Seismic design and construction practice in Turkey

Prior to the 1999 earthquakes, two codes governed the design and construction of reinforced concrete and masonry buildings in Turkey: Turkish Earthquake Code (1998) and the Turkish Building Code, TS-500 (1985). The earthquake code included procedures for calculating earthquake loads on buildings. The ductility requirements and details described in the earthquake code were rarely observed in religious or monumental structures inspected by the authors after the 1999 earthquakes. Details of the seismic design and building construction practice prior to the 1999 earthquakes are provided in Sezen et al. (2003). The descriptions of ground motion characteristics, structural damage, and performance of structures during these earthquakes are provided in Sezen et al. (2003). Response spectra for selected acceleration histories for 5% damping are presented in Figure 1. The ground motions included in Figure 1 were recorded at: SKR station in Adapazari (Peak Ground Acceleration, PGA 0.41g, stiff soil); YPT station in Yarimca (PGA 0.23g, soft soil); and DZC station in Düzce (PGAs: EW-Aug.17 0.36g, NS-Aug.17 0.31g, EW-Nov.12 0.54g, and NSNov.

12 0.35g, soft soil). Figure 1 also provides a comparison between the linear elastic acceleration response spectra calculated for rock and that calculated for soft soil sites using the provisions of the Uniform Building Code (UBC, 1997) and those of the Turkish seismic code (1998) with 5 percent damping for the highest seismicity in the United States and in Turkey, respectively. From Figure 1, it can be concluded that, for a structure with given periods of vibration, the difference between the base shear calculated using the 1998 Turkish seismic code and the base shear demand obtained from the recorded acceleration response spectra do not differ significantly. If the static lateral load distribution over the height is suggested by the code is assumed to be credible, structures designed and detailed according to the Turkish code should not have collapsed or suffered severe damage during the 1999 earthquakes.
Specifically, according to Figure 1, a structure with a fundamental period of 0.5 seconds would be subjected to seismic forces larger than those specified in the code. The period of older masonry structures with thick and shorter walls tends to be relatively small, probably 0.5 seconds or less. On the other hand, the minarets or very slender towers tend to be very flexible with relatively large fundamental periods. Figure 1 shows that the recorded spectral accelerations are significantly large at large periods. The authors field observations after the 1999 earthquakes, especially the November 12 Duzce earthquake (DZC), showed more damage in slender structures like minarets. In addition, among other factors leading to inadequate performance, the extent of damage observed in most reinforced concrete structures including minarets after the 1999 earthquakes is probably related to poor engineering and lack of conformance to the relatively new Turkish seismic code.

1 thought on “Seismic design and construction practice in Turkey”

  1. Dear Sir,

    I have project G+10 Height 30 m Above Nutural existing Level, as I do not have Proper Detailed Soil Report, I need your Help to provide me parameter to be used in ETABS model in English language.

    your Special efforts are appreciated.



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