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July 1, 2022

Comparative Environmental Analysis of Seismic Damage in Buildings

Huang, M.; Simonen, K. (2020). Comparative Environmental Analysis of Seismic Damage in Buildings. Journal Of Structural Engineering, 146(2).

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In studying the environmental impacts of buildings, earthquake hazards are rarely considered, but their environmental impacts can be significant. This case study paper demonstrates how the US Federal Emergency Management Agency's Performance Assessment Calculation Tool (PACT) can be used to analyze the environmental impacts of buildings using probabilistic seismic hazard assessment. PACT was used to evaluate 10 case study buildings that varied by five types of lateral systems and two risk categories. For each building, PACT generated 1,000 realizations at five earthquake intensities. The resulting environmental impacts were analyzed according to their distribution, median, and average values, and the differences among building component types, risk categories, and lateral force-resisting systems were explored. In this study, building components that were categorized under Exterior Enclosures, Interior Finishes, and Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) produced notably higher environmental impacts in response to seismic damage, and their vulnerability to displacement- or acceleration-induced damage could be attributed to the characteristics of the lateral systems. Although these observations are notable, they should not be taken as universally applicable to all buildings. Instead, these findings exemplify how the environmental impact results from PACT can be analyzed and interpreted to address both the seismic and environmental aspects of building design. (C) 2019 American Society of Civil Engineers.