Semester of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



In the last few decades, there has been an important increase in building high-rise constructions in many cities around the world. Since they offer several benefits in populous areas in terms of space efficiency, economy and sustainability, tower buildings attracted practitioners and researchers to understand better their exclusive behavior and response to natural hazards (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes). Because of their flexibility and their commonly limited damping, skyscrapers are more susceptible to wind and earthquake actions than low- and mid-rise buildings. Moreover, many locations are prone to multiple hazards; hence, it is important to understand thoroughly the structural behavior of structures undergoing the effect of each hazard separately in order to obtain better designs. In this study, the general methodology of performance-based loss assessment is applied to a hypothetical 74-story office building located in Miami, FL, and New Madrid, MO. Seismic hazard, wind hazard, and hurricane hazard are considered. The expected losses related to the seismic hazard are evaluated following the Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering (PBEE) framework proposed by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) center; whereas the Performance-Based Wind Engineering (PBWE) and the Performance-Based Hurricane Engineering (PBHE) frameworks are used to calculate the losses corresponding to wind- and hurricane-induced actions on the same building. The monetary losses considered include those due to damage to structural and non-structural components, as well as those due to occupants’ discomfort. The results from the two analyses are compared to each other to form a consistent foundation for future investigations of the appropriate mitigation techniques (e.g., using dampers) to minimize the total expected losses for the considered building when taking into account both hazards. This research is a first step toward a general approach to multi-hazard performance-based engineering and uniform risk design for multiple hazards.



Committee Chair

Barbato, Michele