for such a complex prob- Uniform BUilding Code
lem, most of the effort has been directed towards the devel-
The UBC requires that elements of structures (e.g., infill
~pment of reduction and amplification factors by which a
walls, penthouses, diaphragms), permanent nonstructural com-
hnear floor spectrum may be modified to approximately take
ponents, and the attachments (e.g., connections and anchor-
into account the nonlinearity of a supporting structure (Ka-
ages) for permanent equipment supported by a structure be
wakatsu et al. 1979, Lin and Mahin 1985, Viti et at. 1981).
designed to resist at least the lateral seismic force calculated
Some exceptions are the works of Villaverde (1987) and Igusa from the following
(1990). Villaverde (1987) develops a method based on the use
of inelastic ground response spectra for the analysis of linear Fp = ZIpCpWp (1)
multi-degree-of-freedom secondary systems mounted on an
elastoplastic multi-degree-of-freedom primary structure. Igusa where Z = a zon~ factor, which essentially represents the peak
(1990) derives an analytical solution for the response of a ground acceleratlOn expected at the site under consideration in
~n average recurrence .interval of 475 years; lp = an equipment
two-degree-of-freedom primary-secondary system with small
nonlinearities using random vibration theory and equivalent Importance factor, which is set equal to 1.0 and 1.5 for ordi-
linearization techniques. nary and critical components, respectively; and W = total
Current methods of analysis also include those that, albeit weight of the component. Cp is a coefficient specifi:d by the
in a limited way, properly account for the influence of a sec- code, which varies from 0.75 to 2.0 depending on the type of
ondary system on the response of another secondary system component or equipment, and is intended to account for the
dyn~ic amplification of the ground motion by the building
supported by the same structure but at a different location, and
for Items located above grade. The equation is intended for
for t~e torsional response of the structure in the case of asym-
use in conjunction with working stress design principles.
metric structures. Observing that when a building has more
~h~ values of Cp that are explicitly given by the code apply
than one secondary system attached to it each secondary sys-
tem may influence the response of the structure and thus, in- to ngld ele.ments and components and to rigid or rigidly sup-
directly, the response of all the other secondary systems, ported equipment. For that purpose, the code defines a rigid
Suarez and Singh (1989) proposed a procedure to calculate the component or element and a rigid or rigidly supported equip-
modal properties of a primary structure that supports two sec- ment as those having a fundamental period that is less than or
ondary systems. Similarly, recognizing that the torsional re- equal to 0.6 s. In the absence of a dynamic analysis or em-
sponse of the structure may be an important factor that may piric,,:l data, the code recommends use of a value of Cp equal
to tWice the values specified for rigid components and rigidly
significantly increase the response of a secondary system if
supported equipment for the design of nonrigid components
this system is connected to a structure with significant tor-
and flexibly supported equipment located above grade, except
sional modes, Yang and Huang (1993) proposed a simplified
that the value of Cp need not exceed 2.0. Another exception
method to compute the seismic response of a secondary system
is in the design of ductile piping, ducting, and conduit systems,
in such a case. Their method, however, is limited to linear
for which the Cp values given for rigid components may be
primary-secondary systems with classical damping and to the
case of floor eccentricities in only one direction. used.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that, just recently, three code- The code also requires that, for the design of equipment,
structural elements, and nonstructural elements, the relative
and design-oriented simplified methods have been proposed
motion between the points of the structure to which they are
by Soong et at. (1993), Singh et at. (1993), and Villaverde
attached be considered. It does not specify, however, how to
(1997). These design-oriented methods represent an important
effort towards the development of methods of analysis that, take this effect into account.
As seen, the approach used by the UBC for the seismic
on one hand, incorporate the current level of understanding
design of secondary structural elements is largely empirical
with regard to the seismic behavior of the secondary elements
and judgmental, and is not based on formal principles of struc-
under consideration, but, on the other, are adequately simple
tural dynamics. The specified values of Cp are set primarily
for design purposes and for their incorporation into building
by (1) examining the performance of nonstructural compo-
codes. nents in past earthquakes; (2) using the results from the anal-
For a detailed description of the difference between the
ysis of some linear multistory buildings, which show that floor
methods of analysis cited, the reader is referred to the excellent
to ground acceleration factors usually vary between 1.6 and
state-of-the-art reviews by Chen and Soong (1988), Singh
2.3; and (3) considering inherent inelastic behavior as an
(1990), and Soong (1994). additional capacity in reserve (Porush 1990). It does not ex-
plicitly account for the dynamic interaction between the com-
DESIGN PROVISIONS IN BUILDING CODES ponent and its supporting structure, the location of the com-
Overview ponents within the building, the way the component is con-
nectedto the building, the tuning or detuning of the
Several building codes and seismic provisions give recom- component to the natural frequencies of the structure, the dif-
mendations for the seismic design of equipment and other sec- ferential motion between the component supports, and the
ondary structural elements. In the United States, some of these yielding of the structure.

