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Shaking table experiments on geotechnical seismic isolation for low-rise buildings using geosynthetics

This paper present the preliminary research works on a potential geotechnical seismic isola-tion (GSI) method using geosynthetics for the protection of low-rise buildings. GSI systems can be re-garded as distributed seismic isolation systems which involve isolating the entire contact surface of the foundation structure. Smooth synthetic liners placed underneath the foundation of structures for the dissi-pation of the seismic energy via sliding are defined as “foundation isolation”. Geosynthetic liners placed under foundations can absorb seismic energy and transmit smaller ground motions to an overlying struc-ture. The concept of this study is the placement of the geotextile-geomembrane couple immediately un-derneath the foundation of the structure. The main novelty of this research is to determine the effects of foundation isolation with geosynthetics on the seismic performance of the low-rise buildings by a reduced scale shaking table tests. Three shaking table test set-up were tested to determine the effects of foundation isolation on the seismic performance of low-rise building model under the different earthquake motions. Six performance indicators including the peak and RMS values of horizontal acceleration at the roof and the foundation as well as the first-floor inter-story drift have been chosen for comparing and evaluating the effectiveness of the two configuration types of foundation isolation. The test results of the isolated models were compared with the identical model without isolation.