Earthquake Resistant Design of Buildings

Subject 421-612 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours; Non-contact time commitment: 120 hours
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: 421-695 Extreme Loading of Structures
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Helen Margaret Goldsworthy


Dr Helen Goldsworthy
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Phone: +61 3 8344 7255
Subject Overview: This subject introduces to the students the fundamental concepts and practice of earthquake resistant design of buildings from an international perspective. Topics covered include plate tectonics and seismicity, structural response to earthquake ground motions, design philosophy and design applications to buildings including domestic buildings, assessment and retrofitting of existing buildings, and performance of non-structural components and building contents. One part of the subject is devoted to the design and assessment issues in regions of low and moderate seismic activity.
Objectives: On successful completion, students will be able to:
  • describe seismicity of the world and the role of plate tectonics;
  • accurately interpret response spectrum presented in the different formats including the Acceleration-Displacement Response Spectrum (ADRS) diagram for quantifying the potential seismic hazards on the infrastructure;
  • accurately interpret performance limit states;
  • undertake seismic design and assessment of building structures using both the force-based methods and displacement-based methods including the Capacity Response Spectrum Method and the Substitute-Structure Method;
  • employ capacity design principles and the concept of strength hierarchies to ensure that the structure responds to an earthquake in the desirable way. Apply this concept to the design of a range of structural systems for buildings including moment resisting frames of reinforced concrete, steel and composite construction, reinforced concrete structural walls, and concentric or eccentrically braced steel frames;
  • select and apply the appropriate energy dissipation or base-isolation device for mitigating seismically induced damage to a building;
  • predict damage to un-reinforced masonry buildings and identify the vulnerable features;
  • assess existing building structures and provide plans for their effective retrofitting.
  • assess seismic performance of vulnerable buildings and components in regions of low and moderate seismicity taking into account the effects of soil resonance and identify effective means of retrofitting;
  • assess seismic performance of non-structural components and building contents and identify effective measures to mitigate potential damage.
Assessment: One 3-hour written exam (70%) and two written assignments each of 1,000 to 2,000 word-equivalents (2 x 15%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts: Priestley, M.J.N., Calvi, G.M., and Kowalsky, M.J., “Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Structures”, IUSS PRESS, Pavia, ITALY, 2007.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject replaces:
421-612 Earthquake Resistant Design of Buildings

Related Course(s): Master of Engineering Structures

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