Modern Concrete Structures Survive Romanian Earthquake

by Mark Fintel, (M.ASCE), Dir.; Engrg. Services Dept., Portland Cement Assoc., Skokie, Ill.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 10, Pg. 80-81

Document Type: Feature article


On March 4, 1977, 35 buildings collapsed during a severe earthquake (7.2 on the Richter scale) in Bucharest, Romania. Thirty-two of the 35 were older structures, erected before World War II, before seismic design was considered. After World War II, construction began with cast-in-place concrete, rigid frame structures having clay masonry infill walls and partitions; some have since been stiffened with shear walls. With few exceptions, multistory cast-in-place concrete structures built during the past 25 years had enough strength and stiffness to withstand the earthquake, More recently, 70,000 dwelling units have been built using precast large-panel construction in buildings up to nine stories high. Precast buildings designed for earthquake resistance withstood the earthquake with little distress.

Subject Headings: Seismic design | Shear walls | Concrete | Concrete structures | Earthquakes | Building design | Concrete construction | Cast in place | Romania | Europe

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