Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Performance-based earthquake early warning for tall buildings

March 28, 2024
The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system aims to issue an advance warning to residents on the West Coast of the United States seconds before the ground shaking arrives, if the expected ground shaking exceeds a certain threshold. However, residents in tall buildings may experience much greater motion due to the dynamic response of the buildings. Therefore, there is an ongoing effort to extend ShakeAlert to include the contribution of building response to provide a more accurate estimation of the expected shaking intensity for tall buildings. Currently, the supposedly ideal solution of analyzing detailed finite element models of buildings under predicted ground-motion time histories is not theoretically or practically feasible. The authors have recently investigated existing simple methods to estimate peak floor acceleration (PFA) and determined these simple formulas are not practically suitable. Instead, this article explores another approach by extending the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) performance-based earthquake engineering (PBEE) to EEW, considering that every component involved in building response prediction is uncertain in the EEW scenario. While this idea is not new and has been proposed by other researchers, it has two shortcomings: (1) the simple beam model used for response prediction is prone to modeling uncertainty, which has not been quantified, and (2) the ground motions used for probabilistic demand models are not suitable for EEW applications. In this article, we address these two issues by incorporating modeling errors into the parameters of the beam model and using a new set of ground motions, respectively. We demonstrate how this approach could practically work using data from a 52-story building in downtown Los Angeles. Using the criteria and thresholds employed by previous researchers, we show that if peak ground acceleration (PGA) is accurately estimated, this approach can predict the expected level of human comfort in tall buildings.
Publication Year 2024
Title Performance-based earthquake early warning for tall buildings
DOI 10.1177/87552930241236762
Authors S. Farid Ghahari, Khachik Sargsyan, Grace Alexandra Parker, Dan Swensen, Mehmet Çelebi, Hamid Haddadi, Ertugrul Taciroglu
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earthquake Spectra
Index ID 70252583
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earthquake Science Center