College of Architecture and Environmental Design


Architectural Engineering Department

Degree Name

BS in Architectural Engineering




Dr. Anahid Behrouzi


The author of this document is an undergraduate student at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) who was deployed to Mexico City to participate in reconnaissance efforts October 27th to November 4th, 2017 as part of a larger group of academics and professionals. The work was funded through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant #1811084 “The Effects of the 2017 Central Mexico Earthquake on Reinforced Concrete Buildings” with the overarching objective of collecting data on reinforced concrete building damage for understanding and further improving the seismic performance of these structures and the resilience of communities.

This report details structural damage seen in the 2017 Mexico City Earthquake and conclusions made from analysis of damage data related to: building characteristics, geotechnical zones, and peak spectral accelerations. The document focuses on three case study buildings documented and observed by the author to illustrate common types of severe structural damage observed in Mexico City:

  • Pounding damage due to buildings built within proximity to one another.
  • Damage to columns due to vertical stiffness irregularities leading to soft stories.
  • Torsional damage due to re-entrant corner irregularities.

Specifically this report examines distributions of story height, age of buildings, design irregularities as related to damage levels/failures seen after the 2017 earthquake and any available data from pre and post 1985 earthquake investigations. The major lessons learned were how damaging irregularities in a structure can be as well as the impact code benchmarks have in the progression of structural engineering for areas with high seismicity. These preliminary analyses indicated a need for more investigation in the area of sustainable and economical retrofit possibilities for soft story structures as well as additional experimental tests on unreinforced masonry retrofit solutions.