A local damage detection method for shear structure based on substructure approach and sub-time series superposition is proposed, which is promising for application in parallel and distributed damage detection systems. This method requires only three sensors to identify localized damage in any story of a building and it doesn't require constructing the structure models. A substructure method was used in this method to divide a complete structure into several substructures. Each substructure has a considerably smaller number of degrees of freedom (DOFs) which makes fewer requirements on the computing power of the data processing system. The algorithm is simple, which involves only algebra calculation and does not need any iterative computation. Moreover the damage detection process can be independently conducted on each substructure. Thus, this method is easy, efficient and suitable for being embedded into parallel and distributed damage detection systems. To better assess the performance of the method proposed above, experimental verification of the proposed approach has been conducted, which shows the proposed method works quite well and stably.