With the development and implementation of performance-based earthquake engineering, harmonization of performance levels between structural and non-structural elements becomes vital. Even if the structural elements of a building achieve a continuous or immediate occupancy performance level after a seismic event, failure of architectural, mechanical or electrical elements can lower the performance level of the entire building system. This reduction in performance caused by the vulnerability of non-structural elements has been observed during recent earthquakes in Italy and worldwide. Moreover, non-structural damage has limited the functionality of critical facilities, such as hospitals, following major seismic events. The investment in non-structural elements and building contents is far greater than that of structural elements and framing. Therefore, it is not surprising that in many past earthquakes, losses from damage to non-structural elements have exceeded losses from structural damage. Furthermore, the failure of non-structural elements can become a safety hazard or can hamper the safe movement of occupants evacuating buildings, or of rescue workers entering buildings. In comparison to structural elements and systems, there is relatively limited information on the seismic design of non-structural elements. Basic research work in this area has been sparse, and the available codes and guidelines are usually, for the most parts, based on past experiences, engineering judgment and intuition, rather than on objective experimental and analytical results. Often, design engineers must start almost from square one after each earthquake event: to observe what went wrong and to try to prevent repetitions. This is a consequence of the empirical nature of current seismic regulations and guidelines for non-structural elements.

Fourth International Workshop on Seismic Performance of Non-Structural Elements (SPONSE)

The Fourth International Workshop on Seismic Performance of Non-Structural Elements (SPONSE) will take place in Pavia (Italy) on the 22th and 23rd May, 2019. The Workshop is organized under the auspices of the European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering (EUCENTRE), the School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia and the SPONSE Association This event, which will take place in the Romanesque Church of St. Giacomo and Filippo of the of the CAR College in Pavia, will be a special opportunity to share experiences and to discuss about the actual state of knowledge related to the seismic performance of non-structural elements. The SPONSE Workshop attendees will also have the opportunity to attend the Fifth International Nigel Priestley Seminar, which will also be held in Pavia on the 23rd and 24th of May 2019. Please visti the following link for more information: 4sponseworkshop.sponse.eu/