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SPARCS: Seismic performance assessment of reinforced concrete buildings designed to Portuguese codes


The main objective of this project is to characterize the seismic performance of reinforced concrete buildings representative of the Portuguese housing stock, in view of contributing to the calibration of the capacity and fragility curves necessary for regional scale risk analysis, and of providing additional basis for the development of future codes.

The survey of the Portuguese housing stock show that reinforced concrete (RC) buildings have been rapidly increasing from the middle of 20th century onwards, and they represent nowadays a major parcel of the existing housing stock.
The first Portuguese seismic regulation dates from the early sixties and its successive updating has lead to a current seismic code reflecting the modern knowledge in earthquake engineering. Therefore, it is expected that reinforced concrete buildings built before and during the first years of code practice evidence a likely significant seismic vulnerability.
Furthermore, several recent earthquakes have shown that even RC buildings designed according to recent seismic codes may suffer severe damages. This apparent inconsistency between modern design provisions and the seismic performance of buildings is a topic of major concern for scientific and technical communities. More accurate and realistic estimates of performance, within the framework of performance-based engineering are necessary.
The achievement of the aforementioned objective will involve the following main steps:
- Dynamic testing of six different reduced RC prototypes in the shaking table;
- Definition of the damage limit states through the numerical evaluation of the seismic non-linear response;
- Derivation of fragility curves from predicted seismic demands and structural capacity.

Reference: FCT/PTDC/ECM/101201/2008

Date: 2010-2013

Partner Institutions: University of Minho, LNEC, University of Porto, University of Aveiro