The Influence of Dowel-Pin Connections on the Seismic Fragility Assessment of RC Precast Industrial Buildings

Pardo Antonio Mezzapelle*, Agnese Scalbi, Francesco Clementi, Stefano Lenci
Department of Civil and Building Engineering, and Architecture (DICEA) Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy

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Creative Commons License
© 2017 Mezzapelle et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil and Building Engineering, and Architecture (DICEA) Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona (Italy), Tel: +39 071 2204569, Fax: +39 071 2204556; E-mail:



Recent major earthquakes in the centre of the Italy, between August and October 2016, have reaffirmed the seismic vulnerability of precast industrial buildings with a lot of collapse recorded. This is typical due to the past Italian building practices, where structural deficiencies are mainly related to the capacity to transfer horizontal forces between primary structural elements.

Objectives and Methods:

In these types of structures, a key role is played by the dowel pin connections which allow to transfer lateral horizontal forces from the beam to the column, without losing load carrying capacity. For this reason, in this work, the assessment of the seismic fragility of single-story reinforced concrete precast building located not far from the epicentres of the two aforementioned earthquakes was done.

Results and Conclusion:

The seismic risk was evaluated in terms of annual frequency of exceedance for three performance levels provided by the European and Italian seismic codes, considering the mean hazard curves for the site. The comparison between the fragility of different structural models shows the importance in the choice of the column-beam connection modelling to obtain reliable results on the structural safety assessment.

Keywords: Centre Italy Earthquake, Precast Industrial Buildings, Dowel Pin Connections, Fragility Curves, Seismic Risk, Performance Levels, Connection Modelling.