City Research Online

Automated Minimum-Weight Sizing Design Routine for Tall Self-Standing Modular Buildings Subjected to Multiple Performance Constraints Under Static and Dynamic Wind Loads

Wang, Z., Rajana, K., Corfar, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-9843-2973 & Tsavdaridis, K. D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8349-3979 (2023). Automated Minimum-Weight Sizing Design Routine for Tall Self-Standing Modular Buildings Subjected to Multiple Performance Constraints Under Static and Dynamic Wind Loads. Engineering Structures, 286, article number 116121. doi: 10.1016/j.engstruct.2023.116121


In recent decades, the shortage of affordable housing has become an endemic issue in many cities worldwide due to the ongoing urban population growth. Against this backdrop, volumetric steel modular building systems (MBSs) are becoming an increasingly compelling solution to the above challenge owing to their rapid construction speed and reduced upfront costs. Notwithstanding their success in low- to mid-rise projects, these assembled structures generally rely on a separate lateral load-resisting system (LLRS) for lateral stability and resistance to increased wind loads as the building altitude increases. However, additional LLRSs require on-site construction, thereby compromising the productivity boost offered by the MBSs. To this end, this paper proposes a novel optimisation-driven sizing design framework for tall self-standing modular buildings subjected to concurrent drift, floor acceleration, and member strength constraints under static and dynamic wind loads. A computationally efficient solution strategy is devised to facilitate a meaningful sizing solution by decomposing the constrained discrete sizing problem into the convex serviceability limit stage (SLS) and non-convex ultimate limit stage (ULS), which can be conveniently solved using preferred local and global optimisation methods, separately. The framework is implemented by integrating SAP2000 (for structural analysis) and MATLAB (for optimisation) through SAP2000’s open Application Programming Interface (API), and demonstrated using a 15-storey self-standing steel modular building exposed to three different levels of wind intensity. A comprehensive performance assessment is conducted on the optimally designed case-study building to investigate the elastic instability behaviour, geometric nonlinear effects on wind-induced response, and impacts of global sway imperfections on member utilisation ratios. It is concluded that tall self-standing modular buildings can be achieved economically using ordinary corner-supported modules without ad hoc structural provisions, while consuming steel at similar rates to conventional building structural systems. Furthermore, the proposed sizing framework and solution strategy have proven to be useful design tools for reconciling the structural resilience and material efficiency in wind-sensitive self-standing modular buildings

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: structural sizing optimisation, modular building systems, wind effects, SAP2000 Open Application Programming Interface
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S0141029623005357-main.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (15MB) | Preview
[thumbnail of 230307 MANUSCRIPT symplectic.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login