Comparing Italian Seismic Codes for Design of RC Frame Buildings

Student: Luca Ongaro
Supervisors: Prof Gian Michele Calvi, Dr Barbara Borzi


In 2003, in Italy, a new Seismic Code has been proposed, Ordinanza del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri N° 3274 (OPCM). Compared to the previous regulation, "Decreto Ministeriale 1996" (DM), which can still be adopted in Italy, the new code is in line with the current generation of seismic codes adopting similar design philosophies. The new code sets more emphasis to a correct design based on the knowledge of seismic engineering principles such as the understanding of the structural behaviour through dynamic and non-linear analyses. Furthermore, attention is paid on adopting structural configuration capable to dissipate energy during an earthquake. It is clearly underlined that an elastic response to severe seismic design actions is economically prohibitive. A structure is allowed to develop inelastic deformations under its seismic design actions, providing that the integrity of individual members and of the whole structure are not endangered. The new generation codes like the OPCM clearly remark the relationships between the amount of seismic energy, which is possible to dissipate, and the structural ductility. However, the OPCM 3274 is not jet compulsory in Italy.

In this work an overview of the methods of analyses and design methodologies such as force-based or displacement-based design have been proposed.

The main target of the thesis is to show the design evolution of the Italian seismic codes from DM 96 to OPCM 3274. Concrete frame-wall buildings will be taken into account. To easily get into the codes, and work out the main differences, some design applications have been proposed too.

You may download a digital version of this MSc dissertation here.