Seismic design and analysis of steel plate shear walls with coupling

Daniel J. Borello, Larry Alan Fahnestock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract Special steel plate shear walls (SPSWs) are an economical seismic lateral force resisting system used throughout North America and Japan. Architectural constraints often encourage the designer to place a pair of planar SPSWs adjacently. A logical extension of the planar SPSW system is to link two SPSWs together with coupling beams to form a SPSW with coupling (SPSW-WC). SPSW-WCs have only been addressed in a limited fashion by prior research, and current code provisions contain no guidance for their design. This research studied the force transfer mechanisms, behavior, and design of SPSW-WCs. A design methodology was developed by extending the capacity design procedures that are currently used for planar SPSWs. Fourteen prototype buildings were designed using this methodology, and representative numerical models were developed. These numerical models were validated and then used to conduct static pushover analysis and earthquake response history analysis. The results of the numerical simulations demonstrate that SPSW-WC systems exhibit robust seismic performance that is equivalent to or better than similar planar SPSW systems, and the SPSW-WC systems improve architectural flexibility and material efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1263-1273
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering (United States)
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013


  • Capacity design
  • Steel plate shear walls
  • Steel plate shear walls with coupling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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