Seismic Performance Assessment of Existing Steel Buildings: A Case Study

Luigi Di Sarno*, Fabrizio Paolacci, Anastasios G. Sextos

*Corresponding author for this work

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

12 Citations (Scopus)


Numerous existing steel framed buildings located in earthquake prone regions worldwide were designed without seismic provisions. Slender beam-columns, as well as non-ductile beam-to-column connections have been employed for multi-storey moment-resisting frames (MRFs) built before the 80's. Thus, widespread damage due to brittle failure has been commonly observed in the past earthquakes for steel MRFs. A recent post-earthquake survey carried out in the aftermath of the 2016-2017 Central Italy seismic swarm has pointed out that steel structures may survive the shaking caused by several main-shocks and strong aftershocks without collapsing. Inevitably, significant lateral deformations are experienced, and, in turn, non-structural components are severely damaged thus inhibiting the use of the steel building structures. The present paper illustrate the outcomes of a recent preliminary numerical study carried out for the case of a steel MRF building located in Amatrice, Central Italy, which experienced a series of ground motion excitations suffering significant damage to the masonry infills without collapsing. A refined numerical model of the sample structure has been developed on the basis of the data collected on site. Given the lack of design drawings, the structure has been partially re-designed in compliance with the Italian regulations imposed at the time of construction employing the allowable stress method. The earthquake performance of the case study MRF has been then investigated through advanced nonlinear dynamic analyses and its structural performance has been evaluated according to Eurocode 8-Part 3 for existing buildings. The reliability of the codified approaches has been evaluated and possible improvements emphasized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1076
Number of pages10
JournalKey Engineering Materials
Early online date14 Feb 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Feb 2018


  • Buildings
  • Earthquakes
  • Frames
  • Performance criteria
  • Seismic assessment


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