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Seismic Evaluation of Buildings & Retrofitting

Introduction
The seismic evaluation of buildings aims at finding the capacity of existing building to resist
lateral forces due to seismic acceleration, anticipated in the remaining life time of the buildings.
The deficient buildings are retrofitted thereby increasing its capacity for performance under
seismic acceleration. The deficiency in the existing building may be due to damage of the
building by seismic activity or the design of the building with lower level of seismic design
specification. The seismic retrofitting corresponds to up gradation of deficient structures which
are in operation.
The present Seismic Code of India does not have detailed provisions for seismic evaluation and
retrofitting of existing buildings in operation. FEMA 356 outlives the seismic evaluation and
retrofitting procedure in the frame work of performance criteria. According to the criteria, the
seismic evaluation and upgradation of buildings or structures is to be carried out to achieve a
desired objective. The objective thus specified in the FEMA 356 are classified into five
categories S-I to S-5
Where:
S-I immediate occupancy structures performance level which is defined as the post
earthquake damage state that remain safe to occupy retaining design strength and
stiffness.
S-2 is damage control structures performance range. In this range the repair time and
operation interruption desired to be minimized.
S-3 is life safety structural performance level – and defined as the post earthquake damage
that include damage to structural components but retains a margin against on set of
collapse.
S-4 is limited safety structural performance range which is defined as the continuous range of
damage state between life safety structural performance and collapse prevention
structural performance.
S-5 is collapse prevention structural performance level, defined as post earthquake damage
that includes damage to structural component such that structure continue to support
gravity load but retains no margin against collapse in compliance with the acceptance
criteria in standard for structural performance level.
The seismic hazard due to ground shaking based on which the evaluation are done shall depend
on the location of the building with respect to causative faults, the regional and site specific
geologic characteristics and selected earthquake level. The probabilistic seismic hazard
assessment shall be required to identify seismic hazard level at the site. In absence of adequate
data for supporting specific accurate seismic hazard assessment it may be herculean task to
adopt the provision in FEMA 356.
Recently, a guideline for seismic evaluation and strengthening of Existing Buildings has been
published by Department of Civil Engineering IIT Kanpur in collaboration . The guidelines have
been developed with reference to current edition of Seismic Code IS-1893-2002. The present
guidelines are derived from similar documents like AT-40, FEM 310, FEMA 356 New Zealand
Draft Code and Euro Code. The presentation in this paper is based on the guidelines published
by IIT Kanpur.

Seismic Evaluation Criteria


The seismic performance of existing buildings is evaluated in relation to the performance criteria
in use for new buildings. The minimum evaluation criteria for the expected performance of life
safety of existing buildings with appropriate modification to IS-1893-2002, which is applicable
for seismic design of new buildings. The main aim of evaluation of existing buildings as per the
guideline is to avoid risk of life was in existing building similar to the provision of IS-1893-
2002 for new buildings. The existing buildings may not have seismic design features for seismic
resistance but it is expected to meet requirement of other codes of structural safety for loads such
as gravity wind etc.

Evaluation Process
The evaluation process described in the guidelines is a two level process comprising of
increasing detailing and decreasing conservatism. The two level of the process are; Preliminary
evaluation and Detailed evaluation.

The preliminary evaluation involves broad assessment of its physical condition, robustness,
structural integrity and strength of structure including simple calculations.

The detailed evaluation includes numerical check on stability and integrity of the whole
structure as well as the strength of each member.

The detailed evaluation is required only if the results of preliminary evaluations are
unacceptable. Flows chart in Fig. 1 summaries the evaluation process as per the guidelines
published by IIT Kanpur.
As an introduction to the topic the presentation is limited to the preliminary evaluation. Readers
interested on the topics may refer the publication “Seismic Evaluation and Strengthening of
Existing Buildings by Dr. Durgesh C. Rai, Department of Civil Engineering IIT Kanpur.

