Review on the macro-modeling alternatives and a proposal for modeling coupling beams in tall buildings

A. Emre Toprak, Ihsan Engin Bal, F. Gülten Gülay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Coupling beams between shear walls are one of the key elements for energy dissipation in tall buildings. A representative mathematical model of coupling beam should represent flexure, shear and interface slip/extension mechanisms simultaneously. This goal can be achieved by using either detailed finite element models or by using macro models. This paper presents a review of various macro model alternatives for diagonally reinforced coupling beams in the literature. Three distinct methods have been reviewed in terms of their modeling techniques, the cyclic response overlap and the amount of cumulative plastic energy dissipated based on the results of previously performed tests. Through an analytical study, adequately accurate results can be captured by using macro models, although they are simpler in practice compared to sophisticated micro models. This study shows that, by modifying ultimate shear capacities where concrete material between diagonal bundles is adequately confined, it is possible to capture a more realistic result and a better approximation to the actual responses. It is also concluded that a simpler numerical model for diagonally reinforced coupling beams can be achieved by introducing linear part of slip/extension behavior into elastic part of the beam. It is observed, as a result of this study, that the ratio of effective stiffness to that of the gross cross-sectional one ranges from 0.04 to 0.14 in diagonally reinforced coupling beams depending on the aspect ratio and the beam strength parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2309-2326
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2015


  • coupled shear-walls
  • coupling beams
  • diagonal reinforcement
  • effective stiffness
  • macro modeling
  • tall shear-walled structures
  • buildings
  • earthquakes


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