Recent building typology puts colombia at earthquake risk? from large-scale structural laboratory test to city-scale assessment

Detalles del proyecto


Over the past 10 years, an ever-increasing and by now significant part of low-to-middle income population in some south american countries, namely colombia, peru and dominican republic among others , has moved to new reinforced concrete (rc) buildings whose structural skeleton is composed of walls. these vertical memebers not only support the weight of the buildinf but also resist to the horizontal loads imposed by earthquakes, which are a serius trheat in these medium to high seismicity regions. the new building typology adopted in colombia presents distinct and unsee features from most rc wall constrution worldwide, which raise concern within the scientific, engineering, and construction communities in colombia as well as in society overall, regarding the possinle material costs, which are critical with respect to labour costs, very thin walls with only one layer of non-ductile steel reinforcement bars are being used, together with very thin slabs. some building walls have a simple rectangular cross-section geometry, but most have very irregular non rectangular geometric shapes, such as u-shapes, to accommodate lift shafts or staircases and to respond to architectonical configuration constraints. their seismic behaviour is quite distinct and it can be reasoned qualitatively that u-shaped thin wlls are more prone to instability and non-ductile failures than their rectangular conterparts. unfortunately, the desirable quatification is still missing since no experimental test on u-shaped thin walls with one rebar layer were performed to date. the present project covers this unacceptable gap by performing large-scale tests of u-shaped walls in colombia and swiss laboratories, which will allow to characterize the behaviour of these structural members under horizontal loads along different angles. potential strucutural weaknesses that should be taken into account by engineers, either in the desing of new buildings or in the assessment and strengthening of existing ones, will be identified. the experimental results will also enable the development and calibration of realible computer simulation models of entire buildings, which will be used to derive trustw orthy fragility and vulnerability curves. the latter, together with extensive data colletion for a state-of-the-art exposure model, will finally produce estimates of the seismic risk of this building class in the biggest colombian cities. this project builds on the partners' expertise on experimental test, u-shaped walls, rectangular single-layered thin walls, and seismic risk assessment. the conclusions will be made available to local and national autorities and used to update the national construction code. the extensive research network of participant colombian and mexican universities, alongsidewith targeted seminars and journal publications, will guarantee and adequate dissemination of the project outcomes, whiles simultaneosuly strengthening a 5 years long partnership and paving the road for future cooperation


Study for the first time, both experimentally and numerically, the seismic response of u-shaped rc thin walls with one layer of reinforcing steel bars. they are a fundamental part of the earthquake-resisting system of a recent building typology widely used in some latin-american countries, which raise engineering concern from the structural viewpoint. develop specific fragility curves for this building typology using computer simulations. the latter will be based on advanced nonlinear finite element analyses of archetype building models, calibrated with the experimental results obtained from the present project (on u-shaped thin walls) and past programs (on rectangular thin walls). collect data to develop an exposure model for this building typology and estimate
the corresponding seismic risk, evaluated at the city-scale for the three biggest colombian cities. contribute to disaster risk reduction through improvement of seismic design and assessment practices. this objective will be achieved by dissemination of the project results among the: (i) international scientific community, mainly through specialized journal publications; (ii) national regulatory authorities, for improvement of the current colombian building code; (iii) local engineering communities in the largest cities of colombia, for direct impact in practice. consolidate an existing research partnership, on the field of earthquake engineering, between switzerland (namely the earthquake engineering and structural dynamics laboratory – eesdlab, at école polytechnique fédérale de lausanne – epfl) and colombia (in particular, the recently created colombian earthquake engineering research network of colombian universities ceer). it will now be extended to new partners in colombia and mexico.
Fecha de inicio / finalización efectiva16/01/1930/01/20

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