Event archive

Event Organiser: Society for Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics

The “earthquake-proof” building: development of an integrated low-damage system, London

  • Lecture
  • London
  • 28 November 2018
  • 18:00 - 19:45
The “earthquake-proof” building: development of an integrated low-damage system, London

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The 2010-2011 Canterbury (New Zealand) earthquake sequence has highlighted the severe mismatch between societal expectations over the reality of seismic performance of modern buildings.

A paradigm shift in performance-based design criteria and objective towards damage-control or low-damage design philosophy and technologies is urgently required.

The increased awareness by the general public/tenants, building owners, territorial authorities as well as insurers/reinsurers, of the severe economic impacts of moderate-strong earthquakes in terms of damage/dollars/downtime has indeed stimulated and facilitated the wider acceptance and implementation of cost-efficient damage-control, or low-damage, technologies. The ‘bar’ has been raised significantly with the request to fast track the development of what the general public would refer to as the “ultimate” earthquake resisting building system, capable of sustaining the shaking of a severe earthquake basically unscathed.

This presentation will provide an overview of recent advances towards a low-damage building system design. The design approach is developed within an integrated performance-based framework, that accounts for the performance of the skeleton of the superstructure, the non-structural components and the interaction with the soil/foundation system.

Examples of real on site-applications of such technology in New Zealand, using concrete, timber (engineered wood), steel or a combination of these materials, and featuring some of the latest innovative technical solutions developed in the laboratory will be presented. These form examples of the successful transfer of performance-based seismic design approach and advanced technology from theory to practice in line with the broader objective of Building Resilience.


Stefano Pampanin

University of Rome “La Sapienza; University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Stefano is Professor of Structural Engineering at the Dept. of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” since 2015. He has been Professor of Structural Design and Earthq. Engin. and Chair of the Struct. and Geotech. Cluster at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, which he joined in 2002. He is Past President of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (2012-2014), was nominated Fellow of IPENZ (Institute of Professional Engineers, NZ) in 2015 and Fellow of NZSEE in 2017.

In the past 20 years, he has dedicated a significant effort in the research and development, codification and practical implementation of innovative solutions for the seismic design of low-damage structural systems in concrete and timber, as well as for the seismic assessment and retrofit of existing RC structures.

He has been an active member of several national and international code/standard/guidelines committees, including: fib WG7.4&7.5, WG7.6, WG6.10, ACI440-F, NZS3101:2006 (Appendix B), Department of Building and Housing (DBH); revision of NZS3101 (concrete), NZS3603 (timber), NZSEE2016 guidelines on “Seismic Assessment of Existing Buildings”, Minister of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE). He is author of more than 450 scientific publications in the field of structural/ earthquake engineering and received several awards for his research activities.

Following the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquakes, he has played active and key roles in the recovery and post-earthquake investigation activities, e.g. as part of the Engineering Reference Group advising the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment on policy making related to the civil design and construction industry sector, Expert Panel of the Department of Building and Housing, investigating the collapse of critical buildings and reporting to the Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission of Enquiry.

Event venue

Institution of Civil Engineers
One Great George Street
London SW1P 3AA
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Shelly-Ann Russell

e: [email protected]