New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Conference
April 13-15, 2012, Christchurch, New Zealand
The Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology Arts and Media building was completed in 2011 and consists of three seismically separate complexes. This research focussed on the Arts building as it showcases the use of coupled post-tensioned timber shear walls. These are part of the innovative Expan system. Full-scale, in-situ dynamic testing of the novel building was combined with finite element modelling and updating to obtain an understanding of the structural dynamic performance within the linear range. Ambient testing was performed at three stages during construction and was combined with forced vibration testing for the final stage. This forms part of a larger instrumentation program developed to investigate the wind and seismic response and long term deformations of the building. A finite element model of the building was formulated and updated using experimental modal characteristics. It was shown that the addition of non-structural elements, such as cladding and the staircase, increased the natural frequency of the first mode and the second mode by 19% and 24%, respectively. The addition of the concrete floor topping as a structural diaphragm significantly increased the natural frequency of the first mode but not the second mode, with an increase of 123% and 18%, respectively. The elastic damping of the NMIT building at low-level vibrations was identified as being between 1.6% and 2.4%.