Title: Myths and Fallacies in Earthquake Engineering--Conflicts Between Design and Reality
Author(s): M. J. N. Priestley
Publication: Symposium Paper
Appears on pages(s): 231-254
Keywords: capacity; earthquake-resistant structures; elastic analysis; flexural strength; shear properties; strength; structural design; Structural Research
Current practice in seismic analysis and design is examined in this paper, with particular reference to reinforced concrete structures. The attitude of the paper is deliberately iconoclastic, tilting at targets it is hoped will not be seen as windmills. It is suggested that current emphasis on strength-based design and ductility leads in directions that are not always rational. A pure displacement-based design approach is advanced as a viable alternative. Improvements resulting from increased sophistication of analyses are seen to be largely illusory. Energy absorption is shown to be a mixed blessing. Finally, accepted practices for flexural design, shear design, and development of reinforcement and the philosophic basis of capacity design are questioned.