CEG8308 : Seismic Resistant Design

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To develop skills in problem solving, with special emphasis on the design of earthquake resistant high-rise buildings. To develop the ability to choose efficient structural systems and structural layouts.
To be able to design sophisticated structural systems such as those used in high-rise construction.
To design buildings to resist extreme loadings such as earthquake loadings.

Designing structures to resist seismic loads is probably the most challenging area of structural engineering. Not only is the magnitude of the forces generated by an earthquake the largest that the building is likely to experience, but they are also much more destructive, much more unpredictable and much more difficult to characterise. For these reasons earthquakes cause tremendous damage to life and infrastructure even in countries that have modern construction codes and practices. This module introduces students to seismicity and to the dynamics that are relevant to the design of buildings. It also teaches students how to design and detail structures to resist earthquake forces and how to perform ground response analyses in order to predict ground surface motions for development of design response spectra. The assessment is by means of coursework where students are required to design a high-rise building for earthquake forces. Information about structural systems for high-rise buildings and structural modelling of high-rise buildings is also covered in this module.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures, project based learning, example classes and design exercises will be used to cover the following areas:
Introduction to earthquake engineering, case studies of previous earthquakes, seismicity, introduction to structural dynamics, principles of earthquake resistant design, introduction to Eurocode 8 and earthquake loadings, quasi static load approach, response spectrum methods, response history analysis, serviceability and ultimate limit states for structures in seismic regions, soil characterisation for seismic design, liquefaction and response of granular materials to dynamic forces, amplification of ground motions and response of cohesive materials to dynamic forces, ground response analysis, soil structure interaction, introduction to high-rise building design, financial considerations for high-rise buildings, influence of other consultants on the design process, structural systems for high-rise buildings, structural engineering software, computer modelling of high-rise buildings and presentation of results, Design and detailing of seismic resistant members and connections for reinforced concrete and steel structures, tsunami.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture143:0042:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion420:3021:00Preparation for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical43:0012:00Computer practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1100:00100:00Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of material
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Teaching and learning is enabled through a project based learning approach. The fundamentals of seismic resistant design are introduced and developed through a design exercise. Problem solving and design based skills are developed through small group teaching exercises and computer practical classes. These computer classes develop the student's computer abilities in specialist engineering software and in self-learning and validation of software as well as verification of computer solutions. Initiative is developed through directed self-learning and reading. Extra lectures are presented to fill in gaps that may not be covered by the design exercise.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A70Unseen written examination
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M30Students will be expected to submit a 10 page report. The equivalent of approximately 15hrs work.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The coursework is intended to develop students' skill in the practical aspects of seismic resistant design. The emphasis in this module is on the use of structural and geotechnical analysis software. The coursework not only tests the students' ability to design earthquake resistant structures, but also assesses their ability to model complex structural systems and present data generated from specialist engineering software in a form that is easy to interpret. The exam is designed to check that all learning outcomes associated with the module have been achieved.

Reading Lists