Non-structural elements represent most of the total construction cost of typical buildings. A significant portion of the total losses in recent earthquakes worldwide, has been attributed to damage to non-structural elements. Damage to non-structural elements occurs at low levels of ground shaking, and can significantly affect the post-earthquake functionality of buildings. However, in Europe, limited prescriptions are provided in the codes for seismic design of non-structural elements and this may partially explain why it is so common for these elements to perform poorly during earthquakes. This paper describes the observed damage to non-structural elements following the 2016 Central Italy earthquake. The most commonly damaged elements were partition walls, ceiling systems, non-structural vaults, chimneys, and storage racks. As a result, it was highlighted the need to introduce seismic regulations devoted to improving the seismic performance of non-structural elements and to reduce the associated economic losses, loss of functionality, and potential threats to life safety.
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