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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2008, Article ID 438379, 19 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Two Mechanics-Based Methods for Simplified Structural Analysis in Vulnerability Assessment

1European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering (EUCENTRE), Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy
2Dipartimento di Meccanica Strutturale, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Received 8 April 2008; Accepted 28 June 2008

Academic Editor: Amr Elnashai

Copyright © 2008 H. Crowley et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Analytical vulnerability assessment methods should ideally be validated or verified by comparing their damage predictions with actual observed damage data. However, there are a number of difficulties related to the comparison of analytical damage predictions with observed damage; for example, there are large uncertainties related to the prediction of the ground motions to which the damaged buildings have been subjected. Until such problems can be resolved, it is worthwhile considering the mechanics of simplified analytical vulnerability assessment methods and validating this part of the methodology through comparisons with detailed structural models. This paper looks at two mechanics-based vulnerability assessment methods (DBELA and SP-BELA) and compares the nonlinear static response predicted with these methods with finite elements-based nonlinear analyses of prototype buildings. A comparison of the predicted response of urban populations of buildings using the two methods is then carried out, and the influence of these differences on vulnerability curves is studied.