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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 99
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper 244

Progressive Collapse Risk and Robustness of Low-Rise Reinforced Concrete Buildings

L. Bredean, M. Botez and A. Ioani

Department of Structural Mechanics, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
L. Bredean, M. Botez, A. Ioani, "Progressive Collapse Risk and Robustness of Low-Rise Reinforced Concrete Buildings", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Computational Structures Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 244, 2012. doi:10.4203/ccp.99.244
Keywords: progressive collapse potential, seismic design, low-rise buildings, demand capacity ratio.

In this paper results concerning the progressive collapse potential of low-rise reinforced concrete structures are presented. Low-rise structures with three and six floors were designed according to the provisions of Eurocode 2 [1] and P100-1/2006, the active Romanian Seismic Code [2], for a low and a high seismic zone. The particular behaviour of low-rise buildings in comparison with similar located mid-rise buildings is discussed.

Applying four damage scenarios, as specified in the GSA (2003) Guidelines [3], demand capacity ratio (DCR) values for flexure are computed for each model. The main objectives of the study and corresponding findings are presented as follows:

  1. The effect of prescribed damage scenarios on progressive collapse potential:
    • For a given model, the magnitude of maximum inelastic demands only slightly differs when different "missing column" scenarios are considered, and consequently, the final conclusion concerning the risk level was the same;
    • This finding is original and highly valuable because, on its basis, the final conclusion regarding the progressive collapse potential of a building could be drawn by investigating only one damage scenario instead of four.
  2. The general progressive collapse behaviour of low-rise reinforced concrete framed structures versus mid-rise structures:
    • Low-rise buildings present a higher risk of progressive collapse compared to mid-rise buildings.
  3. The influence of the floors number on the robustness of low-rise structures:
    • The robustness of low-rise buildings located in low seismic zones is not significantly affected by the number of storeys;
    • On the contrary, if the building is designed for a high seismic zone, its robustness strongly depends on the number of floors;
    • The progressive collapse risk decreases when the number of stories increases.
  4. The influence of the seismicity of the area:
    • For the first time in the technical literature, the paper illustrates in a quantitative manner, differentiated with respect to the number of storeys, the positive effect of seismic design and detailing on the progressive collapse resistance of reinforced concrete framed structures.

SR EN 1992-1-1: 2004, "Eurocode 2: Design of Concrete Structures - Part 1-1: General Rules and Rules for Buildings", ASRO, Bucharest, 2004. (in Romanian)
P100-1/2006, "Seismic design code - Part I: Design Rules for Buildings", MTCT, Bucharest, 2006. (in Romanian)
U.S. General Service Administration, "Progressive Collapse Analysis and Design Guideline for New Federal Office Buildings and Major Modernisation Projects", Washington D.C., June 2003.

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