J. Struct. Eng., 1997, 123(8): 1011-1019

1994 NEHRP Provisions grade of component supports at levels x, y; aaA, aaB = allow-
able story drifts for buildings A, B; and hsx = story height. The
The NEHRP provisions are based on ultimate strength de- equations in terms of the allowable interstory drifts are pro-
sign principles and establish, as the VBC recommendations vided in recognition of the fact that the building displacements
do, minimum design criteria for architectural, mechanical, and may not be available at the time the component is designed.
electrical systems; nonstructural components and elements per- The provisions require that nonstructural components be de-
manently attached to buildings; and their supporting systems signed to resist the relative displacements determined from
and attachments. These design criteria are presented in terms these equations when they are combined with the effects of
of a required minimum equivalent static force and a minimum other displacements, such as those generated by thermal and
relative displacement demand when the component is con- static loads.
nected to the structure at multiple points. The foregoing equations take into account the expected
To determine the required minimum static force, the pro- ground motion amplification at those points of the structure
visions provide two alternative equations. The first one is con-
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that are above grade, the location of the component within the
servative but simple and easy to apply. The form of this equa- structure, the amplification of floor motion associated with the
tion is as follows: dynamic characteristics of the component, the ductility and
energy-absorption capabilities of the component, and the per-
(2) formance expectations of the component. As such, these equa-
The other equation is more complex, as it takes more factors tions explicitly incorporate many of the factors that may
into account, but it generally leads to smaller forces and is influence the seismic behavior of nonstructural components on
given by buildings and are, thus, more discriminating than, and a sig-
nificant improvement over, their counterparts in other building
(3) codes (VBC included). Notwithstanding this improvement, the
NEHRP provisions still have some limitations. For example,
where the given equations are expressed in terms of two separate and
independent amplification factors. One factor accounts for the
A p = Ca + (A r - Ca)(xlh) (4)
ground motion amplification by the structure at the location
in which A r = (2.0A s ) =:;; 4.0Ca ). where the component is attached to the structure, and the other
In the foregoing equations, Fp = seismic design force ap- for amplification by the component of the motion at this lo-
plied at the component's center of gravity vertically, laterally, cation. Consequently, the equations do not fully consider the
or longitudinally, in combination with the dead and live loads interaction between the structure and the component. Simi-
acting on the component; ap = component amplification factor larly, the provisions give two separate sets of equations, one
specified in the provisions according to component type (var- to compute the maximum forces and the other to compute the
ies between 1.0 and 2.5); Ap = acceleration (expressed as a maximum relative displacements between the component's at-
fraction of gravity) at the point of attachment to the structure; tachment points. The effect of these forces and that of these
lp = component importance factor specified in the provisions relative displacements on the structure are intended to be
according to component type (equal to either 1.0 or 1.5); Wp added directly. This procedure implies that these two maxi-
= component operating weight; Rp = component response mum effects occur simultaneously, which is an assumption that
modification factor specified according to component type in most cases leads to overly conservative results. Another
(varies between 1.5 and 6.0); Ca = seismic coefficient (ex- limitation pertains to the recommended amplification factors.
