Building pounding damage observed in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake
This paper describes the pounding damage sustained by buildings in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Approximately 6% of buildings in Christchurch CBD were observed to have suffered some form of serious pounding damage. Typical and exceptional examples of building pounding damage are presented and discussed. Almost all building pounding damage occurred in unreinforced masonry buildings, highlighting their vulnerability to this phenomenon. Modern buildings were found to be vulnerable to pounding damage where overly stiff and strong ‘flashing’ components were installed in existing building separations. Soil variability is identified as a key aspect that amplifies the relative movement of buildings, and hence increases the likelihood of pounding damage. Building pounding damage is compared to the predicted critical pounding weaknesses that have been identified in previous analytical research.