Probabilistic assessment of structural damage due to earthquakes for buildings in mid-America

Jong Wha Bai, Mary Beth D. Hueste, Paolo Gardoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides an approach to conduct a probabilistic assessment of structural damage due to seismic events with an application to typical building structures in mid-America. The developed methodology includes modified damage state classifications based on the Applied Technology Council (ATC)-13 and ATC-38 damage states and the ATC-38 database of building damage. Damage factors are assigned to each damage state to quantify structural damage as a percentage of structural replacement cost. To account for the inherent uncertainties, these factors are expressed as random variables with a Beta distribution. A set of fragility curves, quantifying the structural vulnerability of a building, is mapped onto the developed methodology to determine the expected structural damage. The total structural damage factor for a given seismic intensity is then calculated using a probabilistic approach. Prediction and confidence bands are also constructed to account for the prevailing uncertainties. The expected seismic structural damage is assessed for three types of building structures in the mid-American region using the developed methodology. In addition, a sensitivity analysis for the probabilistic parameters is conducted. The developed methodology provides a transparent procedure where the structural damage factors can be updated as additional seismic damage data becomes available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1155-1163
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Damage
  • Earthquakes
  • Probability
  • Seismic effects
  • Structural analysis
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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