Effect of inter-module connections on progressive collapse behaviour of MiC structures

Xiao Huang Can He, Tak Ming Chan, Kwok Fai Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Modular integrated Construction (MiC) is a game changing construction approach which could significantly increase construction efficiency, quality, and sustainability. For steel MiC structures, modules are manufactured in the factories and assembled at the construction sites through inter-module connections. The concern of the vulnerability of these connections under abnormal hazards leading to disproportionate progressive collapse will impede industrial applications of MiC structures in the construction community. This study investigates the structural robustness of corner-supported modular steel buildings with the focus on different inter-module connections. A sub-structure extracted from a five-storey modular building is analysed by high fidelity finite element analysis under a corner column removal scenario. The load redistribution mechanism and failure modes are investigated thoroughly, based on which the simplified macro model is proposed where connections are modelled with rotational springs. Good consistence is found for the simplified model and the detailed FE analysis in terms of the pushdown curve. It is also found that the inter-module connection types will affect the beam-column joint properties which dominate the progressive collapse resistance of MiC structures. Therefore, attention should be paid when selecting different inter-module connections. The current rigid beam-column joint connection may lead to nonconservative evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106823
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Component approach
  • Failure modes
  • Inter-module connections, beam-column joint
  • MiC structures
  • Progressive collapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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