AbstractCompared with conventional buildings, the design of interconnections in multistory modular buildings requires special attention, due to different load distribution mechanisms, level of redundancy, integration strategies, and the stability requirements, in particular under accidental load conditions. In this paper, the robustness of corner-supported modular steel buildings, subject to various sudden loss scenarios, is studied through investigating the collapse-resisting capacities and the probable gravity-induced progressive collapse mechanisms. The aim is to evaluate the minimum requirements and special considerations for the design of interconnections for robustness. To that end, archetypal precast room-sized volumetric modules with different heights are analyzed using the finite-element macromodelling method and the alternate load path approach. The load redistribution mechanisms are inspected, nonlinear dynamic responses are determined, and probable collapse mechanisms are identified for buildings with different heights and configurations. The dynamic increase factors are computed and compared with the values suggested by the design codes. Given that the individual modules are mainly made of inherently robust structures, the focus of this study is on the performance of interconnections and interactions between an assemblage of units. The results indicate that due to high redundancy in these systems, there is great reserve strength against gravity-induced progressive collapse scenarios, triggered by instantaneous removal of components.

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