All new buildings nowadays have to be designed and executed to overcome any imposed type of loading (lateral/vertical). On a universal scale, the stock of buildings built before 1980’s is believed to be many times more than the number of newer buildings in most urban cities. In Beirut, as an example, a large proportion of Reinforced Concrete (RC) structures were constructed in the absence of mandatory earthquake design requirements, and unquestionably recognized as the type of construction most vulnerable to earthquakes. The performed research focused on how to evaluate the status of old building and how to design and execute the convenient seismic strengthening schemes. A case study has been selected to implement the evaluation process and design proposals. Conventional seismic upgrading technique has been assessed like the addition of shear walls in addition to more innovative approach which is the installation of steel bracing system. The strengthening schemes proposed aimed to create an ideal harmonization of the technical, economic and social aspects of the issue in hand. Analysis of the three structural systems (existing, modified with shear walls and with bracing systems) has been performed using the ETABS software including static equivalent, dynamic and pushover analyses. The research sorted out with a comparison between the systems based on different structural criteria followed by general recommendations and suggestions.
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