Reassessment of earthquake design philosophy in Australia after the Christchurch earthquake

Project Leader: Helen Goldsworthy
Staff: Helen Goldsworthy
Collaborators: Gary Gibson (Earth Sciences), Paul Somerville (Risk Frontiers, Macquarie University), Charles Clifton (University of Auckland), Shan Kumar (Aurecon), Peter McBean (Wallbridge and Gilbert)
Primary Contact: Helen Goldsworthy (
Keywords: infrastructure protection
Disciplines: Infrastructure Engineering
Domains: Optimisation of resources and infrastructure

The aim of this project is to develop the framework for changes in building codes in Australia that, over time, would reduce the potential for catastrophic losses from earthquakes in Australia. The proposed changes will use the framework of performance-based design based on quantitative estimation of the capacity of buildings to withstand strong ground motion. The construction costs entailed by the proposed changes will be estimated and compared with the reduction in earthquake losses (deaths, dollars and downtime) that they are expected to bring.  The estimation of losses will be based on new seismic hazard maps for Australia and newly developed capacity curves for buildings.

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