STRUCTURAL OPTIMIZATION AND LIFE-CYCLE SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT OF REINFORCED CONCRETE BUILDINGS IN SEISMIC REGIONS
Hossain, Kazi Ashfaq
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Recent devastating natural hazards worldwide have underscored hazard resilience as an important component of sustainability. This thesis presents a comprehensive sustainability quantification methodology for reinforced concrete (RC) buildings subjected to earthquakes by developing and using a new life-cycle assessment (LCA) framework. The sustainability components: cost associated with various stages (economic aspects), environmental emissions and waste generations (environmental aspects), and downtime (social aspects), are quantified as a part of this LCA framework. Although initial construction phase has a significant contribution to cost and environmental impact, future structural performance plays an important role by affecting repair cost, environmental impact due to repair activity, and death and downtime due to unsatisfactory performance. A structural optimization problem is introduced within the sustainability assessment framework for achieving optimality in seismic design. The proposed approach is novel because it incorporates all essential components of sustainability: economy, environment and society within the same framework, and because it assigns, for the first time, these components as performance objectives in order to obtain optimality in life-cycle performance. The developed sustainability assessment framework and structural optimization methodology is applied to a case study building to illustrate the benefits of the proposed approach in reducing the lifetime impacts of RC buildings subjected to earthquakes.