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Earthquakes and Structures
  Volume 9, Number 3, September 2015 , pages 481-501

Effective stiffness in regular R/C frames subjected to seismic loads
Francesco Micelli, Leandro Candido, Marianovella Leone and Maria Antonietta Aiello

    Current design codes and technical recommendations often provide rough indications on how to assess effective stiffness of Reinforced Concrete (R/C) frames subjected to seismic loads, which is a key factor when a linear analysis is performed. The Italian design code (NTC-2008), Eurocode 8 and ACI 318 do not take into account all the structural parameters affecting the effective stiffness and this may not be on the safe side when second-order P-Δ effects may occur. This paper presents a study on the factors influencing the effective stiffness of R/C beams, columns and walls under seismic forces. Five different approaches are adopted and analyzed in order to evaluate the effective stiffness of R/C members, in accordance with the scientific literature and the international design codes. Furthermore, the paper discusses the outcomes of a parametric analysis performed on an actual R/C building and analyses the main variables, namely reinforcement ratio, axial load ratio, concrete compressive strength, and type of shallow beams. The second-order effects are investigated and the resulting displacements related to the Damage Limit State (DLS) under seismic loads are discussed. Although the effective stiffness increases with steel ratio, the analytical results show that the limit of 50% of the initial stiffness turns out to be the upper bound for small values of axial-load ratio, rather than a lower bound as indicated by both Italian NTC-2008 and EC8. As a result, in some cases the current Italian and European provisions tend to underestimate second-order P-Δ effects, when the DLS is investigated under seismic loading.
Key Words
    effective stiffness (in R/C); R/C frames; columns; beams; seismic design
Francesco Micelli, Leandro Candido, Marianovella Leone
and Maria Antonietta Aiello: Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento, via per Monteroni - 73100 Lecce, Italy

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