JDR Vol.15 No.1 pp. 9-19
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2020.p0009


Evaluation of Seismic Vulnerability Indices for Low-Rise Reinforced Concrete Buildings Including Data from the 6 February 2016 Taiwan Earthquake

Santiago Pujol*,†, Lucas Laughery*, Aishwarya Puranam*, Pedram Hesam**, Li-Hui Cheng*, Alana Lund*, and Ayhan Irfanoglu*

*Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University
550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA

Corresponding author

**Hinman Consulting Engineers, Inc., California, USA

September 3, 2018
January 9, 2019
February 1, 2020
reinforced concrete, earthquake, vulnerability, Taiwan

Communities need seismic vulnerability indices to identify which buildings are most susceptible to severe damage during earthquakes. To be of greatest value, these indices should be easy to use and should be vetted against data from previous earthquakes. To date, more than 800 reinforced concrete buildings have been surveyed after earthquakes for the purpose of evaluating a seismic vulnerability index proposed by Hassan and Sozen in 1997. This number includes 130 buildings surveyed after the 6 February 2016 earthquake in Taiwan. The data collected during these surveys consist of descriptions and photographs of damage, structural sketches, and measurements. Analyses of the data indicate that probability of severe damage and failure increases with decreasing column index and wall index (normalized measures of column and wall areas). They also suggest that the exact form of the threshold used to distinguish more vulnerable structures from less vulnerable structures is of little consequence in terms of the probable cost and benefits of the strengthening program this threshold may inform.

Cite this article as:
S. Pujol, L. Laughery, A. Puranam, P. Hesam, L. Cheng, A. Lund, and A. Irfanoglu, “Evaluation of Seismic Vulnerability Indices for Low-Rise Reinforced Concrete Buildings Including Data from the 6 February 2016 Taiwan Earthquake,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.15 No.1, pp. 9-19, 2020.
Data files:
  1. [1] S. Pujol et al., “Performance of Reinforced Concrete Buildings in the 2016 Taiwan (Meinong) Earthquake,” DataCenterHub, 2016, [accessed January 18, 2019]
  2. [2] S. Pujol et al., “Performance of Reinforced Concrete Buildings in the 2016 Taiwan (Meinong) Earthquake,” Version 1.0, Purdue University Research Repository, doi: 10.4231/R7M32SZ3, 2017, [accessed January 18, 2019]
  3. [3] A. F. Hassan and M. A. Sozen, “Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of Low-Rise Buildings in Regions with Infrequent Earthquakes,” ACI Structural J., Vol.94, Issue 1, pp. 31-39, 1997.
  4. [4] Google Maps, [accessed January 18, 2019]
  5. [5] T. Shiga, A. Shibata, and T. Takahashi, “Earthquake Damage and Wall Index of Reinforced Concrete Buildings,” Proc. of the 12th Tohoku District Symp., pp. 29-32, 1968 (in Japanese).
  6. [6] G. Ozcebe, J. Ramirez, S. T. Wasti, and A. Yakut (Eds.), “1 May 2003 Bingol Earthquake – Engineering Report,” Report to U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), 2003.
  7. [7] C. Dönmez and S. Pujol, “Spatial Distribution of Damage Caused by the 1999 Earthquakes in Turkey,” Earthquake Spectra, Vol.21, No.1, pp. 53-69, 2005.
  8. [8] C. Sim, C. Song, N. Skok, A. Irfanoglu, S. Pujol, and M. Sozen, “Database of low-rise reinforced concrete buildings with earthquake damage,” 2015, [accessed January 18, 2019]
  9. [9] P. O’Brien, M. Eberhard, O. Haraldsson, A. Irfanoglu, D. Lattanzi, S. Lauer, and S. Pujol, “Measures of the Seismic Vulnerability of Reinforced Concrete Buildings in Haiti,” Earthquake Spectra, Vol.27, Issue S1, pp. S373-S386, 2011.
  10. [10] W. Zhou, W. Zheng, and S. Pujol, “Seismic Vulnerability of Reinforced Concrete Structures Affected by the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake,” Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, Vol.11, Issue 6, pp. 2079-2104, 2013.
  11. [11] N. R. Skok, “Evaluation of Collapse Indicators for Seismically Vulnerable Reinforced Concrete Buildings,” Master Thesis, Purdue University, 2014.
  12. [12] M. A. Sözen, “Surrealism in Facing the Earthquake Risk,” A. Ilki and M. N. Fardis (Eds.), “Seismic Evaluation and Rehabilitation of Structures,” pp. 1-13, Springer International Publishing, 2014.
  13. [13] ACI Committee 314, “314R-16 Guide to Simplified Design for Reinforced Concrete Buildings,” American Concrete Institute (ACI), 2016.
  14. [14] P. Shah, S. Pujol, M. Kreger, and A. Irfanoglu, “2015 Nepal Earthquake,” Concrete Int., Vol.39, Issue 3, pp. 42-49, 2017.
  15. [15] C. Song, “Seismic Assessment of Vulnerable Reinforced Concrete Structures,” Ph.D. Thesis, Purdue University, 2016.
  16. [16] C. Cuadra, T. Saito, and C. Zavala, “Diagnosis for Seismic Vulnerability Evaluation of Historical Buildings in Lima, Peru,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.8, No.2. pp. 320-327, 2013.
  17. [17] S. Pujol, J. A. Ramirez, and A. Sarria, “Behavior of Low-Rise Reinforced Concrete Buildings,” Concrete Int., Vol.22, Issue 1, pp. 40-44, 2000.
  18. [18] T. L. Youd, J.-P. Bardet, and J. D. Bray (Guest Editors), “Kocaeli, Turkey, Earthquake of August 17, 1999 – Reconnaissance Report,” Earthquake Spectra, Vol.16, Supplement A, 2000.
  19. [19] N. M. Newmark and W. J. Hall, “Earthquake Spectra and Design,” Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), 103pp., 1982.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Jun. 19, 2024