Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 1137–1155 | Cite as

Simplified estimation of seismic risk for reinforced concrete buildings with consideration of corrosion over time

  • Daniel Celarec
  • Dimitrios Vamvatsikos
  • Matjaž Dolšek
Original Research Paper


Throughout the world, buildings are reaching the end of their design life and develop new pathologies that decrease their structural capacity. Usually the ageing process is neglected in seismic design or seismic risk assessment but may become important for older structures, especially, if they are intended to be in service even after they exceed their design life. Thus, a simplified methodology for seismic performance evaluation with consideration of performance degradation over time is presented, based on an extension of the SAC/FEMA probabilistic framework for estimating mean annual frequencies of limit state exceedance. This is applied to an example of an older three-storey asymmetric reinforced concrete building, in which corrosion has just started to propagate. The seismic performance of the structure is assessed at several successive times and the instantaneous and overall seismic risk is estimated for the near collapse limit state. The structural capacity in terms of the maximum base shear and the maximum roof displacement is shown to decrease over time. Consequently, the time-averaged mean annual frequency of violating the near-collapse limit state increases for the corroded building by about 10% in comparison to the typical case where corrosion is neglected. However, it can be magnified by almost 40% if the near-collapse limit state is related to a brittle shear failure, since corrosion significantly affects transverse reinforcement, raising important questions on the seismic safety of the existing building stock.


Seismic risk Capacity degradation Corrosion Reinforced concrete frame Performance-based earthquake engineering Static pushover 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Berto L, Vitaliani R, Saetta A, Simioni P (2009) Seismic assessment of existing RC structures affected by degradation phenomena. Struct Saf 31: 284–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. CEN (2004) Eurocode 8: design of structures for earthquake resistance. Part 1: general rules, seismic actions and rules for buildings, EN 1998-1. European committee for standardisation, Brussels, December 2004Google Scholar
  3. CEN (2005) Eurocode 8: design of structures for earthquake resistance. Part 3: strengthening and repair of buildings. EN 1998-3, European committee for standardisation, Brussels, March 2005Google Scholar
  4. Choe D, Gardoni P, Rosowsky D, Haukaas T (2009) Seismic fragility estimates for reinforced concrete bridges subject to corrosion. Struct Saf 31: 275–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cornell CA, Jalayer F, Hamburger RO, Foutch DA (2002) Probabilistic basis for 2000 SAC federal emergency management agency steel moment frame guidelines. J Struct Eng 128: 526–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dolsek M (2009) Incremental dynamic analysis with consideration of modeling uncertainties. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 38(6): 805–825CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dolsek M (2010) Development of computing environment for the seismic performance assessment of reinforced concrete frames by using simplified nonlinear models. Bull Earth Eng 8(6): 1309–1329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dolšek M, Fajfar P (2007) Simplified probabilistic seismic performance assessment of plan-asymmetric buildings. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 36: 2021–2041CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dolšek M, Fajfar P (2008) The effect of masonry infills on the seismic response of a four storey reinforced concrete frame–a probabilistic assessment. Eng Struct 30: 3186–3192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Estes AC, Frangopol DM (2001) Bridge lifetime system reliability under multiple limit states. J Bridge Eng 6(6): 523–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fajfar P (2000) A nonlinear analysis method for performance-based seismic design. Earthq Spec 16(3): 573–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fajfar P, Dolšek M, Marušić D, Stratan A (2006) Pre- and post-test mathematical modeling of a plan-asymmetric reinforced concrete frame buildings. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 35: 1359–1379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. FEMA 350: (2000) Recommended seismic design criteria for new steel moment frame buildings. SAC joint venture, federal emergency management agency, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  14. FEMA P695: (2009) Quantification of building seismic performance. Prepared by the advanced technology council for the federal emergency management agency, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  15. Kumar R, Gardoni P, Sanchez-Silva M (2009) Effect of cumulative seismic damage and corrosion on the life cycle cost of reifirced concrete bridges. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 38: 887–905CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McKenna F, Fenves GL (2004) Open system for earthquake engineering simulation, Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, Berkeley, California
  17. Pantazopoulou SJ, Papoulia KD (2001) Modeling cover-cracking due to reinforcement corrosion in RC structures. J Eng Mech 127(4): 342–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Peruš I, Poljanšek K, Fajfar P (2006) Flexural deformation capacity of rectangular RC columns determined by the CAE method. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 35: 1453–1470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ruiz-Garcia J, Miranda E (2003) Inelastic displacement ratios for evaluation of existing structures. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 32: 1237–1258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Stewart MG (2009) Mechanical behavior of pitting corrosion of flexural and shear reinforcement and its effect on structural reliability of corroding RC beams. Struct Saf 31: 19–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Torres MA, Ruiz SE (2007) Structural reliability evaluation considering capacity degradation over time. Eng Struct 29: 2183–2192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Val DV, Stewart MG, Melchers RE (1998) Effect of reinforcement corrosion on reliability of highway bridges. Eng Struct 20: 1010–1019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Val DV, Stewart MG (2009) Reliability assessment of ageing reinforced concrete structures – current situation and future challenges. Struct Eng Inter 19(9): 211–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Vamvatsikos D, Cornell CA (2002) Incremental dynamic analysis. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 31: 491–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Vamvatsikos D, Cornell CA (2006) Direct estimation of the seismic demand and capacity of oscillators with multi-linear static pushovers through incremental dynamic analysis. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 35(9): 1097–1117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Vamvatsikos D, Dolšek M. (2010) Equivalent constant rates for performance-based seismic assessment of ageing structures. Struct Saf 33(1): 8–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Yun S-Y, Hamburger RO, Cornell CA, Foutch DA (2002) Seismic performance evaluation for steel moment frames. J Struct Eng ASCE 128(4): 534–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Celarec
    • 1
  • Dimitrios Vamvatsikos
    • 2
  • Matjaž Dolšek
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.University of CyprusNicosiaCyprus

Personalised recommendations