Preliminary evaluation
The preliminary evaluation is a quick procedure to establish actual structural layout and assess
its characteristics that can affect its seismic vulnerability. The method is primarily based on
observed damage characteristics in previous earthquakes, coupled with some back of the
envelope calculations. The stages of preliminary evaluation are as given below:

Site Visit
A site visit will be conducted by the design professionals to verify available existing building
data or collect additional data and to determine the condition of building and its components.
The following information are either need to be collected or confirmed during visit.
(a) General information:
Number of storeys and dimensions, year of constructions.
(b) Structural system description:-
Framing vertical lateral force resisting system, floor and roof diaphragm connection to
wall, basement and foundation system.
(c) Building type as in IS-1893 (Part-I) site soil classification as in IS-1893 (Part-I).
(d) Building use and nature of occupancy.
(e) Adjacent building and potential for pounding and failing hazards.
(f) General Condition: Deterioration of materials, damage from past earthquakes, alterations
and additions that could effect earthquake performance.
(g) Architectural features that may effect earthquake performance especially location of
masonry infill walls.
(h) Geological site hazards and foundation condition: Susceptibility for liquefaction and
conditions for slope failure and surface fault rupture.
Configuration deck load path
One of the fundamental attributes required for the proper seismic response of a building during
earthquake motion is that its lateral load resisting members should be tied together to act as a
single unit. These provisions are intended to provide conditions lateral load system that ties all
parts of the structures together. It also provides for proper connection between the members of
the system to transmit additional seismic force safely. A vertical lateral force resisting system
should continuous and run from the foundation to the top of the building. The presence of
discontinuity in a load path makes a building inadequate for carrying seismic forces.

Fig. 2 Load path

Configuration check: Redundancy


The numbers of lines of vertical load resisting element in each principal direction shall be
greater than or equal to 2. In case of movement or braced frames, the number of bays in each
line shall be greater than or equal to 2. Similarly numbers of lines of shear wall in each direction
shall be greater than or equal to 2. This provision is recommended because of the uncertainties
involved in the magnitude of both seismic load and member capacity. If any member of a lateral
force resisting system fails, the redundancy of the structure will help to ensure that there is
another member present in the lateral force resisting system that will contribute lateral resistance
to the structure.

Fig.3 Redundancy of moment frame

Configuration check: Geometry


No chance in the horizontal dimensions of the lateral force resisting system of more than 50% in
a storey relative to adjacent stories excluding pent-houses and mezzanine floors should be made.
Geometric irregularities of overall building shape in plan and elevation effect, the seismic
response of the structure by increasing ductility demand at a few locations. The irregular
building in plan as per IS-1893 (Part-I) is given below in Fig…

Fig 4 (a) Irregularity in plan and elevation

Fig 4 (b) Building with offset


Plan configuration should always be symmetrical in respect of two orthogonal directions.
Complex shape of building like H,I, X etc. should be avoided.

Configuration check: Weak Storey


The strength of the lateral force resisting system in any storey shall not be less than 70% of the
strength in an adjacent storey. If this requirement is not satisfied, it is called as weak storey.
Weak storey is usually found where the vertical discontinuities exist or where the size of the
reinforcement has been reduced.
Fig.5 shows some cases of weak storey.

Configuration check: Soft Storey

The stiffness of lateral load resisting system in any storey shall not be less than 60% of the
stiffness in an adjacent storey or less than 70% of the average stiffness of three stories above. If
this specification is not fulfilled the storey is called as soft storey. The soft storey buildings are
well known for their poor performance during earthquakes.

Fig 6 Soft Story with sever deformation demand during seismic shaking

Configuration check: Vertical discontinuities


All the vertical element in lateral force resisting system shall be continuous from roof to the
foundation. If such discontinuities exist specific arrangement for transfer of forces should be
made.
Fig 7 Vertical irregularities

Configuration check: Mass


There shall be no change in the effective mass more than 100% from one storey to the next. The
mass irregularity effect the dynamic response of the structure by increasing ductility demand at a
few locations and lead to unexpected higher mode effects.

Fig.8 Mass irregularities

Configuration check: Torsion


The eccentricity between the centre of mass of building and centre of stiffness create a torsional
effect thereby increasing the forces in the outer columns. The estimated distance between a
storey centre of stiffness shall be less than 30% of the building dimension at right angle to the
direction of loading considered.
Fig 9 Torsional irregularities
Configuration check: Adjacent Building
The clear horizontal distance between the building under consideration and any adjacent
building shall be greater than 4% of the height of the shorter building except for building that
one of same height with floors located at the same level. If this prescription is not adhered,
during seismic shaking two such adjacent building may hit each other due to lateral
displacement known as pounding.

Fig.10 Pounding situation, (b) is more serious.


