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A new article in EESD journal

Fragility and risk assessment of freestanding building contents

First published: 04 May 2020


Multistorey buildings often have a valuable inventory consisting of objects that their possible damage during an earthquake will cause unacceptable losses. The paper presents a novel, fully performance‐based seismic reliability and risk assessment framework for freestanding structural components and contents that can be modelled as rocking rigid blocks. The seismic response of building contents depends on several parameters such as the geometry of the object, the dynamic characteristics of the building and the storey that the object is located. The demand at the storey level is first obtained, and then the response of the contents is calculated using the storey acceleration response history. The demand of the structure is obtained with the aid of a modified version of the Incremental Dynamic Analysis method and subsequently the fragility curves of the rocking building contents are derived for every storey of interest. Different options for fragility assessment are discussed, and the underlying details of the problem are investigated. A simplified approach, where the fragility of the freestanding components and the structure are derived separately, is also presented. The method combines existing fragility curves and thus is suitable for quickly assessing the reliability of a building’s inventory, offering sufficient risk estimates.