Reliability of woodframe residential construction subjected to earthquakes

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Most housing in the United States is light-frame wood construction (90% nationally, and 99% in California). Residential construction in the United States typically has received little or no structural engineering. The performance of wood residential construction to earthquake effects was apparent in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, and underlines the need for new approaches to enhance building performance through improved prediction, evaluation and design methods. In this paper, methods of stochastic nonlinear dynamic analysis are used to simulate the behavior of lateral force-resisting shear wall systems typically found in residential construction subjected to earthquakes. The probability that shear wall drift limits are exceeded for uniform hazard earthquake ground motions with various return periods and intensities can be estimated from this analysis and can be related to performance levels for residential occupancy that have been suggested in concurrent research on performance-based engineering. The probability of failure under a spectrum of possible earthquakes is determined by convolving the structural fragility derived from the above analysis with the seismic hazard specified by the US Geological Survey. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Structural Safety