A task committee comprised of local structural engineers and earthquake engineering experts from abroad was formed to assess the seismic performance of public schools in under auspices of this group; a guideline has been developed better assess the existing conditions and develop retrofit options for school and hospital buildings in Istanbul. The project is financed by a World Bank (WB) loan and is implemented through the Istanbul Special Provincial Administration (ISPA). The ISMEP project started on 1 February 1, 2006, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. The Istanbul Project Coordination Unit (IPCU), established under ISPA, is responsible for implementing the ISMEP. The Guideline is based on provisions of the ASCE 41 and Turkish earthquake code and is purposed to address the seismic design requirements for hospital and school facilities in Istanbul and recommends effective retrofit measures. Many such buildings were constructed prior to adoption of seismic codes and use non‐ductile concrete moment frames and unreinforced masonry walls to resist earthquake loading. Recent earthquakes in Indonesia (2007) and China (2008) have shown that this type of construction is particularly sensitive to earthquake damage and even complete collapse due to the inadequate design and construction practices. Such vulnerability caused loss of life of thousands of students in China. The provisions of the guidelines are written to be easy to follow and implement. The engineer is charged with condition assessment, followed by analysis and determination of deficiencies. Both conventional and state‐of‐the‐art retrofit measures are discussed in detail. The document also provides suggested retrofit measures for different building groups. It is hoped that the implementation of this guideline will drastically reduce the level of damage and loss of life in the public buildings during the next earthquake.
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