Defining structural robustness under seismic and simultaneous actions: an application to precast RC buildings

Domenico Asprone*, Raffaele de Risi, Gaetano Manfredi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
315 Downloads (Pure)


The increasing complexity of urban systems is making robustness a crucial requirement for structural design. The paper deals with the concept of robustness of civil structures against extreme events. After a brief literature survey, a novel point of view to robustness assessment is proposed, fitting the most accepted robustness definition. The proposed approach is discussed and compared with other methodologies for quantifying structural robustness. Thus, the methodology is developed and applied to an existing precast industrial building case study, assumed to be prone to seismic and wind hazards. In particular, the case study is assumed to be located in Emilia, Italy, where a significant earthquake occurred in 2012, causing relevant damage to gravity load designed industrial buildings. Three structural options are discussed, namely a simple supported beam–column connection (gravity load designed solution) and two pinned connections (seismic designed solution), where only one of them satisfies the current structural code requirements. The results are discussed in terms of robustness quantification, by means of a robustness matrix. The authors envisage that this approach can be effectively adopted for portfolios of existing structures, to prioritize retrofitting interventions, aimed at maximizing the overall risk mitigation with limited economic resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-499
Number of pages15
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date21 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • Extreme events
  • Industrial buildings
  • Robustness quantification
  • Structural robustness


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