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Earthquakes and Structures
  Volume 5, Number 4, October 2013 , pages 379-394

Post-earthquake fire performance-based behavior of reinforced concrete structures
Behrouz Behnam and Hamid R. Ronagh

    Post-earthquake fire (PEF) can lead to a rapid collapse of buildings damaged partially as a result of prior earthquake. Almost all standards and codes for the design of structures against earthquake ignore the risk of PEF, and thus buildings designed using those codes could be too weak when subjected to a fire after an earthquake. An investigation based on sequential analysis inspired by FEMA356 is performed here on the Immediate Occupancy, Life Safety and Collapse Prevention performance levels of structures, designed to the ACI 318-08 code, after they are subjected to an earthquake level with PGA of 0.35g. This investigation is followed by a fire analysis of the damaged structures, examining the time taken for the damaged structures to collapse. As a point of reference, a fire analysis is also performed for undamaged structures and before the occurrence of earthquake. The results indicate that the vulnerability of structures increases dramatically when a previously damaged structure is exposed to PEF. The results also show that the damaging effects of post-earthquake fire are exacerbated when initiated from the second and third floor. Whilst the investigation is made for a certain class of structures (conventional buildings, intermediate reinforced structure, 3 stories), the results confirm the need for the incorporation of post-earthquake fire into the process of analysis and design, and provides some quantitative measures on the level of associated effects.
Key Words
    post-earthquake fire; sequential analysis; fire resistance; reinforced concrete structures; performance-based design
Behrouz Behnam and Hamid R. Ronagh: School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Australia

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