Configuration check: Short Column
The reduced height of column due to surrounding parapet infill will etc shall not be less than
five times the dimensions of the column in the direction of parapet, infill wall etc or 50% of the
nominal height of typical column in that storey. Short column are relatively stiffer than other
columns in a storey and tend to attract higher seismic forces because of their high stiffness
relating to other columns. Adequate ductile detailing by proving confining reinforcement to full
height of column should be made in short column.

Fig.11 Short column with variable stiffness


Strength Related Check
Approximate and quick check shall be used to compute the strength and stiffness of the building.
The seismic base shear and storey shear for the building shall be computed in accordance with
IS 1893 (Part-I) for comparing with the capacity.
Shear stress in R.C. frame columns
The average shear stress in concrete columns τ col computed in accordance with the following

equation shall be lesser of-


(a) 0.4 MPa and
(b) 0.10 fck where fck is the characteristic cube strength of concrete.
⎛ n ⎞⎛ V j ⎞
τ col = ⎜⎜ c ⎟⎜
⎟⎜ A
⎟⎟

⎝ c nf
n ⎠⎝ c ⎠
Where,
nc = total numbers of columns

nf = total number of frames in the direction of loading.

Vj = storey shear at level j and

Ac = total cross section area of columns.

Axial stress in moment frames


The maximum compressive axial stress in columns of moment frames at base due to
overturning forces along ( Fo ) as calculated using following equation shall be less than

0.25 f ck

2 ⎛⎜ Vs ⎞⎛ H ⎞
⎟⎜ ⎟
Fo =
3 ⎜⎝ n f ⎟⎝ L ⎠

Where
nf = total numbers of frames in the direction of loading.

VB = base shear
H = total height
L = length of building.
The detailed evaluation shall be carried out when the requirement in preliminary checks are not
satisfied. A worked out example of preliminary check are given below for illustration of the
method.
Retrofitting of building
Based on the results of the preliminary and detailed evaluation the retrofitting strategies are
decided. The removable plan irregularities should be removed. This may reduce the force and
deformation demand of the building to acceptable level. The eccentric mass due to location of
water tank can also be relocated. Further unwanted non structural mass can also be removed
which will reduce the seismic weight of the building thereby the reducing the base shear
capacity demand. If the building is highly deficient in lateral load resisting capacity the
retrofitting of the component of building should be retrofitted. Local retrofit strategies refer to
retrofitting of beams, columns, slabs, joints, walls and foundations, without significantly
affecting the overall response of the building. The local retrofit strategies are grouped according
to the elements.

Column Retrofitting: Concrete jacketing


Concrete jacketing is a popular method of column retrofit. This involves addition of a layer of
RC in the form of a jacket, using longitudinal reinforcement and closely spaced ties with seismic
detailing (Figure 12). The method is comparatively straightforward and increases both strength
and ductility. But, the composite deformation of the existing and the new concrete requires
adequate dowels in the existing column. Also, the additional longitudinal bars need to be
anchored to the foundation and should be continuous through the slab. The disadvantages are
that the size of the column increases and the placement of the ties at the beam-to-column joints
is difficult. Although there are disadvantages, use of concrete jacket is relatively cheap.

=350mm

Additional longitudinal
reinforcement.

Dowel bars to be inserted into


existing concrete upto a depth
full anchoring length.
=350mm

Existing column

Jacket

Pocket of dowel bar to be


filled with grout.

CONCRETE JACKETING
Fig 12 Retrofitting of Column
Column Retrofitting: Steel Jacketing
Steel jacketing refers to encasing the column with plates and filling the gap with non-shrink
grout (Figure13). Steel jacketing is an effective method to remedy deficiencies such as
inadequate shear strength and faulty splicing of longitudinal bars at the potential hinge regions.

