Author Date


Degree Name



Civil and Environmental Engineering


Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Johnn Judd

First Faculty Reader

Taylor Sorensen

Honors Coordinator

Gregory Macfarlane


self-centering, seismic design, restoring force, hysteretic behavior, resilient structural system


The benefits of self-centering systems for increasing building resilience are well documented and widely known. These systems are added to buildings to bring them back to “plumb,” or upright, position in the event of an extreme event. Benefits of their use are thus most notably that self-centering systems cut down on the repair, downtime, and/or demolition costs incurred after a structure encounters an extreme event. However, they are sometimes not used due to higher up-front costs incurred by the use of unconventional materials, methods, and construction details. This study developed a self- centering frame system that builds on established methods and utilizes common materials and standard construction details. The new system has the potential to make self- centering systems more affordable and accessible, encouraging the adoption of self- centering building designs.

This study explores the results of three tests run with the goal of designing a low- cost self-centering frame system in mind. Each test uses a slightly different iteration of the system developed, and each shows the results of that iteration from the perspectives

of resilience, cost, and overall effectiveness of the system in withstanding extreme events. Successful concentration of damage into easily replaceable parts and self- centering of the structure was observed, as was cost reduction. The developed system is thus a viable one. This system should further the goal of developing civil infrastructure that is safer and less prone to damage when subjected to extreme events. Industry support is also anticipated due to the accessible nature of this system. Results of this research are specific to the system developed but could inform further research into innovative configurations of standard materials.