First Advisor

Mike Gorji

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering




Earthquake resistant design, Buildings -- Earthquake effects, Buildings -- Repair and reconstruction, Buildings -- Seismic reinforcement




This research project will give a brief presentation about earthquake resistant design and the methodology about seismic evaluation and rehabilitation of existing structures. It also provides certain aspects of computer software modeling against seismic loads and shows the necessity of seismic upgrading in a steel moment-frame building.

The seismic evaluation process consists of investigating if the structure meets the defined target structural performance levels. The main goal during earthquakes is to assure that building collapse doesn’t occur and the risk of death or injury to people is minimized and beyond that to satisfy post-earthquake performance level for defined range of of seismic hazards. Also seismic evaluation will determine which are the most vulnerable and weak components and deficiencies of a building during an expected earthquake. The seismic rehabilitation process aims to improve seismic performance and correct the deficiencies by increasing strength, stiffness or deformation capacity and improving connections. Thus, a proposed retrofit implementation can be said to be successful if it results an increase in strength and ductility capacity of the structure which is greater than the demands imposed by earthquakes.

Performance-based design aims to utilize performance objectives to determine acceptable levels of damage for a given earthquake hazard for new buildings or upgrade of existing buildings. These performance objectives can be such as limiting story drift, minimizing component damage etc. This study shows how to model a building in computer software and analyze its seismic resistance with linear methods and propose concentrically braced frame rehabilitation in order to increase the drift capacity. It also describes how the linear analysis may be followed by the pushover analysis in order to estimate the seismic resistance of retrofitted structure. One of the most significant advantages of nonlinear pushover analysis beyond the linear analyses is the opportunity to evaluate damage. The pushover analysis can give valuable information about performance of building in expected future seismic events.

Generally, the structural retrofit of concentrically braced frames improved the seismic resistance of the building and it can be considered in the retrofit of moment frame structures to prevent the risk of structural collapse under the design load with much more confidence.



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A research project report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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