Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Christopher Mullen

Relational Format



The Senior Design course at the University of Mississippi requires the completion of a capstone project. One part of the capstone project is a complete structural design of the NOLA, an ongoing construction in the city of Oxford in Mississippi. The course requires the NOLA to be designed according to gravity loads, meaning the forces act in the downward direction towards the earth’s surface. Some loading mechanisms that could occur in a different direction than gravity are seismic loads, which are earthquake-generated loads. I was not required by my instructors to consider the effect of an earthquake on the structural design of the NOLA, neither was I given enough information to do so. Therefore, I decided to investigate -on my own- how crucial it would be to actually consider the effect of an earthquake on a building in Oxford by researching and consulting the most recent versions of the International Building Code and the American Society of Civil Engineers Minimum Design Standards, I discovered that it is against the guidelines to ignore the effect of an earthquake with the given seismic activity parameters for the city of Oxford. I wanted to investigate and find out the reason behind why it’s not permitted to ignore the earthquake effect. Consequently, I would be able to prove that it is vital to consider an earthquake effect in the structural design of any building in Oxford. I structurally analyzed one frame of the building using two load cases: the first loading case does not consider earthquake activity and the second one does. The frame was then designed to withstand only gravity loads. The results indicated that an earthquake could have a tremendous impact on the design of the structure. An effect significant enough to demolish the initial design with no earthquake activity consideration.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.