Seismic assessment of contemporary versus old urban frame buildings

Abdelrahman Ashri, Anas Issa, Aman Mwafy

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This comparative study probabilistically assesses the relative safety margins of code-compliant and pre-seismic code RC buildings with different heights in a region of medium seismicity. Detailed structural design and fiber-based modeling of six benchmark structures, namely two code-compliant buildings and two pre-code structures before and after retrofit, are undertaken to develop fragility functions using several earthquake records representing the most critical seismic scenario in the study area. Several inelastic dynamic analyses are performed to assess the seismic response and derive a range of fragility functions for the six benchmark buildings. Compared with contemporary structures, the study highlights the vulnerability of pre-code buildings due to the insufficient stiffness, strength, and ductility provided by their lateral force resisting systems. A practical retrofit solution for pre-code structures is subsequently assessed using the methodology adopted for other modern and old buildings. The probabilistic assessment results confirmed the comparable seismic performance of the retrofitted and code-conforming buildings. The comparative study, which provided insights into the differences between code-compliant versus pre-seismic code buildings before and after retrofit, contributes to reducing earthquake losses and improving community seismic resilience in earthquake-prone regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)STR-60-1-STR-60-6
JournalProceedings of International Structural Engineering and Construction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event11th International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference, ISEC-11 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 31 2021


  • Fragility
  • Inelastic response
  • RC structures
  • Retrofit
  • Seismic performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Building and Construction
  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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