pressed as a fraction of gravity) specified for the design of the A factor of 2.0 is proposed for the structural amplification and
structure (Le., effective peak ground acceleration); A r = accel- a maximum of 2.5 for the component amplification. These are
eration (expressed as a fraction of gravity) at the structure's ad-hoc factors that are justified on the basis of limited ex-
roof level; As = structural response acceleration coefficient perimental results and observations from past earthquakes
(Le., ground response spectrum ordinate), expressed as a frac- (Soong et al. 1993), but lack a theoretical basis. Furthermore,
when combined, these factors give a maximum amplification
tion of gravity, and given by
factor of 5.0, which, when compared with those that are the-
As = 1.2CJT'lJ3 =:;; 2.5Ca (5) oretically possible (Villaverde 1997), may not be sufficiently
large to cover all cases. To make matters worse, the provisions
in which Cv = velocity-related effective ground acceleration explicitly account for component yielding to reduce the mag-
(expressed as a fraction of gravity) specified for structural de- nitude of a component's design forces, and thus the inelastic
sign; and T = effective fundamental period of the structure. behavior of the component cannot be used as a reserve capac-
To determine the required minimum relative displacement ity to resist forces that exceed those of the design. Finally, the
demand between two of the connection points of a nonstruc- recommended equations do not account for the yielding of the
tural component with multiple connection points-such as structure. Although it is recognized that in many cases the
cladding, stairwells, windows, ducts, and piping systems-the design of a structure is governed by drift limits or other loads,
provisions recommend use of the smaller of the values ob- and that for the purpose of nonstructural component design it
tained from the following two equations: is difficult to define the magnitude of the forces that in actu-
ality make a structure yield, it is also recognized that structural
Dp = 8xA - 8 yA ; Dp = (X - Y)AaAlh sx (6,7) yielding may significantly affect the magnitude of the seismic
forces that act on a component, and that some localized yield-
For nonstructural components with connection points on sep- ing will always occur whenever the structure is subjected to
arate structures or buildings, the corresponding two equations an earthquake ground motion comparable in size to that con-
are sidered in its design. Structural yielding is, therefore, an im-
Dp = 18 I +
xA /8,\'B I; Dp = XAaAlh sx + YAaB/h sx (8, 9) portant parameter that should be considered explicitly in the
seismic design of nonstructural components.
In these and the foregoing equations, D p = relative seismic
displacement between component supports; 8xA , 8yAo 8xB , 8YB = EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES AND FIELD
deflections of building under design forces, multiplied by an OBSERVATIONS
amplification factor to account for inelastic deformations, at In contrast to the vast analytical work, experimental tests
building levels x, y of buildings A, B; X, Y = heights above and field observations of secondary structural elements appear

J. Struct. Eng., 1997, 123(8): 1011-1019

scarce. Many experimental tests have been conducted and re- 1/10 the mass of its supporting floor. Both tuned and detuned
ported to qualify equipment and other nonstructural elements, cases were considered. The excitations considered were time
but only a few have been perfonned either to further investi- histories representing a white-noise process and a scaled ver-
gate their seismic behavior when mounted on a structure or to sion of a recorded earthquake ground motion. The tests were
verify the findings from analytical investigations. In general, conducted to obtain experimental evidence on the behavior of
the experimental work reported in the literature consists of secondary systems mounted on a seismically excited structure,
either the testing of secondary elements mounted on a primary and to verify the results of a proposed analytical method of
structure to analyze their behavior or the testing of the sec- generating floor response spectra.
ondary elements by themselves to investigate their dynamic
properties and load capacity. Tests by Japan's Nuclear Power Engineering Center
Within the first category are the tests carried out by Kelly (Ohtani et at 1992)
and Tsai (1985), Japan's Building Research Institute (Wang
These tests involved a series of shaking table experiments
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1987), Nims and Kelly (1990), Juhn et al. (1990), and Japan's
Nuclear Power Engineering Center (Ohtani et al. 1992). A with full-scale, or close to full-scale, models of critical equip-
brief summary of these tests follows: ment in nuclear power plants. These tests were conducted at
the 1,0OO-t shaking table at Tadotsu Engineering Laboratory
Test by Kelly and Tsai (1985) in Shikoku Island. They were part of a program started in 1982
to confinn the integrity of critical equipment in nuclear power
In this test the researchers investigate, among several other plants, and to validate the methods used for their seismic de-
things, the response of light equipment in structures isolated sign. The tests were reported in a series of papers presented
using rubber bearings and compare it against the equipment's at the Tenth World Conference on Earthquake Engineering
response in a fixed-base system. For that purpose, three oscil- [see, e.g., Ohtani et al. (1992)].
lators representing pieces of light equipment were attached to The second category of tests includes those by Craig and
the fifth floor of a one-third-scale, five-story frame mounted Goodno (1981), Rihal (1988), Chiba et al. (1992), Rihal
on four rubber, or lead-rubber, isolators. The total mass of the (1994), Pantelides and Behr (1994), and Behr et al. (1995).
structure with the added masses was 36,320 kg. Three isolators These tests may be summarized as follows.
were used. Their masses were 36, 18, and 9 kg and they were
tuned to the fundamental natural frequency of the fixed frame, Test by Craig and Goodno (1981)
the second natural frequency of the base-isolated frame, and
the third natural frequency of the base-isolated frame, respec- These investigators measured in the laboratory the natural
tively. frequencies, mode shapes, and damping ratios of a window in
a full-scale glass cladding panel. Their specimen consisted of
Test by Japan's Building Research Institute a single-story section of a cladding system and included the
(Wang 1987) mullions, munitions, spandrel framing, glazing materials, and
four double-pane vision lights (2.51 X 1.45 X 0.0254 m).
