Special Issue "Reducing the Seismic Vulnerability of Existing Buildings: Assessment and Retrofit"

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Tiago Miguel Ferreira

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minho, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: seismic vulnerability assessment of masonry and mixed buildings; urban emergency planning and management; safeguarding of urban cultural heritage
Guest Editor
Dr. Nuno Mendes

ISISE - Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: earthquake engineering and structural dynamics; seismic performance of masonry structures; advanced techniques of structural analysis; experimental characterization of the seismic behaviour of structures; strengthening of existing buildings
Guest Editor
Dr. Rui Silva

ISISE - Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: experimental characterization; numerical modelling; durability of building materials and retrofiting solutions; seismic vulnerability; design, conservation and retrofiting of earthen structures

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Devastating seismic events keep raising the awareness of scientific, technical and political community to the need of identifying assets at risk and developing more effective and cost-efficient risk mitigation strategies. Despite the significant advances in the field of seismic engineering and risk assessment, there is still much to be done, particularly with regard to existing buildings, most of them built without anti-seismic provisions.

The wide variety of construction and structural systems, associated with the complex behavior of their materials (raw earth, timber, masonry, steel and reinforced concrete), greatly limit the application of current codes and building standards to the existing building stock. To tackle this global issue, it is fundamental to enhance the engagement between innovation and technical stakeholders towards the development and application of more sophisticated and reliable methods of analysis, as well as improved seismic retrofitting techniques compliant with buildings conservation principles.

On the light of the exposed, this Special Issue aims at stimulating the exchange of ideas and knowledge on the assessment and reduction of the seismic vulnerability of existing buildings. To this purpose, original contributions containing fundamental and applied research, case studies or state of art discussion on the following and related topics are welcome:

Seismic Vulnerability: Origin and evolution; conceptual understanding, historic approaches and multi-disciplinary perspectives; definition of vulnerability factors; monitoring, surveying and diagnosis approaches/systems; smart digitized inventories and frameworks.

Vulnerability Assessment Methods and Tools: Empirical-based approaches; mechanical-based methods; advanced numerical simulation; large-scale assessment methods; remote sensing and GIS.

Seismic Retrofitting Techniques: Traditional and innovative strategies; cost-benefit analysis; experimental testing; development and validation; analytical and numerical simulation; application cases; post-earthquake surveying.

Dr. Tiago Miguel Ferreira
Dr. Nuno Mendes
Dr. Rui Silva
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 650 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords


  • Simplified assessment methodologies
  • Advanced structural modelling techniques Large-scale vulnerability assessment
  • Experimental characterization
  • Surveying, diagnosis and monitoring approaches
  • Traditional seismic retrofitting strategies
  • Development, implementation and validation of innovative retrofitting techniques

