Assessment of Damage to Residential Buildings Caused by the Northridge Earthquake, 1994
This report evaluates the performance of single-family homes and low-rise multifamily buildings during the 1994 Northridge, CA earthquake, and identifies the nature and extent of damage those homes suffered. The primary purpose of the report is to provide a statistically-based representation of the seismic performance of residential construction relative to local construction characteristics. In addition, case studies of more extreme failures provide insight into the causes of life-threatening performance problems. The report found that single-family homes suffered minimal damage to elements that are critical to the safety of occupants. Structural damage was most common in the foundation system. Stuctural damage to multifamily construction was notably more dramatic and costly in terms of lives. The most striking structural failures were associated with older multifamily buildings situated on soft-story garage foundations.