The current paper presents an efficient methodology for numerically simulating in three dimensions adjacent buildings that may experience pounding during strong earthquakes. In particular, a new approach to the numerical problem of spatial impact modeling that does not require the ‘a priori’ determination of the contact points is presented, taking also into account the geometry at the vicinity of an impact. In the current study, the buildings are simulated as linear multi-degree-of-freedom-systems, but the methodology can be easily extended to consider nonlinear behavior as well. A software application has been specifically developed to implement the proposed methodology, using modern object-oriented design and programming. The developed software is utilized in a simple example, and the computed results are compared with the corresponding analysis results obtained from a commercial general-purpose software application that uses typical contact elements for the simulation of impacts. A discussion follows on the advantages and capabilities of the proposed methodology and the developed software. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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