Research leader

Prof Michael Griffith
Prof Michael Griffith Research Leader

Research team

Hossein Derakhshan Research Team
Dr Alex Ng Research Team
Dr Phillip Visintin Research Team
Prof Mark Jaksa Research Team
Prof Abdul Sheikh Research Team
Mark Edwards
Mark Edwards Research Team
Martin Wehner Research Team
Nelson Lam
Prof Nelson Lam Research Team
Dr Elisa Lumantarna Research Team
Prof John Wilson Research Team
Prof Emad Gad Research Team
Dr Hyeuk Ryu Research Team
Dr Hing Ho Tsang Research Team
Dr Valdis Juskevics Research Team

End User representatives

Leesa Carson
Leesa Carson End-User
Ron De Veer End-User
Scott Munter End-User
Steve Gray End-User

Student researchers

Dr Ryan Hoult Student Reseacher
Dr Anita Amirsardari Student Reseacher
Alireza Zabihi Student Reseacher

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.

Year Type Citation
2019 Journal Article Tsang, H. - H. Innovative Upscaling of Architectural Elements for Strengthening Building Structures. Sustainability 11, 2636 (2019).
2017 Journal Article Tsang, H. - H., Wilson, J., Lam, N. & Su, R. Kai Leng. A design spectrum model for flexible soil sites in regions of low-to-moderate seismicity. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 92, 36-45 (2017).
2017 Journal Article Tsang, H. - H., Wilson, J. & Lam, N. A refined design spectrum model for regions of lower seismicity. Australian Journal of Structural Engineering 18, (2017).
2017 Journal Article Yacoubian, M., Lam, N., Lumantarna, E. & Wilson, J. Analytical modelling of podium interference on tower walls in buildings. Australian Journal of Structural Engineering 18, (2017).
2016 Journal Article Mehdipanah, A., Lam, N. & Lumantarna, E. Analytical Simulation of Limited Ductile RC Beam-Columns. (2016). at <https://www.aees.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/331-Alireza-Mehdipanah-et-al.pdf>
2017 Journal Article Hashemi, M. et al. Application of hybrid simulation for collapse assessment of post-earthquake CFRP-repaired RC columns. ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering 143, (2017).
2017 Journal Article Tiwari, R., Lam, N. & Lumantarna, E. Assessment of Displacement Demand for Earth Retaining Structures. Australian Earthquake Engineering Society (2017). at <http://www.aees.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/453-Rohit-Tiwari.pdf>
2017 Journal Article Derakhshan, H., Visintin, P. & Griffith, M. Case studies of material properties of late nineteenth-century unreinforced masonry buildings in Adelaide. Australian Journal of Civil Engineering 15, (2017).
2017 Journal Article Hashemi, M., Tsang, H. - H., Al-Ogaidi, Y., Wilson, J. & Al-Mahaidi, R. Collapse assessment of reinforced concrete building columns through multi-axis hybrid simulation. ACI Structural Journal 114, (2017).
2015 Report Griffith, M. Cost-Effective Mitigation Strategy Development for Building Related Earthquake Risk Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2019 Report Griffith, M. et al. Cost-Effective Mitigation Strategy Development for Building Related Earthquake Risk Annual Report 2017-2018. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2019).
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).
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).
2019 Report Mohanty, I., Edwards, M., Ryu, H. & Wehner, M. Cost-effective mitigation strategy development for building related earthquake risk: progress report on economic loss modelling . (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2019).
2018 Report Mohanty, I., Edwards, M., Ryu, H. & Wehner, M. Cost-effective mitigation strategy development for building related earthquake risk: reporting on economic loss models. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
2019 Report Griffith, M. Cost-effective mitigation strategy for building related earthquake risk - annual report 2018-2019. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2019).
2017 Report Griffith, M. et al. Cost-effective mitigation strategy for building related earthquake risk: annual project report 2016-17. (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 Journal Article Tiwari, R., Lam, N. & Lumantarna, E. Displacement Based Design of Bridge Abutments. Australian Earthquake Engineering Society (2016). at <https://www.aees.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/337-Tiwari-et-al.pdf>
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).
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 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).
2016 Report Griffith, M. & Lucas, W. Economic loss modelling of earthquake damaged buildings. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2017 Journal Article Yacoubian, M., Lam, N., Lumantarna, E. & Wilson, J. Effects of podium interference on shear force distributions in tower walls supporting tall buildings. Engineering Structures 148, (2017).
2018 Report Vaculik, J. & Griffith, M. Final report on fragility curves for retrofitted URM buildings in Australia. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
2018 Report Derakhshan, H. & Griffith, M. Final report on pushover analysis of classes of URM buildings to characterise drift ratios for different damage levels. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
2019 Report Vaculik, J. & Griffith, M. Final report on vulnerability of as-built and retrofitted URM buildings. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2019).
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).
