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Simulation of earthquake-induced hazards of falling exterior non-structural components and its application to emergency shelter design

Abstract

In addition to earthquake-induced structural collapse, hazards related to falling exterior non-structural components of buildings have also been recognized as a significant safety problem. A novel simulation method is proposed herein to reduce such type of hazard, which has rarely been studied in the existing literature. Using a multi-story concentrated-mass shear model and specific falling criteria for exterior non-structural components, the hazard ranges of falling objects in a building group are simulated. The uncertainty of ground motion is considered via the incremental dynamic analyses. Thus, the distribution probabilities of falling objects during the design life of a building group can be predicted. A residential community area is considered as a case study for calculating the distribution probabilities of falling objects over a design period of 50 years and for selecting a suitable and safe site for an emergency shelter. This study is expected to provide a useful reference for emergency and disaster management.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful for the financial support received from the National Key Technology R&D Program (No. 2015BAK14B02), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51578320, 51308321), and National Non-profit Institute Research Grant of IGP-CEA (Grant No. DQJB14C01).

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Correspondence to Xinzheng Lu.

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Xu, Z., Lu, X., Guan, H. et al. Simulation of earthquake-induced hazards of falling exterior non-structural components and its application to emergency shelter design. Nat Hazards 80, 935–950 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-015-2005-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-015-2005-2

Keywords

  • Earthquake-induced hazards
  • Falling objects
  • Exterior non-structural components
  • Building group
  • Emergency shelter