Structural Strengthening and Retrofit; Motivations, Concepts and Approaches

  • Giorgio Macchi
  • Gian Michele Calvi
  • Timothy John Sullivan
Part of the Building Pathology and Rehabilitation book series (BUILDING, volume 9)


Various scenarios may entail the need for the retrofit of an existing structure, which will be exposed to a variety of loading conditions and degrading environmental actions during its life time. In most cases, the objective of structural strengthening will be to reduce the risk of loss of life, whilst recognizing the importance of buildings and monuments to our societies’ heritage. However, the general criterion that should guide any decision related to structural strengthening should be to optimize the resources to be invested compared with the benefits to be obtained. In this chapter a range of important motives, concepts and approaches for strengthening and retrofitting are introduced. The various phases of a modern seismic assessment are described, since earthquakes have been seen to cost society dearly around the world. However, it is also explained that similar assessment and retrofit considerations and procedures are applicable for other hazards too. It is demonstrated that a variety of interventions will be possible and means of gauging their impact on response is conceptually explained. Later chapters in this book will build on this introduction to provide the detail required to finalise a retrofit design.


Strengthening Retrofit Structural assessment Seismic risk assessment 


  1. 1.
    CEN EC1 (English): “Eurocode 1: Actions on structures—Part 1-1: general actions—Densities, self-weight, imposed loads for buildings” EN 1991-1-1, Comite Europeen de Normalization, Brussels, Belgium; 2002.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    CEN EC8: Eurocode 8—Design provisions for earthquake resistant structures, EN-1998-1:2004: E, Comite Europeen de Normalization, Brussels, Belgium; 2004.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    CEN EC0 (English): “Eurocode—Basis of structural design” EN 1990:2002, Comite Europeen de Normalization, Brussels, Belgium; 2002.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hugo V. Notre Dame de Paris. Paris: Hetzel; 1831.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ruskin J. The seven lamps of architecture. London: Ward, Lock; 1911.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Vanvitelli L. Lettera a Poleni. Rome, 7 September. MS. Cod. Marc. It. IV, 1743; 680 (=5559), 3 p., 1 pl.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Price NS, Talley Jr, MK, Vaccaro AM, editors. Restoration and anti-restoration, introduction to part V, in historical and philosophical issues in the conservation of cultural heritage. Getty Publications; 1996. ISBN 0-89236-398-3.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rondelet J. Discours pour l’ouverture du cours de construction. Paris: Imp. de Fain; 1806.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mérimée P. Notes d’un voyage dans le Midi de la France, Paris (reprinted 1989), Editions Adam Biro, Paris.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
    Jonas H. The imperative of responsibility, in search of an ethics for the technological age. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637; 1984. ISBN 0-226-40597-4.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Calvi GM. Choices and criteria for seismic strengthening. J Earthq Eng. 2013;17(6):769–802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Iervolino I, Chioccarelli E, Convertito V. Engineering design earthquakes from multimodal hazard disaggregation. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng. 2011;31:1212–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ramirez CM, Miranda E. Building specific loss estimation methods and tools for simplified performance-based earthquake engineering. Technical Report No. 171, John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center,, Stanford University; 2009.
  15. 15.
    Sullivan TJ, Calvi PM, Nascimbene R. Towards improved floor spectra estimates for seismic design. Earthq Struct. 2013;4(1).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Calvi PM. Relative displacement floor spectra for seismic design of non structural elements. J Earthq Eng. 2014;(18)7.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Priestley MJN. Displacement-based seismic assessment of reinforced concrete buildings. J Earthq Eng. 1997;1(1):157–92.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Calvi GM. A displacement-based approach for vulnerability evaluation of classes of buildings. J Earthq Eng. 1999;3(3):411–38.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Priestley MJN, Calvi GM, Kowalsky MJ. Displacement-based seismic design of structures. Pavia: IUSS Press; 2007.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Welch DP, Sullivan TJ, Calvi GM. Developing direct displacement-based procedures for simplified loss assessment in performance-based earthquake engineering. J Earthq Eng. 2014;18(2):290–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nascimbene R, Fagà E, Cigada A, Vanali M, Moratti M, Pinho R, Calvi GM. Construction of a scaffolding for the major spire of the Milan cathedral: modeling, analysis, verification and dynamic identification (in Italian, English summary). Progettazione Sismica. 