Exactly 32 years after its largest earthquake, Mexico City sustained extensive damage from a combination of trepidatory and oscillatory quakes. On Sept. 19, 2017, the combined 7.1 and 8.2 Richter scale measurements made the 2017 quake the second largest in Mexican history.
The process of evaluating and designing the retrofit of existing buildings differs from the conventional structural design of new buildings. The current state-of-the-art analysis and design approach for the seismic evaluation of existing buildings is founded on a performance-based philosophy. There are two parts to a performance-based analysis and design.
First, there is the establishment of a performance objective. This answers the question for the designer and the owner, “What degree of damage to the building am I willing to tolerate in the event of an earthquake?” It is not economically feasible to design all buildings to a performance objective that limits all damage or allows the building to remain fully operational and allow immediate occupancy following an earthquake. Therefore, performance objectives exist that allow a certain degree of damage to occur while still protecting life safety and preventing building collapse.