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Diagnosis and Seismic Behavior Evaluation of the Church of São Miguel de Refojos (Portugal)
Buildings 2019, 9(6), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9060138
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
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Abstract
The Benedictine Monastery of São Miguel de Refojos, located in Cabeceiras de Basto (Portugal), is a monumental complex and a distinctive example of the 18th century Portuguese Baroque architecture. This study addresses the state of conservation of the church as well as the [...] Read more.
The Benedictine Monastery of São Miguel de Refojos, located in Cabeceiras de Basto (Portugal), is a monumental complex and a distinctive example of the 18th century Portuguese Baroque architecture. This study addresses the state of conservation of the church as well as the evaluation of its structural behavior and seismic performance. An initial inspection and diagnosis campaign revealed that the structure presents low to moderate damage and other non-structural issues generally associated with high levels of moisture and water infiltration. In order to study the structural performance, a three-dimensional (3D) numerical model was prepared based on the finite element method. This model was calibrated with respect to dynamic identification tests and nonlinear static analyses were then performed to evaluate the seismic behavior. Capacity curves, deformations, crack patterns, and failure mechanisms were used to characterize the structural response. Additionally, the safety evaluation for horizontal actions was verified by means of limit analysis. An overall good agreement was found between the results of the pushover and the limit analyses. To conclude, the present work provides a comprehensive evaluation of the state of conservation of the church and verifies the safety condition of the structure for seismic actions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Action Protocols for Seismic Evaluation of Structures and Damage Restoration of Residential Buildings in Andalusia (Spain): “IT-Sismo” APP
Buildings 2019, 9(5), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9050104
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 29 April 2019
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Abstract
The seismotectonic conditions of the Iberian Peninsula trigger the occurrence of earthquakes with an occasional periodicity, but with intensities greater than VI on the European macroseismic scale (EMS). For this reason, local action protocols are required in order to efficiently organise the technical [...] Read more.
The seismotectonic conditions of the Iberian Peninsula trigger the occurrence of earthquakes with an occasional periodicity, but with intensities greater than VI on the European macroseismic scale (EMS). For this reason, local action protocols are required in order to efficiently organise the technical inspections that must be carried out on a massive scale after events such as the earthquakes experienced in the Spanish cities of Lorca (2011) and Melilla (2016). This paper proposes the development of a set of documents for the evaluation and diagnosis of the state of existing buildings and infrastructure regarding seismic activity in Andalusia. With special attention paid to residential typology, approximations have been carried out to the normative context, to general comparatives, to particular analyses of a case studies selection, and to complementary approaches. The results have led to the establishment of two specific protocols. Firstly, the short-term guideline enables the classification of damage and risk levels, and the determination of what immediate interventions should be carried out through the generation of a preliminary on-site report. This activity can be performed by architects and engineers with the help of a mobile-device application (APP IT-Sismo Andalucía). Additionally, a long-term protocol provides calculation procedures and constructive solutions for the improvement of the seismic behaviour of affected buildings. Specially designed tests demonstrate the validity of the protocols and illustrate the need for information and communication technologies (ICT) tools in the evaluation of architectonic technical aspects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multiscale Seismic Vulnerability Assessment and Retrofit of Existing Masonry Buildings
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
The growing concern about the protection of built heritage and the sustainability of urban areas has driven the reoccupation of existing masonry buildings, which, in the great majority of the cases, were not designed or constructed to withstand significant seismic forces. This fact, [...] Read more.
The growing concern about the protection of built heritage and the sustainability of urban areas has driven the reoccupation of existing masonry buildings, which, in the great majority of the cases, were not designed or constructed to withstand significant seismic forces. This fact, associated with territorial occupation often concentrated in areas with high seismic hazard, makes it essential to look at these buildings from the point of view of the assessment of their seismic vulnerability and retrofitting needs. However, to be effective and efficient, such an assessment must be founded on a solid knowledge of the existing methods and tools, as well as on the criteria that should underlie the selection of the most appropriate to use in each context and situation. Aimed at contributing to systematise that knowledge, this paper presents a comprehensive review of the most relevant vulnerability assessment methods applicable at different scales, as well as the most significant traditional and innovative seismic retrofitting solutions for existing masonry buildings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Retrofitting of Imperfect Halved Dovetail Carpentry Joints for Increased Seismic Resistance
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper presents possibilities for anti-seismic improvement of traditional timber carpentry joints. It is known that the structural response of historical roof frameworks is highly dependent on the behavior of their joints, particularly, their capacity for rotation and energy dissipation. Any strengthening, or [...] Read more.
