A simplified deformation-based method for seismic vulnerability assessment

Student: Simon Glaister
Supervisors: Dr. R. Pinho


The state-of-the-art earthquake loss estimation techniques make use of pushover analysis to define the performance of structures under earthquake loading, which is represented by a demand spectrum whose ordinates reflect the inelastic response. The performance point defined in this way is then used as input to the fragility or loss curves. This is a rigorous approach that both represents the earthquake actions by a parameter that is known to have a good correlation with damage and also to take into account the dynamic characteristics of different buildings. However, for applications to large areas, including major cities, the available data on key input parameters such as soil conditions and the type and distribution of the exposed building stock, is often of sufficiently poor resolution to make the rigorous capacity spectrum approach disproportionately complex and time-consuming. It is for such case scenarios that a much simpler displacement-based assessment methodology, presented herein, has been developed. The proposed method possesses all the inherent accuracy advantages of a displacement-based approach, whilst reducing the required calculations by one or more orders of magnitude, when compared to conventionally vulnerability assessment procedures.

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