Seismic assessment and finite element modeling of traditional vs innovative point fixed glass facade systems (PFGFS)

Simone D’Amore*, Simona Bianchi, Jonathan Ciurlanti, Stefano Pampanin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


In the last decades, recent earthquakes have further highlighted the high vulnerability of non-structural components. Post-earthquake damage due to building envelope, equipment and building contents can lead to substantial economic losses in terms of repair costs and daily activity interruption (downtime). Moreover, non-structural damage can represent a life-safety threat for both occupants and pedestrians. These considerations confirm the crucial need for developing low-damage systems for either structural or non-structural elements. This paper aims to assess the seismic performance of glazed facade systems, widely adopted in modern buildings, focusing on point fixed glass facade systems (PFGFSs), also referred to as “spider glazing”. In this work, a numerical investigation is developed to study the seismic performance of such systems at both local-connection level through a 3D FEM in ABAQUS as well as at global system level through a simplified lumped plasticity model in SAP 2000 to assess the overall in-plane capacity of the facade. Based on the local connection and global facade system behavior, a novel low-damage connection system is herein proposed, and a parametric study is carried out on the key parameters influencing the facade capacity. The benefits of implementing low-damage connection details are highlighted by an increase of the in-plane capacity of the facade system when compared to a traditional solution. To further investigate the potential of the proposed low-damage details in preserving the integrity of the facade system itself, non-linear time history analyses have been carried out on a case-study building equipped with the innovative PFGFSs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2657-2689
Number of pages33
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Finite element modeling
  • Glass facade systems
  • In-plane drift capacity
  • Low-damage solution
  • Non-structural components
  • Seismic performance


Dive into the research topics of 'Seismic assessment and finite element modeling of traditional vs innovative point fixed glass facade systems (PFGFS)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this