Reducing Failures During Earthquakes

by Henry J. Degenkolb, (Hon.M.ASCE), Owner; H.J. Degenkolb & Assocs., San Francisco, Calif.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1980, Vol. 50, Issue 8, Pg. 56-59

Document Type: Feature article


There are common building design and structural errors that result in unnecessary building failures during earthquakes. The failures are the result of design errors, changes and economies in construction practices, misunderstanding of how buildings react during earthquakes and building code inadequacies. These failures are preventable if engineers learn from past errors and if inadequate codes are corrected before several generations of problem buildings are constructed. Here are examples of problems that have surfaced over the past 74 years of earthquake history.

Subject Headings: Structural failures | Building codes | Failure analysis | Earthquakes | Seismic design | History

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