Typological study and statistical assessment of parameters influencing earthquake vulnerability of commercial RCFMI buildings in New Zealand

  • Rijalul Fikri
  • Dmytro Dizhur
  • Jason Ingham
Original Research


Reinforced concrete frame with masonry infill (RCFMI) buildings comprise a significant proportion of commercial buildings constructed prior to the adoption of New Zealand’s modern seismic design codes in 1976. The characteristics and seismic performance of RCFMI buildings have not been previously investigated at a national level. As part of the study reported herein, efforts were made to identify and document building characteristics, including building address, infill type (clay-brick or concrete-block masonry infill), wall morphology (cavity or solid wall), geometry (building footprint and height), building continuity, and age of construction. During sidewalk surveys the characteristics of 203 and 55 RCFMI buildings were observed and well documented in the Auckland and Dunedin regions, respectively. The surveyed RCFMI buildings were assigned to one of four typologies according to infill type and wall morphology. In addition to cataloguing the national stock of RCFMI buildings and investigating their characteristics, the study outlined herein was designed to provide a forecast of the earthquake vulnerability of existing commercial RCFMI buildings in New Zealand in an effort to quantify the cumulative earthquake risk.


Building typology Masonry infill Earthquake vulnerability 



Patrick Cummuskey from the Department of Building Control and Property at Auckland Council and Kevin Walsh are thanked for providing the commercial building data set for the Auckland region. Laura Masmia Putri is greatly appreciated for providing survey data for RCFMI buildings in the Auckland CBD. The Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP) is gratefully acknowledged for providing travel funds to support the sidewalk surveys.


