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Evaluation of Structural Robustness against Column Loss: Methodology and Application to RC Frame Buildings



Yihai Bao, Joseph Main, Sam-Young Noh


A computational methodology is presented for evaluating structural robustness against column loss. The methodology is illustrated through application to reinforced concrete (RC) frame buildings, using a reduced-order modeling approach for three-dimensional RC framing systems that includes the floor slabs. Comparisons with high-fidelity finite-element model results are presented to verify the approach. Pushdown analyses of prototype buildings under column loss scenarios are performed using the reduced-order modeling approach, and an energy-based procedure is employed to account for the dynamic effects associated with sudden column loss. Results obtained using the energy-based approach are found to be in good agreement with results from direct dynamic analysis of sudden column loss. A metric for structural robustness is proposed, calculated by normalizing the ultimate capacities of the structural system under sudden column loss by the applicable service-level gravity loading and by evaluating the minimum value of this normalized ultimate capacity over all column removal scenarios. The procedure is applied to two prototype 10-story RC buildings, one employing intermediate moment frames (IMFs) and the other employing special moment frames (SMFs). The SMF building, with its more stringent seismic design and detailing, is found to have greater robustness.
Journal of Structural Engineering-ASCE


Analysis and computation, Buildings, Column loss, Disproportionate collapse, Finite-element method, Nonlinear analysis, Reinforced concrete structures.


Bao, Y. , Main, J. and Noh, S. (2017), Evaluation of Structural Robustness against Column Loss: Methodology and Application to RC Frame Buildings, Journal of Structural Engineering-ASCE, [online],, (Accessed April 12, 2024)
Created March 23, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021