Vulnerability analysis of RC buildings with wide beams located in moderate seismicity regions
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A significant number of short-to-mid height RC buildings with wide beams have been constructed in areas of moderate seismicity of Spain, mainly for housing and administrative use. The buildings have a framed structure with one-way slabs; the wide beams constitute the distinctive characteristic, their depth being equal to that of the rest of the slab, thus providing a flat lower surface, convenient for construction and the layout of facilities. Seismic behavior in the direction of the wide beams appears to be deficient because of: (i) low lateral strength, mainly because of the small effective depth of the beams, (ii) inherent low ductility of the wide beams, generated by high amount of reinforcement, (iii) the big strut compressive forces developed inside the column-beam connections due to the low height of the beams, and (iv) the fact that the wide beams are wider than the columns, meaning that the contribution of the outer zones to the resistance of the beam-column joints is unreliable because there is no torsion reinforcement. In the orthogonal direction, the behavior is worse since the only members of the slabs that contribute to the lateral resistance are the joists and the façade beams. Moreover, these buildings were designed with codes that did not include ductility requirements and required only a low lateral resistance; indeed, in many cases, seismic action was not considered at all. Consequently, the seismic capacity of these structures is not reliable. The objective of this research is to assess numerically this capability, whereas further research will aim to propose retrofit strategies. The research approach consists of: (i) selecting a number of 3- story and 6-story buildings that represent the vast majority of the existing ones and (ii) evaluating their vulnerability through three types of analyses, namely: code-type, push-over and nonlinear dynamic analysis. Given the low lateral resistance of the main frames, the cooperation of the masonry infill walls is accounted for; for each representative building, three wall densities are considered. The results of the analyses show that the buildings in question exhibit inadequate seismic behavior in most of the examined situations. In general, the relative performance is less deficient for target drift CP (Collapse Prevention) than for IO (Immediate Occupancy). Since these buildings are selected to be representative of the vast majority of buildings with wide beams that were constructed in Spain without accounting for any seismic consideration, our conclusions can be extrapolated to a broader scenario.
Published in Engineering structures by ELSEVIER. The original publication is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0141029612004774
CitationLopez Almansa, F.; Domínguez, D.J.; Benavent-Climent, A. Vulnerability analysis of RC buildings with wide beams located in moderate seismicity regions. "Engineering structures", Gener 2013, vol. 46, p. 687-702.