Seismic demand estimation of RC frame buildings based on simplified and nonlinear dynamic analyses

  • Borzi, B. (Eucentre, European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering) ;
  • Vona, M. (School of Engineering, University of Basilicata) ;
  • Masi, A. (School of Engineering, University of Basilicata) ;
  • Pinho, R. (Department of Structural Mechanics, University of Pavia) ;
  • Pola, D. (Department of Structural Mechanics, University of Pavia)
  • Received : 2010.02.03
  • Accepted : 2012.03.24
  • Published : 2013.02.25


Vulnerability studies on the existing building stock require that a large number of buildings is analyzed to obtain statistically significant evaluations of the seismic performance. Therefore, analytical evaluation methods need to be based on simplified methodologies of analysis which can afford the treatment of a large building population with a reasonable computational effort. Simplified Pushover-Based Earthquake Loss Assessment approach (SP-BELA), where a simplified methodology to identify the structural capacity of the building through the definition of a pushover curve is adopted, was developed on these bases. Main objective of the research work presented in this paper is to validate the simplified methodology implemented in SP-BELA against the results of more sophisticated nonlinear dynamic analyses (NLDAs). The comparison is performed for RC buildings designed only to vertical loads, representative of the "as built" in Italy and in Mediterranean countries with a building stock very similar to the Italian one. In NLDAs the non linear and degrading behaviour, typical of the structures under consideration when subjected to high seismic loads, is evaluated using models able to capture, with adequate accuracy, the non linear behaviour of RC structural elements taking into account stiffness degradation, strength deterioration, and pinching effect. Results show when simplified analyses are in good agreement with NLDAs. As a consequence, unsatisfactory results from simplified analysis are pointed out to address their current applicability limits.


vulnerability;existing buildings;reinforced concrete;nonlinear dynamic analyses;simplified methods


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