Topology optimization for braced frames: Combining continuum and beam/column elements

Lauren L. Stromberg, Alessandro Beghini, William F. Baker, Glaucio H. Paulino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


This paper describes an integrated topology optimization technique with concurrent use of both continuum four-node quadrilateral finite elements and discrete two-node beam elements to design structural braced frames that are part of the lateral system of a high-rise building. The work explores the analytical aspects of optimal geometry for braced frames to understand the underlying behavior and provides a theoretical benchmark to compare numerical results. The influence of the initial assumptions for the interaction between the quadrilaterals and the frame members are discussed. Numerical examples are given to illustrate the present technique on high-rise building structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-124
Number of pages19
JournalEngineering Structures
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


  • Braced frames
  • Continuum and discrete elements
  • High-rise buildings
  • Lateral systems
  • Material layout
  • Optimal braced frame geometry
  • Topology optimization


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