American Society of Civil Engineers

Study of Building Collapse for Performance-Based Design Validation

by Bruce Maison, (Structural Engineer, El Cerrito, California), Kazuhiko Kasai, (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan), and Gregory Deierlein, (Stanford University, California)

pp. 1-10, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Structures Congress 2008: Crossing Borders
Abstract: Seismic performance-based design (PBD) is evolving as the preferred way for engineering of the built environment, especially for rehabilitation of existing buildings. By upgrading to meet specific performance objectives, it provides a critical link between engineering design, risk management, regulation, and policy. Implicit is the notion that probable seismic performance can be predicted. Guidelines such as the ASCE standard [1]: Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings and the FEMA report [2]: Seismic Evaluation and Upgrade Criteria for Existing Welded Steel Moment-Frame Buildings are now available, and have been accepted by some jurisdictions. These represent state-of-the-art thinking, but incorporate engineering judgment to bridge gaps where research is lacking. Benchmarking PBD against actual building performance is essential to assess its efficacy and to help guide its future development. Since PBD is relatively new, it is not yet possible to judge it via post-earthquake damage surveys. That leaves comparison to shake table tests as one of the best ways currently available to assess PBD. This paper presents a case study on the application of PBD methodology to a full-scale building recently shaken to collapse. The question addressed is: how well do PBD methods characterize an actual collapse?

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