New concrete/non-shrink
grout
Welding Welding

Shear lugs
Existing column
Steel plate

Steel angle

Shear lugs
STEEL JACKETING

Fig 13 Steel jacketing of deficient column

Column Retrofitting: Fibre Reinforced Polymer Sheet Wrapping


Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) has desirable physical properties like corrosion and fatigue
resistance and high tensile strength to weight ratio. FRP sheets are thin, light and flexible
enough to be inserted behind pipes, electrical cables and other service ducts, thus facilitating
installation. In retrofitting of a column there is no significant increase in the size. The main
drawbacks of FRP are the high cost, brittle behaviour and fire resistance.
Fig 14 Retrofitting using FRP
Beam Retrofitting: Concrete Jacketing
Concrete is added to increase the strength or stiffness of a beam. Several options are available
for adding concrete. There are some disadvantages in this traditional retrofit strategy. First,
addition of concrete increases the size and weight of the beam. Second, the new concrete
requires proper bonding with the existing concrete. In beam soffits, the bleed water from the
new concrete creates a weak cement paste at the interface. Restrained shrinkage at the interface
induces tensile stress in the new concrete. Third, the drilling of holes in the existing concrete can
weaken the section, if the width is small and the concrete is not of good quality. Instead of
regular concrete, fibre reinforced concrete can be used for retrofit. In addition to strength, this
leads to the increase of energy absorption capacity.

Fig15 Enlarging the size of beam

Beam Retrofitting: Bonding Steel Plates.


The technique of bonding mild steel plates to beams is used to improve their flexural and shear
strengths. The addition of steel plate is simple and rapid to apply, does not reduce the storey
clear height significantly and can be applied while the structure is in use. Glued plates of course
are prone to premature debonding which can limit the application of this technique.

Steel Plate

Fig. 16 (a) Bonding of steel plate


Fig. 16 (a) Bonding of steel plate
Beam Retrofitting: FRP Wrapping
Like steel plates, FRP laminates are attached to beams to increase their flexural and shear
strengths.

Beam-to-Column Joint Retrofitting


Under seismic excitation, the beam-to-column joints are subjected to high shear forces. Hence,
the joint should be sufficiently stiff to reduce shear deformation. Also, the formation of hinges in
the adjacent beams may deteriorate the joint. The different methods of retrofitting are as follows.

Beam-to-Column Joint Retrofitting: Concrete Jacketing


A joint can be strengthened by placing ties through drilled holes in the adjacent beams
(Stoppenhagen et al., 1995). A simpler option is a concrete fillet at the joint to shift the potential
hinge region of the beam away from the column face (Bracci et al., 1995).

Beam-to-Column Joint Retrofitting: Steel Jacketing


If space is available, steel jacketing can be used to enhance the performance of joints (Ghobarah
et al.,1997). A simpler option is to attach plates in the form of brackets at the soffits of the
beams and sides of the column. The retrofitted joints were found to perform better because of
the following conditions.
a) Pullout of the discontinuous bottom rebar in the beams was prevented.
b) Damage of the joints was shifted from the zone where the bottom rebar was embedded.
c) The deterioration of the joint under cyclic loading was reduced.
Beam-to-Column Joint Retrofitting: FRP Jacketing
FRP sheets can be used to strengthen beam-to-column joints.

Wall Retrofitting
A concrete shear wall can be retrofitted by adding new concrete with adequate boundary
elements (bolster columns). For the composite action, dowels need to be provided between the
existing and new concrete (Figure 17)

New bolster colum n


New wall
M inim um Ø 10

To be filled with Existing wall


potym er concrete/expoxy
grout
S TR E N TH E N IN G O F A W A LL U S IN G C O N C R E TE

Fig. 18 Wall retrofitting


Steel braces or strips can be bolted to strengthen a wall. FRP or steel sheets can be used to
strengthen walls for out-of-plane bending. External prestressing or reinforced grouted core can
be introduced for strengthening unreinforced masonry wall.

Foundation Strengthening
Foundation strengthening is done by strengthening the footing as well as the soil (FEMA 356,
2000). The following measures may be effective in the rehabilitation of footings.
1. New isolated or spread footings may be added to existing structures to support new
structural elements such as shear walls or frames.
2. Existing spread footings may be enlarged to increase the capacity.
3. Existing spread footings may be underpinned to increase the bearing capacity.
4. Uplift capacity may be improved by increasing the soil mass above the footing.
5. Differential lateral displacement of the footings can be mitigated by interconnecting
them with plinth beams or the beams.
Typical details of strengthening of foundation is shown below in Fig 19.

Existing Column
A A

Added Reinforcement
Added Reinforcement

Reinforced Jacket B B
Existing Column

Existing Foundation Added Concrete

A-A

Added Reinforcement

B-B

TYPICAL DETAIL OF STRENGTHENING OF FOUNDATION

Fig.19 Retrofitting of foundation