Progressive collapse of multi-storey buildings due to sudden column loss - Part I: Simplified assessment framework

B. A. Izzuddin, A. G. Vlassis, A. Y. Elghazouli, D. A. Nethercot

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

703 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a novel simplified framework for progressive collapse assessment of multi-storey buildings, considering sudden column loss as a design scenario. The proposed framework offers a practical means for assessing structural robustness at various levels of structural idealisation, and importantly it takes the debate on the factors influencing robustness away from the generalities towards the quantifiable. A major feature of the new approach is its ability to accommodate simplified as well as detailed models of the nonlinear structural response, with the additional benefit of allowing incremental assessment over successive levels of structural idealisation. Three main stages are utilised in the proposed assessment framework, including the determination of the nonlinear static response, dynamic assessment using a novel simplified approach, and ductility assessment. The conceptual clarity of the proposed framework sheds considerable light on the adequacy of commonly advocated measures and indicators of structural robustness, culminating in the proposal of a single rational measure of robustness that is applicable to building structures subject to sudden column loss. The companion paper details the application of the new approach to progressive collapse assessment of real steel-framed composite multi-storey buildings, making in the process important conclusions on the inherent robustness of such structures and the adequacy of current design provisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1308-1318
Number of pages11
JournalEngineering Structures
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Column failure
  • Design-oriented method
  • Extreme events
  • Key vertical element
  • Multi-storey buildings
  • Progressive collapse
  • Robustness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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