Publication Date

Spring 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Kurt McMullin


Seismic, Structural Engineering

Subject Areas

Civil engineering


Discontinuous lateral-force-resisting systems (LFRS) are a type of LFRS in which the path of resistance does not continue directly to the foundation. Discontinuous systems are defined as either in-plane, where the LRFS shifts in the plane of resistance, or out-of-plane, where the shift is perpendicular to the plane of resistance. Discontinuous systems are especially prevalent in lightweight, woodframe structures. Design penalties exist for discontinuous systems, resulting in the specification of larger connections and structural elements. This research includes a review of past experiments to identify any discontinuous LFRS experiments that have been conducted. Through the identification of the existence and design of these systems, critical variables are defined. A hypothetical prototype, single-family-residence style, structure has been designed and analyzed to exemplify the proper application of ASCE 7-10 ASD load combinations pertinent to in-plane, vertically irregular discontinuous LFRS, as well as to aide in the design of a full scale test specimen built by a 3-semester unit, graduate level, structural engineering course at San José State University (SJSU). Connection detail examples are produced from the results of the prototype structure analysis. Suggestions for application to structural design and connection detailing are made, in addition to suggestions for further experimental research.

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