The earthquake that shook Mexico City on 19 September 1985, destroyed several hundred buildings and took thousands of lives. Two buildings located in the most highly damaged part of the city experienced strong shaking, but suffered only slight damage. These reinforced concrete frame buildings had been retrofit with steel bracing systems and infill reinforced concrete walls prior to the earthquake. Force vibration tests, analytical studies and geotechnical investigations for each building have been conducted. The results indicate that the steel bracing systems strengthened the buildings and stiffened them, moving their natural periods away from the 2.0-second predominant ground period in that part of the city. Implications for the design of strengthening systems have been determined.
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