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Accidental eccentricity is automatically included during response-spectrum analysis, though equivalent static-load procedures are also available for manual evaluation. Diaphragm assignments, either rigid or semi-rigid, are necessary at each floor level.

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Manual implementation

Two basic approaches which enable the manual formulation of accidental eccentricity are described as follows:


There are two basic approaches for consideration of accidental torsion in a response spectrum analysis (RSA).

1. The first approach uses the "Static Procedure". A torsional moment (Mz) is computed based on the seismic lateral story force obtained from RSA which is multiplied by the specified diaphragm eccentricity. The torsional moment is applied to all stories which have a diaphragm assignment (rigid or semi-rigid diaphragm). Because this approach is a static approximation, ASCE 7-10 requires amplification of the accidental torsion in accordance with section Both ETABS (v9 and later versions) and SAP2000 (v18 and later versions) automate the creation of accidental torsion loads when a nonzero eccentricity is applied in the response spectrum case. Response spectrum results, i.e. displacement and forces, combine the response from RSA and the internally created static load for applying accidental torsion.

2. The second approach uses the "Dynamic Procedure". This procedure modifies the dynamic characteristics of the structure so that the dynamic amplification of the accidental torsion is directly considered. This modification can be done by shifting the mass on each floor by the distance required by code or specification. Building code often takes this distance to be a fraction of maximum story dimension, typically 5% or 10%, depending on regional standards. Center of mass may shift along either direction and along either lateral axis. Each of these changes in structural configuration also changes the global stiffness matrix, modal parameters, and dynamic properties of the structure.


This procedure is automated for ETABS (2015 and later versions) only. Where this "Dynamic Procedure" is used, amplification of the accidental torsion in accordance with the ASCE 7-10 section is not required. See ASCE 7-10 Commentary C12.9 and C12.9.5.

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Static Procedure — Implementation as part of a Response Spectrum load case

(ETABS version 2013 and below and all versions of SAP2000earlier versions and SAP2000 v18 and later versions) This version implements an efficient and practical approach while formulating dynamic response from accidental eccentricity. After the response-spectrum load case is run, the X and Y acceleration at each joint location is determined, then multiplied by the tributary mass and the diaphragm eccentricity along either Y or X. The larger absolute value of these resultant moments (m*Xacc*dY or m*Yacc*dX) is then applied as torsion about the joint location. Static response is then added to response-spectrum output to account for the additional design forces caused by accidental eccentricity. Also, when setting eccentricity ratio on response spectrum case, only one positive value is required, since results will include envelopes of positive and negative responses.



Dynamic Procedure — Implementation by adjusting diaphragm lateral mass in Mass Source (ETABS only)

ETABS version 2015 and above allows later versions allow for moved floor masses to be included in the analysis model. The way to achieve this is as follows:


2- Define nonlinear static load case Lcase2, Lcase3 etc. with loads applied that correspond to same used as in the mass source. Make sure to select the correct mass source while in nonlinear static case i,e, MsSrc2, MsSrc3...for nonlinear static load cases Lcase2, Lcase 3 etc.

3- Define>modal Define > modal cases and add new case, say ModalCase2, ModalCase3 etc. and make sure to choose radio button "use nonlinear case..." and select Lcase2, Lcase3... respectively.

4- Watch the video tutorial on this approach.

Reasons for considering accidental eccentricity