Earthquake-resistant buildings with steel or composite columns: comparative assessment using structural optimization

Georgios Papavasileiou, Dimos C. Charmpis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


This work investigates and compares the cost-effectiveness of seismically designed buildings having either pure steel or steel-concrete composite columns. In order to ensure an objective comparison of these two design approaches, the assessed building designs are obtained by a structural optimization procedure. Thus, any bias that would result from a particular designer’s capabilities, experience, and subjectivity is avoided. Hence, a discrete Evolution Strategies optimization algorithm is employed to minimize the total cost of materials (steel and concrete) used in a structure subject to constraints associated with: (a) Eurocode 4 provisions for safety of composite column-members, (b) Eurocode 3 provisions for safety of structural steel members, and (c) seismic system behaviour and resistance. Extensive assessments and comparisons are performed for a variety of seismic intensities, for a number of building heights and plan configurations, etc. Results obtained by conducting 154 structural design optimization runs provide insight into potential advantages attained by partially substituting steel (as a main structural material) with concrete when designing the columns of earthquake-resistant buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100988
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Early online date9 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2020


  • steel structure
  • composite structure
  • structural optimization
  • seismic design
  • Eurocode 3
  • Eurocode 4
  • pushover analysis
  • fundamental period
  • Pushover analysis
  • Fundamental period
  • Steel structure
  • Structural optimization
  • Seismic design
  • Composite structure


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