The basic principle of conventional earthquake-resistant design is to ensure an acceptable safety level while avoiding catastrophic failures and loss of life. When a structure does not collapse during a major earthquake, and the occupants can evacuate safely, it is considered that this structure has fulfilled its function even though it may never be functional again. Generally, this approach can be considered adequate for most types of structures. However, for important structures, safer methods are required, while keeping economic factors in mind. For example, avoiding collapse is not sufficient for facilities that must remain functional immediately after an earthquake: hospitals, police stations, communication centers, and so on. Over the last 30 years, a large amount of research has been conducted into developing innovative earthquake-resistant systems in order to raise the safety level while keeping construction costs reasonable. Most of these systems are intended to dissipate the seismic energy introduced into the structure by supplemental damping mechanisms and/or to isolate the main structural elements from receiving this energy through isolation systems. The main objective of the course is to familiarize Structural Engineers with the various innovative systems that have demonstrated considerable potential through analytical studies, experimental testing and actual structural implementation. The discussion will focus on passive energy dissipation systems and base isolation systems. At the end of the course, Structural Engineers should be able to:

  • Provide a critical comparison of various systems. 
  • Model and design various systems with general structural engineering software. 
  • Recommend optimum systems for particular seismic design or retrofit projects.