Date of Award

Summer 7-25-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

First Advisor

Keith Porter

Second Advisor

Abbie Liel

Third Advisor

Petros Sideris


This thesis aims to identify a relationship between the probability of collapse of existing buildings subjected to MCE/MCER shaking and the mean number of collapses per expected building lifetime (τ) in regions of high and moderate seismicity. It encompasses 23 highly seismic locations and 21 moderately seismic locations spread across the United States and considers 35 different building types at each location. The study uses a risk integral to calculate an annual rate of collapse to use for comparison with collapse probabilities, and then uses the scoring system from FEMA 154 as a methodology to consistently compare the collapse rate with their corresponding probabilities of collapse. By identifying and then examining this relationship, this work also provides a more tangible way to interpret the scores assigned to existing buildings through the FEMA 154 procedure.