Construction and design defects in the residential buildings and observed earthquake damage types in Turkey
- Selcuk University, Engineering Faculty, Department of Civil Engineering, Konya, Turkey
Abstract. Turkey is situated in a very active earthquake region. In the last century, several earthquakes resulted in thousands of deaths and enormous economic losses. In 1999, the Kocaeli earthquake had an approximate death toll of more than 20 000, and in 2011 the Van earthquake killed 604 people. In general, Turkish residential buildings have reinforced concrete structural systems. These reinforced concrete structures have several deficiencies, such as low concrete quality, non-seismic steel detailing and inappropriate structural systems including several architectural irregularities. In this study, the general characteristics of Turkish building stock and the deficiencies observed in structural systems are explained, and illustrative figures are given with reference to the Turkish Earthquake Code 2007. The poor concrete quality, lack of lateral or transverse reinforcement in beam–column joints and column confinement zones, high stirrup spacings, under-reinforced columns and over-reinforced beams are the primary causes of failures. Other deficiencies include weak-column–stronger-beam formations, insufficient seismic joint separations, soft-story or weak-story irregularities and short columns. Similar construction and design mistakes are also observed in other countries situated on active earthquake belts. Existing buildings still have these undesirable characteristics, and so to prepare for future earthquakes they must be rehabilitated.