2019 Journal Article Menegon, S. et al. Framework for seismic vulnerability assessment of reinforced concrete buildings in Australia. Australian Journal of Structural Engineering 20, 143-158 (2019).
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).
2017 Journal Article Derakhshan, H., Lucas, W. & Griffith, M. In-situ seismic verification of non-structural components of unreinforced masonry buildings. Australian Journal of Structural Engineering 19, (2017).
2018 Journal Article Derakhshan, H., Lucas, W., Visintin, P. & Griffith, M. Laboratory testing of strengthened cavity unreinforced masonry walls. Journal of Structural Engineering 144, (2018).
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).
2017 Conference Paper Lumantarna, E., Mehdipanah, A., Lam, N. & Wilson, J. Methods of structural analysis of buildings in regions of low to moderate seismicity. 2017 World Congress on Advances in Structural Engineering and Mechanics (2017).
2017 Journal Article Mehdipanah, A., Lumantarna, E. & Lam, N. Methods of Structural Analysis of Buildings Incorporating Higher Modes Effects. Australian Earthquake Engineering Society 10 (2017). at <http://www.aees.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/463-Alireza-Mehdipanah.pdf>
2016 Journal Article Lam, N., Tsang, H. - H., Lumantarna, E. & Wilson, J. Minimum loading requirements for areas of low seismicity. Earthquakes and Structures 11, 539-561 (2016).
2019 Conference Paper Edwards, M. et al. Mitigating earthquake risk in Australia. 2019 Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Annual NZSEE Conference (2019). at <http://db.nzsee.org.nz/2019/Oral/8C.05%20Edwards.pdf>
2017 Journal Article Vaculik, J., Sturm, A. B., Visintin, P. & Griffith, M. Modelling FRP-to-substrate joints using the bilinear bond-slip rule with allowance for friction - Full-range analytical solutions for long and short bonded lengths. International Journal of Solids and Structures (2017). doi:10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2017.11.024
2018 Journal Article Derakhshan, H., Lucas, W., Visintin, P. & Griffith, M. Out-of-plane strength of existing two-way spanning solid and cavity unreinforced masonry walls. Structures 13, 88-101 (2018).
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).
2016 Report Edwards, M., Mohanty, I., Ryu, H. & Wehner, M. Preliminary report on economic loss modelling. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2019 Report Lumantarna, E., Lam, N., Tsang, H. - H., Gad, E. F. & Wilson, J. Progress report on costing of limited ductile reinforced concrete buildings. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2019).
2017 Journal Article Menegon, S., Wilson, J., Lam, N. & Gad, E. F. RC walls in Australia: reconnaissance survey of industry and literature review of experimental testing. Australian Journal of Structural Engineering 18, (2017).
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).
2018 Report Lumantarna, E. et al. Report on fragility curves for limited ductile reinforced concrete buildings. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
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).
2015 Presentation Griffith, M. Resilience and Mitigation through Hardening the Built Environment. (2015).
2018 Report Griffith, M. & Vaculik, J. Retrofitting costs for URM buildings. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
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).
2017 Journal Article Amirsardari, A., Goldsworthy, H. M., Lumantarna, E. & Rajeev, P. Seismic fragility curves for limited ductile RC Buildings including the response of gravity frames. Australian Earthquake Engineering Society 13 (2017). at <http://www.aees.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/455-Anita-Amirsardari.pdf>
2018 Journal Article Zabihi, A., Tsang, H. - H., Gad, E. F. & Wilson, J. Seismic retrofit of exterior RC beam-column joint using diagonal haunch. Engineering Structures 174, (2018).
2018 Journal Article Wilson, J., Tsang, H. - H. & Liu, X. Seismic retrofit of precast soft-storey building using diagonal steel-shape memory alloy bracing device: Numerical investigation. Advances in Structural Engineering (2018). doi:10.1177/1369433218800939
2016 Journal Article Lumantarna, E. et al. Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of Asymmetrical Reinforced Concrete Buildings in Australia. Australian Earthquake Engineering Society (2016). at <https://www.aees.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/379-Lumantarna-et-al.pdf>
2016 Journal Article Lam, N., Wilson, J. & Lumantarna, E. Simplified elastic design checks for torsionally balanced and unbalanced low-medium rise buildings in lower seismicity regions. Earthquakes and Structures 11, 741-777 (2016).
2018 Journal Article Vaculik, J., Visintin, P., Griffith, M., .G.Burton, N. & .Seracino, R. State-of-the-art review and future research directions for FRP-to-masonry bond research: Test methods and techniques for extraction of bond-slip behaviour. Construction and Building Materials 20, (2018).
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).
2018 Journal Article Raza, S., Tsang, H. - H. & Wilson, J. Unified models for post-peak failure drifts of normal- and high-strength RC columns. Magazine of Concrete Research 70, 1101 (2018).
2019 Journal Article Hoult, R. D., Goldsworthy, H. M. & Lumantarna, E. Vulnerability Functions for RC Shear Wall Buildings in Australia. Earthquake Spectra 35, 27 (2019).
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