Economic payback of improved detailing for concrete buildings with precast hollow-core floors
A seismic financial risk analysis of typical New Zealand reinforced concrete buildings constructed with topped precast concrete hollow-core units is performed on the basis of experimental research undertaken at the University of Canterbury over the last five years. An extensive study that examines seismic demands on a variety of multi-storey RC buildings is described and supplemented by the experimental results to determine the inter-storey drift capacities of the buildings. Results of a full-scale precast concrete super-assemblage constructed and tested in the laboratory in two stages are used. The first stage investigates existing construction and demonstrates major shortcomings in construction practice that would lead to very poor seismic performance. The second stage examines the performance of the details provided by Amendment No. 3 to the New Zealand Concrete Design Code NZS 3101:1995. This paper uses a probabilistic financial risk assessment framework to estimate the expected annual loss (EAL) from previously developed fragility curves of RC buildings with precast hollow core floors connected to the frames according to the pre-2004 standard and the two connection details recommended in the 2004 amendment. Risks posed by different levels of damage and by earthquakes of different frequencies are examined. The structural performance and financial implications of the three different connection details are compared. The study shows that the improved connection details recommended in the 2004 amendment give a significant economic payback in terms of drastically reduced financial risk, which is also representative of smaller maintenance cost and cheaper insurance premiums.