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Evaluation of Housing Performance and Seismic Design Implication in the Northridge Earthquake



Release Date: 
June 1999 (13 pages)
Posted Date:   
June 1, 1999



In this study, the "experience" of conventional residential construction is evaluated with respect to the performance of wall systems and the risks associated with earthquakes using a scientifically sound approach. Major seismic events cause damage to lateral resisting wall systems in conventional wood-frame construction. Therefore, understanding the performance of residential construction with respect to seismic hazards. The objective of this report is to evaluate the actual performance of homes during the Northridge earthquake using statistical data on key design factors such as construction characteristics and ground motions. The current approach to seismic design is also evaluated by investigating the existence and strength of certain cause-and-effect relationships that are believed to be fundamental to the science of seismic design. The intent of this paper is to approach the experience of the Northridge Earthquake using a scientifically sound methodology to improve the understanding of key design factors. The findings are particularly valuable in that they based on a statistically representative sample of the housing stock and its performance during the Northridge Earthquake.