This paper presents possibilities for anti-seismic improvement of traditional timber carpentry joints. It is known that the structural response of historical roof frameworks is highly dependent on the behavior of their joints, particularly, their capacity for rotation and energy dissipation. Any strengthening, or retrofitting, approach must take into account conservation requirements, usually expressed as conditions involving minimal intervention. Several retrofitting methods were tested on replicas of historical halved joints within various national and international research projects. The joints were produced with traditional hand tools, and made using aged material taken from a demolished building. The paper presents two approaches, each utilizing different retrofitting technologies that avoid completely dismantling the joint and consequently conserve frame integrity. The energy dissipation capacity is increased by inserting mild steel nails around a wooden pin, and connecting the two parts of the halved joint. In the second case, two thin plates made of a material with a high friction coefficient are inserted into the joint and fastened to the wooden elements. This is done by removing the wooden connecting pin and slightly opening a slot for the plates between the halved parts. In addition, the paper presents an application for disc brake plates, as well as thin plates made of oak. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Discrete Element Modeling of the Seismic Behavior of Masonry Construction
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 10 February 2019
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Abstract
Discrete element models are a powerful tool for the analysis of masonry, given their ability to represent the discontinuous nature of these structures, and to simulate the most common deformation and failure modes. In particular, discrete elements allow the assessment of the seismic [...] Read more.
Discrete element models are a powerful tool for the analysis of masonry, given their ability to represent the discontinuous nature of these structures, and to simulate the most common deformation and failure modes. In particular, discrete elements allow the assessment of the seismic behavior of masonry construction, using either pushover analysis or time domain dynamic analysis. The fundamental concepts of discrete elements are concisely presented, stressing the issues related to masonry modeling. Methods for generation of block models are discussed, with some examples for the case of irregular stone masonry walls. A discrete element analysis of a shaking table test performed on a traditional stone masonry house is discussed, as a demonstration of the capabilities of these models. Practical application issues are examined, namely the computational requirements for dynamic analysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Seismic Performance of High-Rise Condominium Building during the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake Sequence
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 30 January 2019
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Abstract
On 25 April 2015, a strong earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck central Nepal including the capital city, Kathmandu. Several powerful aftershocks of magnitude 6.7, 6.9 and 7.3 together with hundreds of aftershocks of local magnitude greater than 4 hit the same area until [...] Read more.
On 25 April 2015, a strong earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck central Nepal including the capital city, Kathmandu. Several powerful aftershocks of magnitude 6.7, 6.9 and 7.3 together with hundreds of aftershocks of local magnitude greater than 4 hit the same area until May 2015. This earthquake sequence resulted in considerable damage to the reinforced concrete buildings apart from brick and stone masonry constructions. High-rise buildings in Nepal are mainly confined in Kathmandu valley and their performance was found to be in the life safety to collapse prevention level during the Gorkha earthquake sequence. In this paper, seismic performance assessment of a reinforced concrete apartment building with brick infill masonry walls that sustained life safety performance level is presented. Rapid visual assessment performed after the 12 May aftershock (MW 7.3) highlighted the need for detailed assessment, thus, we carried out nonlinear time history analysis using the recorded accelerograms. The building was first simulated for the recorded acceleration time history (PGA = 0.16 g) and the PGA was scaled up to 0.36 g to assess the behaviour of building in the case of the maximum considered earthquake occurrence. The sum of results and observations highlighted that the building sustained minor damage due to low PGA occurrence during the Gorkha earthquake and considerable damage would have occurred in the case of 0.36 g PGA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Geo-Hazard Effects on the Physical Vulnerability Assessment of the Built Heritage: An Application in a District of Naples
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
The proposed study aims at analysing a sub-urban sector in the historic centre of Qualiano, located in the province of Naples (Italy), in order to assess the seismic vulnerability of the main typology classes (masonry and reinforced concrete) in the study area and [...] Read more.
The proposed study aims at analysing a sub-urban sector in the historic centre of Qualiano, located in the province of Naples (Italy), in order to assess the seismic vulnerability of the main typology classes (masonry and reinforced concrete) in the study area and the consequent expected damage scenarios. The typological and structural characterisation of the investigated area is done through the CARTIS form developed by the PLINIVS research centre together with the Italian Civil Protection Department. Subsequently, the vulnerability simulation analysis is carried out by means of a quick methodology integrated into a GIS tool in order to identify the structural units (S.U.) most susceptible at damage under seismic events. Furthermore, in order to take into account the possible damage scenarios, a parametric analysis is performed using a seismic attenuation law in order to obtain the maximization of the expected urban losses. Finally, the site and topographical local conditions, which negatively influence the severity of the seismic damage on the structures, have been taken into account in order to more correctly foresee the expected damage of the inspected sub-urban sector to be used for appropriate seismic risk mitigation plans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Seismic Damage Assessment of Residential Buildings in Imzouren City (Northern Morocco)
