Seismic Retrofit of Historic Iasi City Hall Building Using Seismic Protective Devices

Romania’s Iasi City Hall was originally constructed in the 1810’s in neo-classical Viennese style. It was modified in 1860’s and turned to the city hall in 1891. It is considered a cultural heritage building and was the Romanian Royal Family residence. The building framing is comprised of reinforced concrete floors, unreinforced masonry (URM) bearing walls, and stone masonry foundations. URM buildings are quite susceptible to earthquake damage. Iasi City Hall is no exception, as evidenced by damage during the 1977 Bucharest earthquake. The damage included large diagonal cracks in the URM walls, which were repaired by grout injection. The building did not experience large accelerations during the 1977 event. If a larger event, comparable with the intensities required by the current edition of the Romanian seismic code, occurs at this site, the result will be extensive damage and loss of functionality for the building. For this structure, the use of seismic isolation provides the optimum retrofit solution since 1) the reduced seismic demand would protect vulnerable structural and non-structural components, and 2) this option would eliminate the need for alterations above grade, thus preserving the historical features of the building. A system of isolators and sliders were used for the retrofit design. Analysis showed that the retrofit was effective, and the existing members would be able to resist the seismic demands resulting from said retrofit.

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