Review of Methodologies for Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of Buildings


Review of Methodologies for Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of Buildings

E. Lumantarna1, N. Lam1, H.H. Tsang2, J. Wilson2, E. Gad2 and H. Goldsworthy1

1 Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

2 Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Earthquake action has only been considered in structural design in Australia since the early 1990s. With a very low building replacement rate many Australian buildings are vulnerable to major earthquakes and pose significant risk to lives, properties and economic activities. The vulnerability of buildings was evident in the Newcastle Earthquake of 1989 which has been reported to have caused damage to more than 70,000 properties and an estimated total economic loss of AU$ 4 billion.

Models that are capable of predicting potential economic loss in future earthquakes are fundamental in the formulation of risk mitigation and retrofitting strategies. An important aspect of the damage loss modelling is an accurate and reliable assessment of the seismic vulnerability of buildings. This paper presents a review of the existing techniques and methodologies that have been developed for the assessment of seismic vulnerability of buildings. Key components of the methodologies including selection of intensity measures, classification of building types, definition of building parameters, selection of analysis method and definition of damage states will be discussed. The applicability of the existing methodologies especially the classification of building types to Australia forms of constructions will be evaluated.

Keywords: vulnerability assessment, economic loss, earthquakes, reinforced concrete, unreinforced masonry

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