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Seismic Design of Nonstructural Building Components a.y. 2021/22


With the development and implementation of performance-based earthquake engineering, harmonization of performance levels between structural and nonstructural building components becomes vital. Even if the structural components of a building achieve a continuous or immediate occupancy performance level after a seismic event, failure of architectural, mechanical or electrical components can lower the performance level of the entire building system. This reduction in performance caused by the vulnerability of nonstructural building components has been observed during recent earthquakes worldwide. Moreover, nonstructural damage has limited the functionality of critical facilities, such as hospitals following major seismic events. The investment in nonstructural building components and building contents is far greater than that of structural components and framing. Therefore, it is not surprising that in many past earthquakes, losses from damage to nonstructural building components have exceeded losses from structural damage. Furthermore, the failure of nonstructural building components can become a safety hazard or can hamper the safe movement of occupants evacuating or of rescue workers entering buildings. In
comparison to structural components and systems, there is relatively limited information on the seismic design of nonstructural building components. Basic research work in this area has been sparse, and the available codes and guidelines are mostly based on experiences, engineering judgment and intuition, rather than on objective experimental and analytical results. Often, design engineers are forced to start almost from square one after each earthquake event: to observe what went wrong and to try to prevent repetitions. This is a consequence of the empirical nature of current seismic regulations and guidelines for nonstructural building components.

The main objective of the course is to familiarize Structural Engineers with current knowledge on the seismic design and analysis of nonstructural building components. At the end of the course, Structural Engineers should be able to:
• classify the various types of nonstructural building components and understand their performance during recent earthquakes;
• conduct seismic analysis of nonstructural building components by the direct and cascading methods;
• understand and apply correctly current regulations and guidelines for the seismic design and specifications of nonstructural building components in North America and Europe including the seismic qualification requirements for important nonstructural building components that have been introduced recently in building codes;
• conduct seismic qualification of nonstructural building components by testing, analysis or experience database according to recent building code requirements; and
• be familiar with the seismic performance and fragility of specific nonstructural building components and systems through the review of research case studies.



The lectures and project tutorials will be delivered online in real time and recorded. The lectures and the project tutorials are offered online via Zoom with no in-person requirements. The students are encouraged to participate in the live online lectures at the specific times. All the live online lectures and project tutorials will be recorded and will be available online on the course Dropbox for viewing at any time for the remainder of the semester.
Online Lectures on Zoom: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 14:00 to 18:30 (Italy Time).
Online Tutorials on Zoom: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 19:00 to 21:00 (Italy Time).
Zoom Link:
Meeting ID: 941 1439 4016
Passcode: 722075



André Filiatrault

Professore Ordinario di Tecnica delle costruzioni


Tipologia corso : Caratterizzante

Curriculum : Ingegneria Sismica e Sismologia

Periodo: Semestre I

Anno accademico: 2021-2022

Luogo : on line