Performance of high-rise buildings located in Manta during the 2016 Ecuador earthquake

June 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Reinforced Concrete Buildings

Roberto Aguiar(1) and Ana Gabriela Haro(2)

(1)  Professor, Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE, Sangolquí, Ecuador, P.O.BOX: 171-5-231B,

(2)  Ph.D. Candidate, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA,; M. EERI
       Professor, Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE, Sangolquí, Ecuador, P.O.BOX: 171-5-231B,


This paper describes the seismic performance of a reinforced concrete building located in the city of Manta during the April 16, 2016 Ecuador earthquake, which had a focal depth of 19.2 Km and a magnitude of 7.8. This 15-story building is representative of the high-rise buildings in Manta. The structure is composed of special moment resisting frames, lightened slabs and a central core wall standing on stiff soil. The design philosophy of structures in which certain type of damage is admitted according to the degree of seismic intensity is presented. The response spectrum for Manta was established based on the accelerations registered in a station located in the city. Subsequently, it was determined that minor structural damage in addition to mild to moderate damage on non-structural elements were expected. With the purpose of understanding the reason why more damage occurs in a building on certain floors than in others, the displacement profiles of two traditional structural systems, moment resisting frames and structural walls; and, two types of buildings with seismic isolators and dampers are presented. The analyzed building did not report structural damage during the earthquake of April 16, 2016. It only presented damage on masonry, classified between mild and moderate. A method to replace the heavy unreinforced brick walls in partitions is proposed, which leads to reduce dead loads and consequently the effect of seismic forces.

Key words: Reinforced concrete building. Seismic performance. 2016 Ecuador Earthquake.



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