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120179
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
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Abstract
The main purpose of this study is to assess seismic risk and present earthquake loss scenarios for the city of Imzouren, in northern Morocco. An empirical approach was chosen to assess the seismic vulnerability of the existing buildings, using the Vulnerability Index Method [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study is to assess seismic risk and present earthquake loss scenarios for the city of Imzouren, in northern Morocco. An empirical approach was chosen to assess the seismic vulnerability of the existing buildings, using the Vulnerability Index Method (RISK-UE), and considering two earthquake scenarios (deterministic and probabilistic). Special concern was given to the seismic vulnerability in Imzouren since the 2004 earthquake (24 February, mw = 6.4) that struck the region and caused substantial damage. A site investigation was conducted in the city targeting more than 3000 residential buildings, which had been closely examined and catalogued to assess their seismic vulnerability. The results of the seismic risk assessment in the city are represented through damage to the buildings, harm to the population and economic loss. Generally, the results obtained from the deterministic approach are in agreement with the damage caused by the 2004 earthquake. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Feasibility of Using Neural Networks to Obtain Simplified Capacity Curves for Seismic Assessment
Buildings 2018, 8(11), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8110151
Received: 21 September 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 2 November 2018 / Published: 6 November 2018
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Abstract
The selection of a given method for the seismic vulnerability assessment of buildings is mostly dependent on the scale of the analysis. Results obtained in large-scale studies are usually less accurate than the ones obtained in small-scale studies. In this paper a study [...] Read more.
The selection of a given method for the seismic vulnerability assessment of buildings is mostly dependent on the scale of the analysis. Results obtained in large-scale studies are usually less accurate than the ones obtained in small-scale studies. In this paper a study about the feasibility of using Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) to carry out fast and accurate large-scale seismic vulnerability studies has been presented. In the proposed approach, an ANN was used to obtain a simplified capacity curve of a building typology, in order to use the N2 method to assess the structural seismic behaviour, as presented in the Annex B of the Eurocode 8. Aiming to study the accuracy of the proposed approach, two ANNs with equal architectures were trained with a different number of vectors, trying to evaluate the ANN capacity to achieve good results in domains of the problem which are not well represented by the training vectors. The case study presented in this work allowed the conclusion that the ANN precision is very dependent on the amount of data used to train the ANN and demonstrated that it is possible to use ANN to obtain simplified capacity curves for seismic assessment purposes with high precision. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Seismic Vulnerability for RC Infilled Frames: Simplified Evaluation for As-Built and Retrofitted Building Typologies
Buildings 2018, 8(10), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8100137
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
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Abstract
Several studies investigated the influence of infills on the response of reinforced concrete (RC) frames. However, possible shear brittle failures are generally neglected. The interaction between the infill panels and the surrounding frames can lead to anticipated brittle-type failures that should be considered [...] Read more.
Several studies investigated the influence of infills on the response of reinforced concrete (RC) frames. However, possible shear brittle failures are generally neglected. The interaction between the infill panels and the surrounding frames can lead to anticipated brittle-type failures that should be considered in code-based assessment of lateral seismic capacity. This paper investigates, by means of simplified pushover analyses, on the effect of infills on the lateral seismic capacity explicitly considering possible brittle failures in unconfined beam-column joints or in columns. Archetype buildings representative of existing gravity load designed (GLD) RC frames of three different height ranges are obtained with a simulated design process and a sensitivity analysis is performed to investigate on the effect of infill consistency on the capacity. Moreover, possible alternative local retrofit interventions devoted to avoiding brittle failures are considered, evaluating their relative efficacy in case of different infill typologies. It is seen that for the considered existing GLD buildings, the attainment of life safety limit state is premature and happens before the damage limitation limit state. The capacity can be increased with application of local retrofit interventions. However, the retrofit efficacy varies depending on the infills consistency if the horizontal action transferred from the infills to the surrounding frame is not absorbed by the retrofit solution. Full article
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