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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3524975, 13 pages
Research Article

A Simplified Parametric Study on Occupant Comfort Conditions in Base Isolated Buildings under Wind Loading

1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Perugia, Via G. Duranti 93, 06125 Perugia, Italy
2Faculty of Engineering, University eCampus, Via Isimbardi 10, Novedrate, 22060 Como, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to F. Comodini

Received 18 October 2016; Accepted 12 January 2017; Published 19 February 2017

Academic Editor: Kai Qian

Copyright © 2017 F. Ubertini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vibrations in buildings can cause occupant discomfort in the form of annoyance, headache, or sickness. While occupant comfort is considered in international standards regarding the design of high rise buildings against wind loading, it is neglected in the design of buildings with seismic protective base isolation systems. Nevertheless, due to their low flexibility, base isolated buildings can be prone to wind-induced vibrations, which makes occupant discomfort a potentially significant serviceability limit state. This paper presents a study on occupant comfort conditions in wind-excited base isolated buildings. A numerical simplified parametric procedure is proposed in order to evaluate the return period of wind events causing human discomfort. A parametric investigation is then presented to evaluate the effects of salient parameters on comfort conditions. The procedure is based on (i) the nonlinear dynamic analysis of the structure modeled as a single-degree-of-freedom oscillator with hysteretic base isolators, (ii) the digital generation of time histories of turbulent wind velocity, and (iii) comfort evaluations based on international standards. Results demonstrate that discomfort conditions can occur a few times in a year, depending upon the wind-exposure of the site, what suggests considering this serviceability limit state in the design of base isolated buildings.