2012;4(1):15–34.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mitrani-Reiser J. An ounce of prevention: probabilistic loss estimation for performance-based earthquake engineering. Ph.D. Dissertation. Pasadena, CA: CalTech; 2007.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Fajfar P, Krawinkler H. Performance-based seismic design concepts and implementation. In: Fajfar P, Krawinkler H, editors. Proceedings of the international workshop, Bled, Slovenia, 28 June–1 July. PEER Report 2004/05, The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center; 2004. ISBN 0-9762060-0-5.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    FEMA E-74: Reducing the risks of nonstructural earthquake damage—A practical guide. FEMA E-74 Document, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, DC; 2011.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Christopoulos C, Filiatrault A. Principles of passive supplemental damping and seismic isolation. Pavia: IUSS Press; 2006. p. 480.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Calvi GM, Pietra D, Moratti M. Criteri per la progettazione di dispositivi di isolamento apendolo scorrevole. Progettazione Sismica, EUCENTRE, Pavia, Italy. 2010;03:7–30.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Beigi H, Christopoulos C, Sullivan T, Calvi G. Gapped-inclined braces for seismic retrofit of soft-story buildings. J Struct Eng. 2014;. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0001006,04014080.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sadek F, Mohraz B, Taylor AW, Chung RM. A method of estimating the parameters of tuned mass dampers for seismic applications. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn. 1997;26:617–35. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9845(199706)26:6<617:AID-EQE664>3.0.CO;2-Z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Comerio MC. Resilience, recovery and community renewal. In: Keynote paper, 15th World Conference of Earthquake Engineering, Lisbon, Portugal; 2012.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Elnashai AS, Salama AI. Selective repair and retrofitting techniques for RC structures in seismic regions. Research Report ESEE/92-2, Engineering Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Section, Imperial College, London, UK; 1992.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Fardis M. Seismic design, assessment and retrofitting of concrete buildings: based on EN-Eurocode 8. Springer Science & Business Media, 25/07/2009—Technology & Engineering; 2009.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    FEMA P-58-1: Seismic Performance Assessment of Buildings: Volume 1—Methodology. FEMA P-58-1, Prepared by the Applied Technology Council for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, DC; 2012.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    FEMA P-58-3: Seismic Performance Assessment of Buildings, Volume 3—Supporting Electronic Materials and Background Documentation: 3.1 Performance Assessment Calculation Tool (PACT), Version 2.9.65, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, DC; 2012.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Fib: Seismic assessment and retrofit of reinforced concrete buildings. Fédération Internationale du béton, Bulletin. 2003;24.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Fib: Seismic Bridge Design and Retrofit—Structural Solutions. Fédération internationale du béton, Bulletin 2007;39.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Jirsa O. Divergent issues in rehabilitation of existing buildings. Earthq Spectra (EERI). 1994;10(1):95–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Pinho R, Elnashai AS. Repair and retrofitting of RC walls using selective techniques. J Earthq Eng. 1998;2(4):525–68.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Price NS, Talley MK, Melucco VA. Historical and philosophical issues in the conservation of cultural heritage. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute; 1996. ISBN 0892363983.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Priestley MJN, Seible F, Calvi GM. Seismic design and retrofit of bridges. New York: Wiley; 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Rodriguez M, Park R. Repair and strengthening of reinforced concrete buildings for seismic resistance. Earthq Spectra (EERI). 1991;7(3):439–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Roeder CW, Banerjee S, Jung DR, Smith SK. Role of building foundations in seismic retrofit. Earthq Spectra (EERI). 1996;12(4):925–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Thermou GE, Elnashai AS. Seismic retrofit schemes for RC structures and local-global consequences. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn. 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgio Macchi
    • 1
  • Gian Michele Calvi
    • 2
  • Timothy John Sullivan
    • 3
  1. 1.University of PaviaMilanItaly
  2. 2.Scuola Universitaria Superiore IUSS PaviaPaviaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Natural Resources EngineeringUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations