Mitigation of Collapse Risk in Vulnerable Concrete Buildings (NEES-2008-0637)

By Jack Moehle1, Thalia Anagnos2, Mary Comerio1, Julio Ramirez3, Jonathan Stewart4, Santiago Pujol3

1. University of California, Berkeley 2. San Jose State University 3. Purdue University 4. University of California, Los Angeles

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Title: Mitigation of Collapse Risk in Vulnerable Concrete Buildings (NEES-2008-0637)

Year Of Curation: 2014

Description: This multi-institution award is an outcome of the NSF 06-504 program solicitation "George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation Research (NEESR)" competition. One of the greatest overall seismic risks in the United States is the risk of collapse of older concrete buildings in a major urban earthquake, yet there are no solutions to how to address this in a cost-effective manner. Policy makers and building owners are frustrated by the costs of retrofitting large inventories of existing buildings. Engineers need tools to accurately assess the risk of individual buildings and to differentiate between adequate buildings and potentially hazardous ones, so building owners can prioritize mitigation expenses. Regulatory agencies need better information on the regional extent of the risk so that effective policy measures can be put in place to effect regional mitigation efforts. This project will study the collapse potential of older nonductile concrete buildings, which are pervasive and high risk, to improve and disseminate effective engineering assessment and retrofit tools and to define appropriate incentive or policy measures to mitigate the risk. The research will investigate four areas: 1) Exposure - a single urban region will be selected to serve as a model for other regions, and an inventory model suitable to study the regional collapse risk of older type concrete buildings will be developed; 2) Component and System Performance - laboratory and field experiments will be conducted on components, subassemblies, and soil-foundation-structure systems to better understand conditions that lead to collapse; 3) Building and Regional Simulation - models will be developed and implemented in nonlinear dynamic analysis software useful to earthquake engineers, and results will be extended through regional dynamic simulations to help understand the regional distribution of building collapses in a major earthquake; and 4) Mitigation Strategies - effective mitigation strategies and coalitions involving engineers, planners, policy experts, and stakeholders will be developed to promote action for risk reduction. The program features a significant education component aimed at increasing diversity in earthquake engineering, international collaborations, and outreach to disseminate results to a broad community.


PIs & CoPIs: Jack Moehle, Thalia Anagnos, Mary Comerio, Julio Ramirez, Jonathan Stewart

Dates: December 03, 2007 - November 20, 2012

University of California, Berkeley, CA, United States,
University of California, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Purdue University at West Lafayette, IN, United States

University of California, Berkeley, CA, United States
University of California, Los Angeles, CA, United States
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, MN, United States
University of California, San Diego, CA, United States
Purdue University at West Lafayette, IN, United States

Sponsor: NSF 0618804

Keywords: risk, reinforced concrete columns, concrete buildings, concrete, collapse, nonductile

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Jack Moehle; Thalia Anagnos; Mary Comerio; Julio Ramirez; Jonathan Stewart; Santiago Pujol (2017), "Mitigation of Collapse Risk in Vulnerable Concrete Buildings (NEES-2008-0637),"

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