The Open Construction & Building Technology Journal

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Development of Seismic Fragility Functions for a Moment Resisting Reinforced Concrete Framed Structure

D. P. McCrum, G. Amato*, R. Suhail
School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom


Understanding the seismic vulnerability of building structures is important for seismic engineers, building owners, risk insurers and governments. Seismic vulnerability defines a buildings predisposition to be damaged as a result of an earthquake of a given severity. There are two components to seismic risk; the seismic hazard and the exposure of the structural inventory to any given earthquake event. This paper demonstrates the development of fragility curves at different damage states using a detailed mechanical model of a moment resisting reinforced concrete structure typical of Southern Europe. The mechanical model consists of a complex three-dimensional finite element model of the reinforced concrete moment resisting frame structure and is used to define the damage states through pushover analysis. Fragility curves are also defined using the HAZUS macro-seismic methodology and the Risk-UE macro-seismic methodology. Comparison of the mechanically modelled and HAZUS fragility curve shows good agreement while the Risk-UE methodology shows reasonably poor agreement.

Keywords: Abaqus, FEM, Fragility functions, Reinforced concrete, Vulnerability.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2016
Volume: 10
Issue: Suppl 1: M2
First Page: 42
Last Page: 51
Publisher Id: TOBCTJ-10-42
DOI: 10.2174/1874836801610010042

Article History:

Received Date: 30/6/2015
Revision Received Date: 15/8/2015
Acceptance Date: 26/8/2015
Electronic publication date: 29/04/2016
Collection year: 2016

© McCrum et al; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, David Keir Building, Queen’s University Belfast, BT9 5AG, United Kingdom; Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 4006; Fax: +44 (0)28 9097 4278; E-mail:

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