Low Damage Design

Citing the words in the PRESS Design handbook (Pampanin et al., 2010): “Major advances have been observed in the last decade in seismic engineering with further refinements of performance-based seismic design philosophies and the definition of corresponding compliance criteria. Following the worldwide recognized expectation and ideal aim to provide a modern society with high (seismic) performance structures able to sustain a design level earthquake with limited or negligible damage, emerging solutions have been developed for high-performance, still cost-effective, seismic resisting systems, based on adequate combination of traditional materials and available technology.”

The PRESSS system

“One of those is the PREcast Seismic Structural System (PRESSS), developed at the University of California, San Diego (Priestley, 1991, 1996; Priestley et al. 1999). In this system, precast elements are jointed together through unbonded post-tensioning tendons/strands or bars. The inelastic demand is accommodated within the connection itself (beam-column, column to foundation or wall-to-foundation critical interface), through the opening and closing of an existing gap (rocking motion) while reduced level of damage, when compared to equivalent cast-in-place solutions.”

My experience

I had the incredible opportunity to learn how to design such kind of structures in a course at the ROSE school in Pavia, called “Seismic Design of Low-Damage Concrete and Timber Buildings” by professor Stefano Pampanin.

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