Modelling of connections and lateral behavior of high-rise modular steel buildings

Y. S. Chua, J. Y.Richard Liew, S. D. Pang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC), which is a form of modular construction, has been promoted recently for high-rise buildings to raise construction productivity. The flexibility of the inter-module connections and discontinuity of floor slabs of individual modules need to be modelled correctly in the structural analysis since they have direct effect on the building stiffness and its corresponding responses under lateral loads. In this paper, translational spring models are proposed to model the load transfer behavior of the vertical modules connections which are crucial for the structural behavior of high-rise modular buildings. The accuracy of the proposed spring models is investigated by comparing the force distribution and load displacement behavior of modular braced frames with conventional frame model established based on assumptions that the beams are either pin or rigidity connected to the columns. To enhance the productivity and work efficiency of high-rise modular construction, the feasibility of connecting the modules at the corners rather than tying the abutting beams or slabs is proposed. A more realistic approach of modelling the floor slab consisting of multiple modules inter-connected at the corners is recommended. The effectiveness of the corner connected modules in transferring the horizontal forces to the building's lateral load resisting systems is evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105901
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Floor diaphragm
  • Global sway
  • High-rise
  • Inter-module connection
  • Modular building
  • Volumetric construction

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