Understanding and Mitigating Hazards

Earthquake-damage_house1.jpg

Earthquake house
Earthquake house

Project Status:

The objective of this research is to develop strategies to mitigate damage, injury and business disruption associated with the earthquakes in the most vulnerable buildings of Australia’s cities.

The objective of this research is to develop strategies to mitigate damage, injury and business disruption associated with the earthquakes in the most vulnerable buildings of Australia’s cities.

Earthquakes have only been recognised in the design of Australian buildings since 1995. This failure has resulted in the presence of many buildings that represent a high risk to property, life and economic activity. These buildings also contribute to most of the post-disaster emergency management logistics and community recovery needs following major earthquakes. This vulnerability was in evidence in the Newcastle earthquake of 1989, the Kalgoorlie earthquake of 2010 and with similar building types in the Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. With an overall building replacement rate of 2% nationally, the legacy of vulnerable building persists in all cities and predominates in most business districts of lower growth regional centres.

This study is drawing upon and extending existing research and capability within both academia and government to develop information that will inform policy, business and private individuals on their decisions concerning reducing vulnerability. It is also drawing upon New Zealand initiatives that make use of local planning as an instrument for effecting mitigation.

The project’s scope includes all typical building construction types in Australia as specified in Australian Standard for Earthquake Loading AS 1170.4. It excludes special construction such as power plants, offshore structures and other industrial/manufacturing structures. A case study is being undertaken in the earthquake-prone town of York in Western Australia.

While the focus of this project is on buildings, many outputs will also be relevant for other infrastructure such as bridges, roads and ports, while at the same time complementing other CRC projects for severe wind and flood.

To achieve this, the project has sifted through the data that is available from the Christchurch experience to establish what earthquake retrofit techniques worked and what did not as a starting point in developing a menu of economically feasible seismic retrofit techniques that could be used in Australian cities.

Other research studies conducted have investigated the effects of local site conditions on ground shaking, assessed buckling and instability failures of lightly reinforced concrete walls, and reviewed the economic loss modelling of earthquake damaged buildings, among others.

This information will be fed into a decision support tool being developed that will be used by end-users to develop consistent national policies for the application of seismic design of new buildings and retrofit of existing buildings.

Development of the research outcomes in utilisation will include a rapid screening procedure. It will be used during post-disaster emergency management to swiftly flag unsafe buildings and reduce the operational costs at that time. State governments are increasingly become aware and concerned about the risk that earthquake poses to older unreinforced masonry and low ductility reinforced concrete buildings in communities. Regulations are likely to be developed for requiring the building owner to assess their buildings and retrofit/demolish if required. The first step in the seismic assessment of buildings is screening as done in many other seismically active countries. It is fast and suitable and only earthquake prone buildings will need to undergo further detailed assessment.

Other outputs include a report on the economic impact of a proposed change in the earthquake hazard in Australian cities. The newly developed hazard map rationally represents the earthquake risk posed than the existing map in the current code. For a change to be made, the economic impact on construction industry will need to be assessed.

A further output includes a demonstration for end-users of the benefits of retrofitting older buildings and reducing the expected earthquake loss. This will encourage governmental to develop regulations for seismic retrofit of risky buildings and to eventually make communities safer.

13 October, 2016
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
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23 May, 2016
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
17 May, 2016
A series of videos, now available, highlight some of the benefits of CRC research and the problems that the science is trying to solve.
15 March, 2016
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available.
Earthquake and wind engineering testing in Adelaide.
25 January, 2016
Earthquake and cyclone engineering combined last week in Adelaide to gather data on the construction of 1960s housing, all in the name of CRC science.
Year Type Citation
2017 Report Derakhshan, H., Lucas, W., Visintin, P. & Griffith, M. Final report: seismic retrofit tests of URM cavity walls. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Report Mohanty, I., Edwards, M., Ryu, H. & Wehner, M. Cost-effective mitigation strategy for building related earthquake risk: final report on economic loss modelling. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2016 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2016 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2016 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Journal Article Oehlers, D. J., Visintin, P. & Lucas, W. Fundamental Mechanics Governing FRP-Retrofitted RC Beams with Anchored and Prestressed FRP Plates. Journal of Composites for Construction 20, (2016).
2016 Report Edwards, M., Mohanty, I., Ryu, H. & Wehner, M. Preliminary report on economic loss modelling. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Report Griffith, M. Cost-effective mitigation strategy development for building related earthquake risk: Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Report Griffith, M. & Lucas, W. Economic loss modelling of earthquake damaged buildings. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Conference Paper Tsang, H. - H., Wilson, J. & Lam, N. Recommended Site Classification Scheme and Design Spectrum Model for Regions of Lower Seismicity. Tenth Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering Building an Earthquake-Resilient Pacific (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Hoult, R. D. & Lumantarna, E. Seismic assessment of non-ductile reinforced concrete C-shaped walls in Australia. The Eighth International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference, Sydney, Australia. (Goldsworthy, H. M.) (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Hoult, R. D., Goldsworthy, H. M. & Lumantarna, E. Torsional Displacement for Asymmetric Low-Rise Buildings with RC C-shaped Cores. Tenth Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Sydney, Australia. (2015).
2015 Journal Article Kafle, B., Lam, N., Lumantarna, E., Gad, E. F. & Wilson, J. Overturning of precast RC columns in conditions of moderate ground shaking. Earthquakes and Structures 8, 1-18 (2015).
2015 Journal Article Lam, N., Tsang, H. - H., Lumantarna, E. & Wilson, J. Local intraplate earthquake considerations for Singapore. The IES Journal Part A: Civil & Structural Engineering 8, 62-70 (2015).
2015 Journal Article Wibowo, A., Wilson, J., Lam, N. & Gad, E. F. Drift capacity of lightly reinforced concrete columns. Australian Journal of Structural Engineering 15, 131-150 (2015).
2015 Presentation Griffith, M. Resilience and Mitigation through Hardening the Built Environment. (2015).
2015 Report Griffith, M. Cost-effective mitigation strategy development for building related earthquake risk: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Report Griffith, M. Cost-Effective Mitigation Strategy Development for Building Related Earthquake Risk Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2014 Journal Article Wibowo, A., Wilson, J., Lam, N. & Gad, E. F. Drift performance of lightly reinforced concrete columns. Engineering Structures 59, 522-535 (2014).
2014 Journal Article Sivanerupan, S., Wilson, J., Gad, E. F. & Lam, N. Drift Performance of Point Fixed Glass Façade Systems. Advances in Structural Engineering 17, 1481-1495 (2014).
Cost-effective mitigation strategy development for building related earthquake risk
25 Aug 2014

The primary objective of this research is to develop cost-effective strategies to mitigate damage, injury and business disruption associated with the most vulnerable buildings in Australian business districts to earthquakes. 

Key Topics:
Seismic vulnerability assessment of irregular reinforced concrete buildings in Australia
29 Jun 2017

Seismic design and assessment of irregular reinforced concrete buildings in the regions of low to moderate seismicity such as Australia is investigated in this poster.

Cost-effective mitigation strategy for earthquake risk
29 Jun 2017

This project is addressing the need for an evidence base to inform decision making on the mitigation of the risk posed by Australian buildings subject to earthquake.

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