"Smart" base isolation systems

J. C. Ramallo, E. A. Johnson, B. F. Spencer, M. K. Sain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper investigates the effectiveness of several base isolation strategies for historical earthquakes of various magnitudes and characteristics. The strategies studied herein include isolation systems with leadrubber bearings and with "smart" (semi-active) dampers. To demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches, historical earthquakes scaled to different magnitudes are used to excite an isolated building structure. Responses examined include: peak base and structural (relative) displacements, peak base and structural (absolute) accelerations, and peak applied forces. The adaptable nature of the smart damper system is shown to protect a structure from extreme earthquakes, without sacrificing performance during the more frequent, moderate seismic events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStructures Congress 2000
Subtitle of host publicationAdvanced Technology in Structural Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventStructures Congress 2000: Advanced Technology in Structural Engineering - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: May 8 2000May 10 2000

Publication series

NameStructures Congress 2000: Advanced Technology in Structural Engineering


OtherStructures Congress 2000: Advanced Technology in Structural Engineering
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia, PA


  • Base isolation
  • Damping
  • Earthquakes
  • Seismic effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Building and Construction


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