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Earthquakes and Structures
  Volume 9, Number 2, August 2015 , pages 321-337

Seismic performance sensitivity to concrete strength variability: a case-study
M. De Stefano, M. Tanganelli and S. Viti

    Existing building structures can easily present material mechanical properties which can largely vary even within a single structure. The current European Technical Code, Eurocode 8, does not provide specific instructions to account for high variability in mechanical properties. As a consequence of the high strength variability, at the occurrence of seismic events, the structure may evidence unexpected phenomena, like torsional effects, with larger experienced deformations and, in turn, with reduced seismic performance. This work is focused on the reduction in seismic performance due to the concrete strength variability. The analysis has been performed on a case-study, i.e., a 3D RC framed 4 storey building. A Normal distribution, compatible to a large available database, has been taken to represent the concrete strength domain. Different plan layouts, representative of realistic strength distributions, have been considered, and a statistical analysis has been performed on the induced reduction in seismic performance. The obtained results have been compared to the standard analysis as provided by Eurocode 8 for existing buildings. The comparison has shown that the Eurocode 8 provisions are not conservative for existing buildings having a large variability in concrete strength.
Key Words
    RC framed structures; plan irregularity; torsional effects; concrete mechanical properties; RC existing buildings; seismic performance
Department of Architecture (DiDA), University of Florence Piazza Brunelleschi, 6-50121 Firenze, Italy

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