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NOVEMBER2009

## The present article provides a basic overview on wind design

pressures and seismic hazard design factors in Brazil. For reference
purposes,comparisonsbetweenBrazilianandUSnormsarepresented
(i.e.NBRvs.UBC)wherepossible.

WindDesign
According to Local Standard NBR 6123, Brazil is divided in five wind
hazardregions,asshowninFig.1.Forexample,theNorthEastregion
ofBrazilismostlylocatedinRegionI,witharecommendedminimum
basicwindspeedof30m/s(approx.108km/hor67mph).

CalculationofDynamicWindPressureP
AccordingtoNBR6123
AccordingtoUBC97
P=0.613(VK)2(CeCi)

where:
VK=VoS1S2S3
and:
Vo: basic wind speed (defined at a height of
10m,with3sgustandonopenflatfield)
S1:Topographyfactor;
S2:CombinedHeightExposurefactor;
S3:stochasticfactor;
Ce; Ci: external and internal pressure
coefficient

P=CE*Cq*qs*Iw

where:
CE: Combined height, exposure and
gustfactor;
Cq:Pressurecoefficient;
qs: Basic design wind pressure (at a
heightof10m,3sgustonopenflat
field);
Iw:Importancefactor

## Table 1: Calculation of dynamic wind pressures according to Brazil Norm

NBR6123(left)andUBC97(right).

Table1summarizesthedifferentcalculationapproachesforthestatic
wind pressure, according to NBR and UBC norms. From a practical
pointofview,thequestionariseshowtheresultsoftheseprocedures
comparewhencalculatedforaspecificcommoncase.
Inafirstapproach,staticwindpressuresPwerecalculatedaccording
to both NBR 6123 and UBC97 (Chapter 16) for the two examples
depictedinFig.2,namelyaflatwalllocatedonanopenflatfield,and

## Fig. 2: Schematic view of the two

structure examples for which static wind
pressures were calculated according to
both NBR and UBC norms. Left: flat wall.
Right: cylinder with a diameter of 6
meters. Both structures were asumed to
be located on an open flat field. No
pressures resulting from dynamic effects
havebeenconsidered.

Fig.1:WindSpeedsinBrazil.WindregionsinBrazilarecategorizedaccordingto
the wind hazard. The territory is divided into different wind regions which are
numberedfromIthroughV,withincreasingwindhazard.Contourlinesmarkthe
regions with different recommended basic wind speeds. Corresponding wind
speedvaluesrangebetween30and50m/s(108180Kmphor67to112mph).

Fig. 3: Wind pressure calculation results for a flat wall (marked in purple) and
cylindricalstructure(markedinblue),locatedonanopenflatfield.
CalculationresultsaccordingtoUBCaremarkedwithsquareswhereascalculation
results according to Brazilian norm NBR 6123 are marked with triangles. Special
carewastakeninapplyingidenticalconditions forbothapproaches(basic design
parameter as wind velocity, type of exposure, etc).Forthetheparticularexamples,
the Pvalues obtained according to UBC are clearly higher than those
corresponding Pvalues that were calculated according to NBR. The calculation
inputvaluesaregiveninTable2,below.

CalculationresultsforbothexamplesaredepictedinFig.3.Theresults
indicatethatstaticwindpressurescalculatedaccordingtoUBCresult
higherthanifcalculatedaccordingtoNBRnorms.
Accordingtothesefirstindicativeresults,thewinddesignperformed
for structures according UBC results more conservative, and hence
InputparametersNBR
InputparametersUBC
morecostly,thanifperformedaccordingtoNBR.
2
V0=30m/s,qs=61.5Kgm ,Iw=1,Cq=1.3,
Vo=30ms1,S1=1.0,S2:eq.to
Itmustbeclearlystatedhoweverthat,forthecaseofaforementioned
Wall
acc.to6GUBC97,expositionC.
andC
E
CategoryII,classA,S
=0.95,
3
calculations, no dynamic wind effects were taken into consideration.
example
Ce=0.8,Ci=0.7.
Especially for the case of the cylindrical structure however, wind
2
Vo=30m/s, S1=1.0, S2: eq. to V0=30m/s,qs=61.5 Kgm ,Iw=1, Cq=0.8,
Cylinder
pressuresresultingfromdynamiceffectshaveasubstantialimpacton
C
acc.to6GUBC97,expositionC.
E
Category II, class A, S3=0.95,
example
total wind pressures and have thus to be accounted for in more
Ce=0.77,Ci=0
thoroughstudies.
Table2:Calculationinputvaluesusedfordeterminingthestaticwindpressuresfor
thetwostructureexamples,accordingtoNBRandUBCnorms.

EngineeringCompanyofCentralAmericaEstructuristasConsultoresDr.Ing.EdwinPortillo&Partners
info@eccentralamerica.com;www.eccentralamerica.com

SeismicHazard
Brazil is located in an intraplate area where seismic activity is not
significant compared with the activity occurring at the borders of
tectonicplates.

