Modernizing the System Hierarchy for Tall Buildings: A Data-driven Approach to System Characterization

Master's Thesis


In the mid-1960s, Fazlur Khan created a hierarchy of structural systems, ranging from two-dimensional moment resisting frames to three-dimensional tubular systems, to aid designers in making efficient choices to resist lateral loads. While this hierarchy has historically been a valuable tool for designers, the ever-advancing modeling and computational capabilities have enabled far more exotic structures to become inhabitable possibilities. This implies that few modern systems obey this classical hierarchy, requiring a new approach to classify structural systems and their applicability to modern practice as both a design aid and educational tool for future designers. Therefore, this thesis will respond to this need by modernizing the hierarchy, not from first principles or theory, but actually from practice by mining the attributes of constructed systems already in existence. The result of this thesis is a newly proposed system descriptor, a database structure and procedure to generate modern hierarchies that can be dynamically updated with time.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04172014-121638

Author Sally Suzanne Williams
Advisor Dr. Tracy Kijewski-Correa
Contributor Dr. Kapil Khandelwal, Committee Member
Contributor Dr. Tracy Kijewski-Correa, Committee Chair
Contributor Dr. Ashan Kareem, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
Degree Name MSCE
Defense Date
  • 2014-04-08

Submission Date 2014-04-17
  • United States of America

  • modern hierarchy

  • structural systems

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility and Access Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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