SEAOC Convention: Design for Improved Performance of Buckling-Restrained Braced Frames

Forell | Elsesser Structural Engineers, Mason Walters and Russell Berkowitz, presented at the Convention of the Structural Engineers of California (SEAOC)

In this article, Mason and Russell discuss the rigid, field-welded beam/column/gusset connection of a Buckling Restrained Braced Frame (BRBF), and its undesirable seismic behavior, which motivated Forell | Elsesser to explore an alternate connection configuration that significantly reduces the vulnerability of the connection assembly to seismic drift-induced damage, while reducing the time consuming and thus expensive field welding of beam and gusset connections.  The alternative connection is far superior to the more traditional welded connection, both on a first-cost basis, as well as a life-cycle cost basis by reducing the cost of earthquake damage repair over the life of the structure.