A Study on Shavadoon Underground Living Space in Dezful and Shooshtar Cities, Southwest of Iran: As a Sample of Sustainable Vernacular Architecture

Shavadoon is a type of underground living space, formerly used in urban residences of Dezful and Shooshtar cities in southwestern Iran. In spite of their high efficiency in creating cool spaces for hot summers of that area, Shavadoons were abandoned, like many other components of vernacular architecture, as a result of the modernism movement. However, Shavadoons were used by the local people as shelters during the 8-year Iran-Iraq war, and although several cases of bombardment happened during those years, no case of damage was reported in those two cities. On this basis, and regarding the high seismicity of Iran, the use of Shavadoons as post-disasters shelters can be considered as a good issue for research. This paper presents the results of a thorough study conducted on these spaces and their seismic behavior. First, the architectural aspects of Shavadoon and their construction technique are presented. Then, the results of seismic evaluation of a sample Shavadoon, conducted by a series of time history analyses, using Plaxis software and a set of selected earthquakes, are briefly explained. These results show that Shavadoons have good stability against seismic excitations. This stability is mainly because of the high strength of conglomerate materials inside which the Shavadoons have been excavated. On this basis, and considering other merits of this components of vernacular architecture in southwest of Iran, it is recommended that the revival of these components is seriously reconsidered by both architects and civil engineers.

Parametric Analysis and Optimal Design of Functionally Graded Plates Using Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm and a Hybrid Meshless Method

The present study is concerned with the optimal design of functionally graded plates using particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm. In this study, meshless local Petrov-Galerkin (MLPG) method is employed to obtain the functionally graded (FG) plate’s natural frequencies. Effects of two parameters including thickness to height ratio and volume fraction index on the natural frequencies and total mass of plate are studied by using the MLPG results. Then the first natural frequency of the plate, for different conditions where MLPG data are not available, is predicted by an artificial neural network (ANN) approach which is trained by back-error propagation (BEP) technique. The ANN results show that the predicted data are in good agreement with the actual one. To maximize the first natural frequency and minimize the mass of FG plate simultaneously, the weighted sum optimization approach and PSO algorithm are used. However, the proposed optimization process of this study can provide the designers of FG plates with useful data.

The Effects of Placement and Cross-Section Shape of Shear Walls in Multi-Story RC Buildings with Plan Irregularity on Their Seismic Behavior by Using Nonlinear Time History Analyses

Environmental and functional conditions, sometimes, necessitate the architectural plan of the building to be asymmetric, and this result in an asymmetric structure. In such cases finding an optimal pattern for locating the components of lateral load bearing system, including shear walls, in the building’s plan is desired. In case of shear wall in addition to the location the shape of the wall cross-section is also an effective factor. Various types of shear walls and their proper layout might come effective in better stiffness distribution and more appropriate seismic response of the building. Several studies have been conducted in the context of analysis and design of shear walls; however, few studies have been performed on making decisions for the location and form of shear walls in multistory buildings, especially those with irregular plan. In this study, an attempt has been made to obtain the most reliable seismic behavior of multi-story reinforced concrete vertically chamfered buildings by using more appropriate shear walls form and arrangement in 7-, 10-, 12-, and 15-stoy buildings. The considered forms and arrangements include common rectangular walls and L-, T-, U- and Z-shaped plan, located as the core or in the outer frames of the building structure. Comparison of seismic behaviors of the buildings, including maximum roof displacement and particularly formation of plastic hinges and their distribution in the buildings’ structures, have been done based on the results of a series of nonlinear time history analyses, by using a set of selected earthquake records. Results show that shear walls with U-shaped cross-section, placed as the building central core, and also walls with Z-shaped cross-section, placed at the corners give the building more reliable seismic behavior.