  1. Ahmad N, Ali Q, Crowley H, Pinho R (2014) Earthquake loss estimation of residential buildings in Pakistan. Nat Hazards 73:1889–1955CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alam MS, Sajjad MR, Yasir Z, Haque FMM (2013) A statistical study on structural characteristics of RC building stock of Dhaka City for seismic loss assessment application. Appl Mech Mater 330:884–888CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Auckland Council (2018) Auckland design manual. Accessed 10 Sept 2018
  4. Auckland Regional Council (2010) A brief history of Auckland’s urban form. Auckland Regional Council, AucklandGoogle Scholar
  5. Barbat AH, Pujades LG, Lantada N (2008) Seismic damage evaluation in urban areas using the capacity spectrum method: application to Barcelona. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 28:851–865CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beattie G, Megget L, Andrews A (2008) The historic development of earthquake engineering in New Zealand. In: Proceeding of the 14th world conference on earthquake engineering, October 12–17, Beijing, ChinaGoogle Scholar
  7. Binda L, Cardani G, Saisi A, Valluzzi M (2006) Vulnerability analysis of the historical buildings in seismic area by a multilevel approach. Asian J Civ Eng 7:343–357Google Scholar
  8. Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission (2012) Volume 4: earthquake-prone buildings. Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission, WellingtonGoogle Scholar
  9. Cherifi F, Farsi M, Kaci S, Belaidi O, Taouche-Kheloui F (2015) Seismic vulnerability of reinforced concrete structures in Tizi-Ouzou City (Algeria). Procedia Eng 114:838–845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cole GL, Dhakal RP, Turner FM (2012) Building pounding damage observed in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 41:893–913CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Costa AC, Sousa M, Carvalho A, Coelho E (2010) Evaluation of seismic risk and mitigation strategies for the existing building stock: application of LNECloss to the metropolitan area of Lisbon. Bull Earthq Eng 8:119–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. David SW (2001) Introductory statistics: concepts, models, and applications. Atomic Dog Publishing, CincinnatiGoogle Scholar
  13. Dolce M, Masi A, Marino M, Vona M (2003) Earthquake damage scenarios of the building stock of Potenza (Southern Italy) including site effects. Bull Earthq Eng 1:115–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dolce M, Kappos A, Masi A, Penelis G, Vona M (2006) Vulnerability assessment and earthquake damage scenarios of the building stock of Potenza (Southern Italy) using Italian and Greek methodologies. Eng Struct 28:357–371Google Scholar
  15. Dominici D, Alicandro M, Massimi V (2017) UAV photogrammetry in the post-earthquake scenario: case studies in L’Aquila. Geomat Nat Hazards Risk 8:87–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fikri R, Dizhur D, Walsh K, Ingham J (2018) Seismic performance of reinforced concrete frame with masonry infill buildings in the 2010/2011 Canterbury, New Zealand Earthquakes. Bull Earthq Eng. Google Scholar
  17. Gu K (2010) Urban morphological regions and urban landscape management: the case of central Auckland, New Zealand. Urban Des Int 15:148–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hodgson T (1992) The heart of colonial Auckland, 1865–1910. Random Century, AucklandGoogle Scholar
  19. Inel M, Senel SM, Toprak S, Manav Y (2008) Seismic risk assessment of buildings in urban areas: a case study for Denizli, Turkey. Nat Hazards 46:265–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ingham J (2008) The influence of earthquakes on New Zealand masonry construction practice. In: Proceeding of the 14th international brick and block masonry conference (14IBMAC)Google Scholar
  21. Ingham J, Griffith M (2010) Performance of unreinforced masonry buildings during the 2010 Darfield (Christchurch, NZ) earthquake. Aust J Struct Eng 11:207–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Isaacs N (2011) On the block. Build Mag 127:86–87Google Scholar
  23. Kam WY, Pampanin S, Elwood K (2011) Seismic performance of reinforced concrete buildings in the 22 February Christchurch (Lyttelton) Earthquake. Bull N Z Soc Earthq Eng 44:239–278Google Scholar
  24. Kappos AJ, Panagopoulos G, Panagiotopoulos C, Penelis G (2006) A hybrid method for the vulnerability assessment of R/C and URM buildings. Bull Earthq Eng 4:391–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mansour AK, Romdhane NB, Boukadi N (2013) An inventory of buildings in the city of Tunis and an assessment of their vulnerability. Bull Earthq Eng 11:1563–1583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mousavi S, Khosravifar A, Bakhshi A, Taheri A, Bozorgnia Y (2006) Structural typology of traditional houses in Iran based on their seismic behaviour. In: Proceeding of the 8th US national conference on earthquake engineering, April 18–22, San Francisco, CAGoogle Scholar
  27. NZS 1170.5 (2004) Structural design actions. Part 5: earthquake actions—. Standards New Zealand, WellingtonGoogle Scholar
  28. NZS 4203 (1976) Code of practice for general structural design and design loadings for buildings. Standards Association of New Zealand, WellingtonGoogle Scholar
  29. NZSEE Study Group (2002) Assessment and improvement of the structural performance of buildings in earthquakes. New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, WellingtonGoogle Scholar
  30. NZSEE Study Group (2017) The seismic assessment of existing buildings, section C7—moment resisting frames with infill panels. New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering, WellingtonGoogle Scholar
  31. Ozcebe G, Sucuoglu H, Yucemen MS, Yakut A, Kubin J (2006) Seismic Risk Assessment of Existing Building Stock in Istanbul a Pilot Application in Zeytinburnu District. In: Proceeding of the 8th US National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, San Francisco, April 18–22, San Francisco, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  32. Parliament NZ (2004) Building Act 2004. Department of Building and Housing–Te Tari Kaupapa Whare, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand Government, WellingtonGoogle Scholar
  33. Polese M, Verderame GM, Mariniello C, Iervolino I, Manfredi G (2008) Vulnerability analysis for gravity load designed RC buildings in Naples-Italy. J Earthquake Eng 12:234–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Putri LM (2015) Inventory and seismic fragility of New Zealand masonry infilled reinforced concrete framed buildings. University of Auckland, AucklandGoogle Scholar
  35. Ricci P, Gaudio CD, Verderame G, Manfredi G, Pollino M, Borfecchia F (2014) Seismic vulnerability assessment at urban scale based on different building stock data sources. In: Proceeding of the 2nd international conference on vulnerability and risk analysis and management (ICVRAM) and 6th international symposium on uncertainty, modeling, and analysis (ISUMA), Liverpool, UKGoogle Scholar
  36. Rota M, Penna A, Strobbia C (2008) Processing Italian damage data to derive typological fragility curves. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 28:933–947CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Russell AP (2010) Characterisation and seismic assessment of unreinforced masonry buildings. University of Auckland, AucklandGoogle Scholar
  38. Russell AP, Ingham JM (2010) Prevalence of New Zealand’s unreinforced masonry buildings. Bull N Z Soc Earthq Eng 43:182Google Scholar
  39. Shaw P, Morrison R (2003) A history of New Zealand architecture. Hodder Moa Beckett, AucklandGoogle Scholar
  40. Silva V, Crowley H, Varum H, Pinho R, Sousa L (2014) Investigation of the characteristics of Portuguese regular moment-frame RC buildings and development of a vulnerability model. Bull Earthq Eng 13:1455–1490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Thornton G (1996) Cast in concrete: concrete construction in New Zealand 1850–1939. Reed, AucklandGoogle Scholar
  42. Walsh K, Cummuskey P, Jafarzadeh R, Ingham J (2017) Rapid identification and taxonomical classification of structural seismic attributes in a region-wide commercial building stock. J Perform Constr Facil 31:04016067-1–04016067-12CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations