Earthquake Risk and Engineering towards a Resilient World

9 - 10 July 2015, Homerton College, Cambridge, UK


SECED 2015 was a two-day conference on Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics that took place on 9-10th July 2015 at Homerton College, Cambridge.

This was the first major conference to be held in the UK on this topic since SECED hosted the 2002 European Conference on Earthquake Engineering in London.

The conference brought together experts from a broad range of disciplines, including structural engineering, nuclear engineering, seismology, geology, geotechnical engineering, urban development, social sciences, business and insurance; all focused on risk, mitigation and recovery.

Conference themes

  • Geotechnical earthquake engineering
  • Seismic design for nuclear facilities
  • Seismic hazard and engineering seismology
  • Masonry structures
  • Risk and catastrophe modelling
  • Vibrations, blast and civil engineering dynamics
  • Dams and hydropower
  • Seismic assessment and retrofit of engineered and non-engineered structures
  • Social impacts and community recovery

Keynote speakers

SECED 2015 featured the following keynote speakers (affiliations correct at the time of the conference):

  • Peter Ford and Tim Allmark, Office for Nuclear Regulation, UK
  • Don Anderson, CH2M HILL, Seattle, USA
  • Bernard Dost, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, The Netherlands
  • Anne Kiremidjian, Stanford University, USA
  • Rob May, Golder Associates, Australia
  • Tiziana Rossetto, University College London, UK
  • Andrew Whittaker, University at Buffalo, USA
  • Mike Willford, Arup, The Netherlands

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This study presents the results of a risk-based seismic performance assessment of an archetype tall building representative of the existing tall building stock in San Francisco, CA. The archetype tall building, selected based on an inventory of existing tall buildings, is a 40- storey Moment Resisting Frame (MRF) representative of design and construction practice from the 1970-s to the mid-1980s. A Multiple Stripe Analysis (MSA) was conducted at 8 different intensity levels ranging from frequent to very rare seismic events, i.e. from 85% to 1% probability of exceedance in 50 years. Non-Linear Response History Analyses (NLRHA) were conducted with ground motions representative of each intensity level considered. The results of the NLRHA results were used to assess the probability of earthquake losses, considering collapse potential and the probability of the building deemed irreparable due to permanent residual drifts in the structure.

Based on the MSA results, the collapse fragility of the structure, assumed to follow a lognormal cumulative distribution expressed as a function of spectral acceleration at the fundamental period of the structure (T=5 seconds), has an estimated median of 0.15g and a dispersion of 0.30. A number of loss metrics were developed for the archetype building including: a loss function, which provides the annual frequency of exceeding a certain value of loss, e.g. the expected 500 year loss equals $53M or 39% of the building replacement cost; the expected Average Annual Loss (AAL) equal to $0.6M or 0.46% of the building replacement cost; and loss exceedance rates, e.g. a loss of 10% building replacement cost or $13.5M has an exceedance rate of 95 years. The use of these results to benchmark the performance of the archetype tall building against the design intent in current building codes and to assess the impact of structural retrofit or other building enhancements is discussed.

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