Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration
revision of seismic design codes
Wenchuan earthquake; earthquake damage to buildings; revision of seismic design codes
A large number of buildings were seriously damaged or collapsed in the “5.12” Wenchuan earthquake. Based on field surveys and studies of damage to different types of buildings, seismic design codes have been updated. This paper briefl y summarizes some of the major revisions that have been incorporated into the “Standard for classification of seismic protection of building constructions GB50223-2008” and “Code for Seismic Design of Buildings GB50011-2001.” The definition of seismic fortification class for buildings has been revisited, and as a result, the seismic classifications for schools, hospitals and other buildings that hold large populations such as evacuation shelters and information centers have been upgraded in the GB50223-2008 Code. The main aspects of the revised GB50011-2001 code include: (a) modification of the seismic intensity specified for the Provinces of Sichuan, Shanxi and Gansu; (b) basic conceptual design for retaining walls and building foundations in mountainous areas; (c) regularity of building configuration; (d) integration of masonry structures and pre-cast RC floors; (e) requirements for calculating and detailing stair shafts; and (f) limiting the use of single-bay RC frame structures. Some significant examples of damage in the epicenter areas are provided as a reference in the discussion on the consequences of collapse, the importance of duplicate structural systems, and the integration of RC and masonry structures.