The seismic map depicted in Fig. 4 shows that most of the territory
can be classified as UBC Zone Factor 1, with exception of areas that
border the Andes mountain chain and a welldefined region in the
northeasternpartofthecountry.Thesetworegionshoweverdonot
exceedUBCZone2B.

## Aforementioned classification has been performed by translating the

valuesfortheMaximumHorizontalGroundAcceleration(Zvalues)of
Fig.4,accordingtotheUBCequivalentsgiveninTable3hereafter:

UBCZone
1
2A
2B
3
4
Z(ing)
0.075
0.15
0.20
0.30
0.40

Table 3: UBC Seismic Zone Factors in accordance with the effective maximum
horizontalgroundaccelerationZ,expressedinfractionsoftheearthgravityg(1g
2
9.8 m/s ). Each UBC Zone is assigned with a maximum Zvalue, that can be
exceededin50yearswithaprobabilityof10%.Source:UniformBuildingCode
1997,DivisionIV.

SeismicDesignStrategies
The following two general approaches are being used for seismic
designofaspecificstructure:

1.Performancewithintheelasticrange(elasticapproach)
In this approach, structures are designed to resist seismic forces
within the elastic range of their elements. This translates into the
noneoccurrence of plastic deformations in reinforced concrete
elementsandthattheindividualelementsofasteelstructurewillnot
reachtheyieldlimitstate.Avariationofthiscaseoccurswhenseismic
basicisolationdevicesareintroduced,seeFig.5.Themaingoalofthis
technology is to avoid the development of the seismic horizontal
(inertial) forces on the building, by allowing significant relative
displacements at the foundation level. This approach, however, can
onlybeappliedtolowandmidrisebuildings.

Fig. 4. Seismic HazardMap of Brazil. Contour lines indicate the expected Maxi
2
mumHorizontalGroundAccelerationZ,expresseding(1g9.8m/s ),accordingto
an extrapolation from the Global Seismic Hazard Map, produced by the Global
Seismic Assessment Program. Arrows indicate the classification of the different
areasintoUBCZonesaccordingtothecorrespondanceindicatedintable3.
ResultsshowthatmostoftheBrazilterritorycanbeclassifiedasUBCZone1,with
exeption of the eastern regions (bordering the Andes Mountain Chain) and a
definedregioninthenortheasternpartofthecountry.

Inareasofhighseismicity(UBCZones3,4orabove),themainstructural
design objective is to resist the maximum combination of standard
induced by the design earthquake (major event) are to be absorbed
throughpostelasticdeformationsofthestructuralcomponents(ductile
approach). Since the explicit incorporation of ductility into the design
topreventshearfailuremechanismonthestructure.

ConcreteandSteelstructures,locatedinseismicproneareas,havetobe
designed as systems with the special detailing approach. Buildings
designedaccordingtotheAmericanConcreteInstitute(ACI318),haveto

## the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC LRFD) provides the

Fig. 5: Example of an isolation device
design guidelines that include the use of prequalified connections. In
manufactured by Maurer Shne, Germany. This
deviceallowsrelativedisplacementsbetweenthe zones 3 or 4, the intermediate detailing approach is limited to steel
buildings not exceeding 48 meters of height. For the case of areas with
foundationandthestructure.
mediumseismicity(UBCZones2aand2b)thedesignrulestofolloware

## the same as those applicable for zones of high seismicity, however,

2.Performancewithinpostelasticrange(ductileapproach)
This approach relies on the dissipation of seismic energy on a given intermediatedetailingcanbeused.
structure through postelastic deformations of its elements
(controlled, postelastic deformation located mainly at intersection
points between main structural elements, connections and neighbor SCOPEOFSERVICES

areas).Thissocalledductilitycriterionisusuallyappliedforthecase EngineeringsupportfromECisgivenduringdifferentprojectstages,reachingfromthe
ofmultistoriesbuildings.Dependingontherequiredpostearthquake planningphaseuntiltheconstructionexecutionphase.Afewexamplesaregivenhereafter:
EXECUTION
PLANNING
DESIGN
beconsideredformajorearthquakeshocks.
PHASE
PHASE
PHASE
In general terms, the seismic design objective varies according to

seismicityofthesiteandtotheprojectspecifictechnical/economical ScopeofservicesduringPlanningPhase:
constraints.
Coordination or execution of site studies, (topographical, geophysical, geotechnical, seismic
For the case of noneseismic areas (UBC Zone 1 or less), the design hazard).Preliminarymultidisciplinaryengineering.Tenderingoflocalworks.
ScopeofservicesduringDesign/EngineeringPhase:
objectiveistoprovidethestructurewiththeresistanceandstiffness Civilandstructuraldesignofbuildings,industrialplantsandinfrastructure,basedonlocaland
needed to resist the maximum combination of loads resulting from internationalstandards.Multidisciplinarydetaildesignofthermoelectricalpowerplants.
operation and environment. In such case the design is performed ScopeofservicesduringExecutionPhase:
according to standard constraints given by applicable international Constructionmanagementassistance,includingonsitesupervision.
andlocalnorms.

EngineeringCompanyofCentralAmericaEstructuristasConsultoresDr.Ing.EdwinPortillo&Partners