Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering - Seismic Vulnerability Assessment: Reinfoced Concrete Structures

Flavia De Luca, Gerardo M. Verderame

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The framework in which modern design and assessment of reinforced concrete structures is placed is the well known Performance Based Earthquake Engineering (PBEE) framework. The most recent methodological organization of PBEE tools is represented by FEMA P-58-1 document. The brief analysis of the main steps of PBEE provides the basis to introduce where, in such framework, the specific structural material – in this case RC – plays a role. In particular, when the relationship between intensity measure and engineering demand parameter arises in PBEE, it is the phase in which it is necessary to focus on the behavior of RC structural elements, in order to approach analytical modeling, and quantify components damage measures.
Seismic vulnerability assessment has to account for all the typical modes of failure that RC elements can show. Thus, behavior of RC elements (e.g., beams, columns, beam-column joints) is described considering the case of existing elements that represents the most general situation for vulnerability assessment problems. The behavior of masonry infills is also considered, given the significant effect they can have on vulnerability in terms of strength and stiffness increase, and in terms of occurrence of brittle failures caused by local interaction of infill and RC frame. Critical review of behavior of RC structures, and, in turn, of RC elements, allows emphasizing future challenges and needs that the scientific community and practitioners should take on in the next years.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering
EditorsMicheal Beer
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-35343-7
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Accepted for publication on 8th March 2015


  • PBEE
  • RC structures
  • flexure
  • shear
  • axial load failure
  • nonlinear modeling
  • damage measure


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