Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 439–471 | Cite as

Numerical simulation of potential seismic pounding among adjacent buildings in series

  • Shehata E. Abdel RaheemEmail author
  • Mohammed Y. M. Fooly
  • Aly G. A. Abdel Shafy
  • Ahmed M. Taha
  • Yousef A. Abbas
  • Mohamed M. S. Abdel Latif
Original Research


Numerous urban seismic vulnerability studies have recognized pounding between adjacent structures as one of the main risks for neighbouring buildings due to the restricted separation distance. The seismic pounding could produce damages that range from slight non-structural to serious structural damage that could even head to a total collapse of buildings. Therefore, an assessment of the seismic pounding risk of buildings is indispensable in future calibration of seismic design code provisions. Thus, this study targets to draw useful recommendations for seismic design through the evaluation of the pounding effects on adjacent buildings. A numerical simulation is formulated to estimate the pounding effects on the seismic response demands of three adjacent buildings in series with different alignment configurations. Three adjacent buildings of 3-storey, 6-storey and 12-storey MRF buildings are combined together to produce three different alignment configurations; these configurations of adjacent buildings are subjected to nine ground motions that are absolutely compatible with the design spectrum. The nonlinear time-history is performed for the evaluation of the response demands of different alignment configurations of the adjacent buildings using structural analysis software ETABS. Various response parameters are investigated such as displacement, acceleration, storey shear force mean and maximum responses, impact force and hysteretic behaviour. Based on the obtained results, it has been concluded that the severity of the seismic pounding effects depends on the vibration characteristic of the adjacent buildings, the input excitation characteristic and whether the building has interior or exterior alignment position, thus either exposed to one or two-sided impacts. Seismic pounding among adjacent buildings induces greater shear force and acceleration response demands at different story levels for the high rise building, while the response could be reduced in the short buildings compared to that of no-pounding case. The effect of poundings of adjacent buildings seems to be critical for most of the cases and, therefore, the structural pounding phenomenon is rather detrimental than beneficial.


Adjacent buildings in series Seismic pounding Time history analysis Separation gap Response demands Earthquake characteristics 



The authors would also like to record their indebtedness and thankfulness to the reviewers for their valuable and fruitful comments as well as for their powerful reading and suggestions. The financial support by Scientific Research Deanship, Taibah University Grant No. 7128/436 is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shehata E. Abdel Raheem
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author return OK on get
  • Mohammed Y. M. Fooly
    • 2
  • Aly G. A. Abdel Shafy
    • 2
  • Ahmed M. Taha
    • 1
  • Yousef A. Abbas
    • 2
  • Mohamed M. S. Abdel Latif
    • 2
  1. 1.Civil Engineering Department, Engineering CollegeTaibah UniversityMadinahSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of EngineeringAssiut UniversityAssiutEgypt

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