Although the ability to simulate accurately the detailed behavior of nonlinear isolation bearings and the effects of this nonlinearity on dynamic response of the isolated building is desirable, such detailed analyses are not feasible during initial design stages when bearing properties are being selected. However, it would be very beneficial to be able to estimate accurately key engineering demand parameters at the early stages of design to understand the dynamic response characteristics of the isolated structure and to balance and optimize the bearing and structural characteristics to achieve the performance goals set for the building. Unfortunately, classical modal response spectrum analysis methods do not provide accurate results for problems with large, nonclassical damping, as is characteristic of isolated buildings. To find a method capable of predicting peak building responses even with large nonclassical damping, generalized modal response spectrum analysis is implemented. The responses of several buildings having different heights and isolated by linear viscous as well as triple friction pendulum and single friction pendulum isolation systems are investigated. Generalized modal response spectrum analysis methods were found to give significantly better predictions for all systems compared with classical methods. The behavior of buildings isolated with single friction pendulum systems exhibiting sudden changes in stiffness could not be well predicted by either general or classical modal response spectrum analysis when effective damping was increased. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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