This paper investigates the used of the alternate path method in studying the design of structures to resist progressive collapse using Extreme Loading® for Structures (ELS) and its Applied Element Method (AEM) based solver.
Although there are numerous hazards that could trigger the progressive collapse of a building, there are limited provisions in related codes regarding the design of structures to withstand exposure to such threats. It is thus expedient to limit the extent of damage to prevent the initiation of progressive collapse. This could be done by usage of the alternate path method, whereby the structure is made to withstand the loss of one or more critical load-bearing elements and prevent disproportionate collapse. In our study, we investigated the resistance of seismically designed steel-frame buildings to progressive collapse, focusing on the contributions of the floor system and beam-to-column connections. The applied element method was used to predict the structural response by nonlinear static and dynamic analyses, with the purpose of determining some robustness criteria, using as reference the ratio of the failure load to the nominal gravity load.
Mariam Ehab, Florea Dinu, Dan Dubina & Ioan Marginean (2014): Improving the structural robustness of multistory steel-frame buildings, Structure and Infrastructure Engineering: Maintenance, Management, Life-Cycle Design and Performance, DOI: 10.1080/15732479.2014.927509.