Earthquake-resistant construction


Earthquake resistant designed buildings do not completely guarantee a perfect safety against collapse or serious damage as many of the aspects involved in the design of structures have large uncertainties. However, Earthquake-resistant construction to some extent (or many aspects) helps to attain great deal of safety against the instantaneous collapse. For example; in case of a brilliantly designed ductile building we can have enough time to escape the life-taking damages as it offers requisite, predictable or noticeable signs of collapse. The ductility offers large degree of stretch/elasticity before fracture. Moreover, construction and maintenance, including repair, retrofitting and/or modifications must also the considered in addition to the design aspects.

Importance of construction and maintenance

Design and construction of a structure are closely related and the success depends mostly on the simplicity of detailing of the members, connections and supports. A design is only effective if it can be constructed and maintained.

Need for a comprehensive approach to earthquake-resistant construction

It is first necessary to establish the design criteria that are behavior of the structure- serviceability, damageability, and safety against collapse. After that the selection of the design earthquake should be done according to the comprehensive approaches. In this comprehensive attempt, instead of a single deterministic analysis of a single selected model several models are also to be taken into consideration based of possible ranges over which the parameters governing the behavior of the real system can vary.

Importance of conceptual design

In conceptual design an understanding of the behavior dominates the numerical computations. This helps to avoid or minimize the effects of seismic excitation. For that it may be important to

  1. Control or decrease the demands as much as possible and,
  2. Be generous in the supply, particularly by providing large ductility with stable hysteretic behavior (toughness).

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