Design objectives and collapse prevention for building structures in mega-earthquake

  • Lieping YeEmail author
  • Xinzheng Lu
  • Yi Li
Special Section: Lessons Learned from the Wenchuan Earthquake


A “mega-earthquake” is one with an intensity larger than the most severe earthquake intensity category currently considered in design codes. For a “mega-earthquake,” the design objective of a given structure is to “preserve living spaces for people in the buildings.” In this paper, factors that may influence the collapse resistance of RC frames in a megaearthquake are analyzed based on seismic damage observed in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Methodologies to improve structural collapse resistance focus on three aspects: global strength margin, global redundancy and global integration of the structural system. Fundamental principles and design concepts for collapse prevention under a mega-earthquake are proposed, and issues that need further research are identified.


Wenchuan earthquake mega-earthquake RC frame collapse strength margin 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Engineering Mechanics, China Earthquake Administration and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Civil Engineering Safety and DurabilityMinistry of Education of ChinaBeijingChina

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