UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Evaluating the Earthquake-induced Downtime of Modern Residential Reinforced Concrete Shear Wall Buildings and Assessing Structural Design Strategies for Enhanced Seismic Performance Vahanvaty, T.; Kourehpaz, P.; Molina Hutt, Carlos; KO


Seismic planners are directing concentrated research efforts to ensure acceptable post-earthquake recovery times of buildings. This paper evaluates the seismic performance of modern eight- to 24-story residential reinforced concrete shear wall buildings in Seattle, WA. Resilience-based metrics such as robustness, i.e., the ability to withstand earthquake forces without service disruption, and rapidity, i.e., the ability to recover within a specific timeframe, are used to measure performance. The results indicate that when subjected to ground motions with a 475-year return period, the average probability (across all building heights) of not achieving the shelter-in-place recovery state immediately after the earthquake is 16%, and the probability of downtime to functional recovery exceeding four months is over 90%. These probabilities exceed the 10% threshold suggested in the 2015 and 2020 NEHRP guidelines. The impact of adopting different structural design strategies on the building’s seismic performance is also quantified. The results indicate that certain structural interventions are effective in ensuring small probabilities (<10%) of not achieving the shelter-in-place recovery state, but are ineffective in achieving the four-month target to functional recovery, for which non-structural enhancements and mitigation measures to minimize impeding factors should be considered.

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