Expected earthquake damage and repair costs in reinforced concrete frame buildings

C. M. Ramirez, A. B. Liel, J. Mitrani-Reiser, C. B. Haselton, A. D. Spear, J. Steiner, G. G. Deierlein, E. Miranda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


This study examines the expected cost of repairing earthquake damage in a set of 30 archetype reinforced concrete moment frame buildings. Varying in height from 1 to 20 stories, these archetype buildings are representative of office buildings with special RC moment frames, designed according to modern seismic codes. Economic losses associated with repair are computed using a performance-based earthquake engineering framework, which integrates the site-specific seismic hazard, structural response, damage to building components and contents, and the resulting repair costs. Results are presented in terms of expected losses under the design basis earthquake, expected annual losses, and present value of life cycle losses. Expected annual economic losses for the set of RC frame buildings are approximately 1.0% of building replacement cost for the high seismic California site considered. Repair costs are shown to vary significantly depending on building height and other architectural and structural design parameters. These metrics provide important information about the level of economic losses expected in code-conforming structures and the effect of design decisions on the earthquake losses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1455-1475
Number of pages21
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Earthquake loss estimation
  • Performance based design
  • Reinforced concrete buildings
  • Repair costs
  • Seismic performance assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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