Fundamentals of Seismic Design

Term: 2nd Semester – Academic Year 2020-2021

Instructor: Prof. R. Monteiro (in collaboration with Dr. G. O’Reilly)

Institution: IUSS Pavia

CFU: 6


Duration: Tentatively form 14.06.2021 to 14.07.2021

Schedule: TBA

Office hours: by appointment


The course startS with a brief review on the main aspects of the dynamic behaviour of linear and nonlinear single-degree-of-freedom systems, which represents the basis to understand seismic design. Afterwards, the conceptual seismic design of structures will be addressed. The core of the course will be the discussion of (largely enforced) force-based and (developing) displacement-based seismic design philosophies, focusing on the tools and steps required for their employment and verification. Capacity design principles, necessary to ensure a target hierarchy of ductile inelastic deformations will be explained with emphasis on the design and detailing of reinforced concrete structures with the adoption of Eurocode 8, amongst other codes and guidelines. Further attention will also be paid to the characterisation of the force-deformation behaviour of reinforced concrete structural elements as well as the modelling and analysis of reinforced concrete structures with nonlinear finite element approaches. Four homework assignments are foreseen, which will address the characterisation of the seismic input and the seismic design and detailing of a reinforced concrete structural wall building.


In addition to specific papers and handouts indicated/delivered during classes, the following general textbooks are recommended.


  • Chopra A., “Dynamics of Structures”, Prentice Hall, Third Edition, 2007
  • Clough R.W., Penzien J., “Dynamics of structures”, Computers & Structures Inc, 2003


  • Priestley, M.J.N., “Myths and Fallacies in Earthquake Engineering, Revisited”, Rose School, Pavia, 2003
  • Paulay, T. and Priestley, M.J.N., “Seismic Design of Reinforced Concrete and Masonry Buildings”, Wiley, 1992
  • Priestley, M.J.N., Calvi G.M. and Kowalsky, M.J., “Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Structures”, IUSS Press, 2007