A new hybrid ductile-rocking seismic-resistant design is proposed which consists of a code-designed buckling-restrained braced frame (BRBF) that yields along its height and also partially rocks on its foundation. The goal of this system is to cost-effectively improve the performance of BRBFs, by reducing drift concentrations and residual deformations, while taking advantage of their large ductility and their reliable limit on seismic forces and accelerations along a building's height. A lock-up device ensures that the full code-compliant lateral strength can be achieved after a limited amount of column uplift, and supplemental energy dissipation elements are used to reduce the rocking response.
This paper outlines the mechanics of the system and then presents analyses on rocking frames with both ductile and elastic braces in order to highlight the large higher mode demands on elastic rocking frames. A parametric study using nonlinear time-history analysis of BRBF structures designed according to the proposed procedure for Los Angeles, California is then presented. This study investigates the system's seismic response and the effect of different energy dissipation element properties and allowable base rotation values before the lock-up is engaged. Finally, the effect of vertical mass modeling on analysis results was investigated. These studies demonstrated that the hybrid ductile-rocking system can in fact improve the global peak and residual deformation response as well as reduce brace damage. This enhanced performance could eliminate the need for expensive repairs or demolition that are otherwise to be expected for conventional ductile fixed base buildings that sustain severe damage.