This book provides a general introduction to the topic of three-dimensional analysis and design of buildings for resistance to the effects of earthquakes. It is intended for a general readership, especially persons with an interest in the design and construction of buildings under servere loadings. A major part of design for earthquake resistance involves the building structure, which has a primary role in preventing serious damage or structural collapse.
Much of the material in this book examines building structures and, specifically, their resistance to vertical and lateral forces or in combinations. However, due to recent discovery of the vertical component of acceleration of greater magnitude in the kobes’ earthquake the original concept of ‘‘lateral force only’’ has changed. This book does advocate the contribution of this disastrous component in the global analytical investigation.
When the earthquake strikes, it shakes the whole building and its contents. Full analysis for design layout and type of earthquakes, therefore, must include considerations for the complete building construction, the building contents and the building occupants. The work of designing for earthquake effects is formed by a steady stream of studies, research, new technologies and the cumulative knowledge gained from forensic studies of earthquake-damaged buildings.
Design and construction practices, regulating codes and professional standards continuously upgraded due to the flow of this cumulative knowledge. Hence, any book on this subject must regularly be updated. Since the effects are not the same, the earthquake forces are always problematic. Over the years, earthquake has been the cause of great disasters in the form of destruction of property and injury and loss of life to the population.
The unpredictability and sudden occurrence of earthquakes make them somewhat mysterious, both to the general public and to professional building designers. Until quite recently, design for earthquakes – if consciously considered at all – was done with simplistic methods and a small database. Extensive study and research and a great international effort and cooperation have vastly improved design theories and procedures. Accordingly, most buildings in earthquakeprone areas today are designed in considerable detail for seismic resistance.
Despite the best efforts of scientists and designers, most truly effective design methods are those reinforced by experience. This experience, unfortunately, grown by leaps when a major earthquake occurs and strongly affects regions of considerable development – notably urban areas. Observation of damaged buildings by experts in forensic engineering adds immeasurably to our knowledge base.
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