In this experiment, conducted under the auspices of the
U.S.-Japan Cooperative Research Program, a full-scale, three- Test by Rlhal (1988)
dimensional frame with a full-scale cladding system was tested
to observe the behavior of cladding systems and their connec- Rihal conducted cyclic in-plane racking tests of a precast
tions. The frame had six stories, a total height of 22.38 m, and concrete cladding panel with bearing connections at the bot-
a 15 X 15 m plan, with two equal bays in each direction. The tom and threaded-rod lateral connections at the top. The ob-
cladding system consisted of precast concrete and fiber-rein- jective of the tests was to obtain quantitative data on the in-
forced glass panels with a variety of sway-type connections. plane resistance and defonnation capability of precast cladding
The tests were carried out under static loading, free vibrations, panels. The tested specimen consisted of a solid precast con-
and forced vibrations. In the test under static load, the frame crete cladding panel 2.44 m wide, 3.05 m high, and 114 mm
was defonned up to story drifts of 1/40. thick, with two threaded-rod lateral connections at the top of
the panel and two bearing connections at the bottom. The bear-
Test by Nims and Kelly (1990) ing connections consisted of a steel angle assembly with four
studs, 16 mm in diameter, welded to the back of the angle and
In this test a piping system was mounted on two indepen- embedded in the cladding pane. The specimen was tested un-
dent full-scale steel frames and tested, together with the der cyclic displacements applied to the threaded rods of the
frames, on a shaking table. One of the frames had a single bay lateral connections.
and three stories, with a total height of 5.28 m and a plane
area of 3.66 X 1.83 m. The other frame had three bays and Test by Chiba et al. (1992)
four stories, with a total height of 4.27 m and a plane area of
5.49 X 1.83 m. The piping system, configured to represent a These researchers tested on a shaking table a three-dimen-
typical one in a nuclear power plant, was approximately 30.5 sional piping system mounted on a combination of rigid re-
m long. It was made of pipes 51 and 76 mm in diameter and straints and elastoplastic dampers. The purpose of the test was
mounted on seven rigid supports and five restraining devices. to investigate the dynamic behavior of a cracked pipe sup-
The test was perfonned to evaluate the perfonnance of three ported on elastoplastic dampers and to clarify the effect of the
types of restraining devices (snubbers, seismic stops, and en- pipe support stiffness on the crack growth. The piping system
ergy dissipating restraints), but also served to study the inter- tested was 27.4 m in length and 165.2 mm in diameter. The
action between the piping system and the frames. elastoplastic dampers were made of three-layer steel plates.

Test by Juhn et al. (1990) Test by Rlhal (1994)

This test consisted of a shaking table experiment with a Rihal conducted experimental in-plane and out-of-plane cy-
secondary system in the fonn of an inverted pendulum at- clic tests of loaded library shelving units, representative of
tached to the second story of a quarter-scale, three-story, fixed- those designed using current standards. The objective of the
base steel frame. The secondary system had a mass equal to tests was to assess the adequacy of the provisions in current

J. Struct. Eng., 1997, 123(8): 1011-1019

codes and the standards governing the design and installation sional motion of a supporting structure on the response of a
of cantilever library shelving systems in seismic zones. For secondary element attached to it. As discussed, this torsional
the in-plane test, the shelving specimen consisted of three response may significantly increase the response of a second-
units, each 0.91 m wide and 2.29 m high. In the out-of-plane ary system if the structure is highly asymmetric and the sec-
test, the specimen consisted of only two such units. ondary element is located near the periphery of the structure.
Hence, ignoring this effect may lead to unconservative de-
Tests by Pantelides and Behr (1994) and signs. This problem has received little attention in the past, so
Behr et al. (1995) there is not enough information to assess the importance of
this factor. Work is thus needed to assess its importance and
These researchers conducted tests to investigate the general to develop simplified methods of analysis that take structural
glass breakage and glass fallout behavior during earthquak~s torsion into account.
of some of the architectural glass utilized in dry-glazed curtain Another area of research that deserves full consideration is
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walls. A 4.56 X 3.68 m section of a dry-glazed curtain wall, that related to the base isolation and structural control of sec-
containing three 1.52 X 1.84 m glass panels and a wide mul- ondary structures. Given their relatively small size and the
lion, was employed in the tests. The type of glass tested in- high accelerations to which they can be subjected, secondary
cluded annealed, heat-strengthened, and fully tempered glass structures are ideal for application of these techniques. Un-
in monolithic and laminated configurations, having different doubtedly, important benefits may be realized from their use.
thicknesses. The specimen was subjected to in-plane and out- Particular topics of interest in this regard include the influence
of-plane dynamic motions in these tests. of structural yielding on the effectiveness of such techniques
If experimental investigations are scarce, field observations when they are applied to secondary structures, and the devel-
from instrumented secondary structural elements are even opment of simplified methods for the analysis of secondary
more so. To the writer's knowledge, the only report of field structures that incorporate any of these techniques in their de-
instrumentation of equipment to observe its seismic response signs.
is that from Hiramatsu et al. (1988). In this report, Hiramatsu Despite the high level of understanding that has been gained
and his coworkers describe a field observation system estab- about the behavior of secondary structural elements mounted
lished in Japan in 1982 to monitor the seismic response of on a primary structure, and despite the numerous rational pro-
telecommunication equipment in a five-story telephone office cedures that have been proposed over the last few years for
building. In this system, accelerometers were installed on the the analysis of these secondary structural elements, the stan-
equipment in several floors of the building at 16 points, on a dards and specifications in current building codes stilI do not
roof steel tower at two points, and on an antenna above the reflect such level of understanding and have not yet incorpo-
tower at one point. So far, the system has recorded several rated many of these rational procedures. Undoubtedly, this has
earthquakes of moderate magnitude. In regard to field obser- been the case because, for the most part, these rational meth-
vations it is worthwhile to mention the study conducted by ods of analysis are too complicated or too cumbersome for the
Rihal (1992) to investigate the influence of peak floor accel- design of ordinary secondary elements in conventional build-
eration, frequency content, and interstory drift on the nonstruc- ing structures. Thus, as pointed out by Chen and Soong
tural damage observed during an earthquake. In his study, Ri- (1988), a great challenge for researchers is the development
hal used the data recorded during the 1989 Loma Prieta of methods of analysis that, on one hand, are rational and
earthquake in an instrumented building and the corresponding accurate, but on the other, are simple enough for their incor-
observed nonstructural damage. poration into building codes. As noted in the section on meth-
ods of analysis, some progress has been made in the last cou-
RESEARCH NEEDS ple of years, but further work is still needed. In particular,
research is needed to develop simplified guidelines to account
As seen from the foregoing review, much progress has been
in a rational way for the effect of yielding in a structure on
made towards the understanding of the seismic behavior of
the response of the secondary elements attached to it.
secondary structural elements, the development of simplified
Finally, an extensive program of experimental work and
methods of analysis, and the development of code provisions
field instrumentation is needed to complement the ongoing an-
for life safety and damage mitigation. Notwithstanding this
alytical studies. Laboratory tests, mainly in the form of shak-
progress, it is also clear from the discussion in this review,
ing table tests, are needed to verify the findings from the an-
and from the damage sustained by this type of elements during
alytical studies; to define the stiffness, damping, ductility, and
recent earthquakes, that the problem is a complex one, and as
drift limits of specific secondary structural elements and their
such, has not been completely solved. Thus, there are several
anchorages; to define the acceleration limits at which particular
problems concerning secondary structural elements that de-
pieces of equipment cease to be operational; to test the suita-
mand further research.
bility of current and new bracing methods and anchoring sys-
One area of research that is urgently needed to advance the
tems; and to test the effectiveness of base isolation and struc-
understanding of the seismic behavior of secondary structural
elements, and to derive improved simplified methods for their tural control schemes. The field instrumentation of real
secondary systems in real structures is needed to collect data
analysis, is that related to the effect on this behavior of their
about their performance during real earthquakes (Le., under
nonlinearity and that of their supporting structures. As men-
actual field conditions) and to compare this performance
tioned earlier, current analytic evidence seems to indicate that
against the results from analytical and experimental studies.
such nonlinearity may significantly affect the behavior of a
secondary element, that in some cases it may considerably
reduce the response of the secondary element in comparison ACKNOWLEDGMENT
with the response attained when both subsystems are assumed The writer wishes to express his gratitude to one of the anonymous
to remain linear at all times, and that in other cases this re- reviewers, who thoroughly read the paper and made insightful sugges-
sponse may actually increase. However, only a limited number tions. The suggestions significantly improved its content and presentation.
of studies have been conducted to clarify and quantify such
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