of the 8th World Seminar on Seismic Isolation, Energy Dissipation and Active Vibration Control of Structures



to the Governments, International Institutions and Decision Makers

in Construction Policy of Earthquake Prone Countries






The 8th World Seminar, dedicated to the 15th Anniversary of the 1988 Spitak Earthquake, is the first official event of the recently established Anti-Seismic Systems International Society (ASSISi). This Seminar was organized by the American University of Armenia (AUA) together with ASSISi, Armenian Association for Earthquake Engineering (AAEE) and Task Group 5 on Seismic Isolation of Structures of the European Association for Earthquake Engineering (EAEE-TG5) based on the increasing success of previous Seminars and according to the recommendations made by participants in the Closing Panel of the last Seminar at ASSISi, Italy in 2001.


The decision to hold the 8th World Seminar in Yerevan was made in recognition of the achievements in the field of modern anti-seismic (MAS) technologies in the Republic of Armenia and considering the following:


-       Armenia is the only developing country where seismic isolation (SI) is highly developed especially for apartment buildings, schools and hospitals. Here, for the first time in the world, the existing apartment buildings have been retrofitted by base and roof SI without interruption of the use of the buildings;

-       The number of isolated buildings per capita in Armenia is the highest in the world;

-       Armenia is easily accessible to the scientists and engineers from FSU countries and therefore one of the benefits of holding the 8th World seminar in Yerevan will also be that modern SI will find new markets.


The 8th World Seminar was attended by 100 experts from 23 countries. The aim of the Seminar was the further strengthening of already established good basis for international collaboration for research, transfer of technology and information, and implementation of anti-seismic systems in practice, as well as dissemination of information among the population, public officials, decision makers in construction policy and designers in seismic prone countries to promote implementation of the innovative anti-seismic techniques in retrofitting or new construction of housing, structures of cultural heritage, industrial and critical facilities.



The following issues have been considered:


-        Extension of retrofit using the innovative anti-seismic techniques;

-        Improvement of studies concerning innovative systems applicable to cultural heritage;

-        Improvement of knowledge and development of systems for vertical isolation;

-        Promotion of more applications to schools, hospitals and chemical plants and components;

-        Wide extension of application from strategic to apartment buildings;

-        Improvement of knowledge on seismic input;

-        Improvement of studies concerning some reliability and uncertainty issues which had not been yet fully analyzed (including scale effects for qualification tests, the behavior of the anti-seismic devices at earthquake levels exceeding the design value and failure modes, at extremely violent beyond design earthquakes, of structures provided with the anti-seismic systems);

-        Consideration of other sources of vibrations which may damage or weaken structures, for instance, traffic.

-        Comparison of design rules and guidelines applicable in the different countries;

-        Issues related to the applications in the low and moderate seismicity areas;

-        Economic and financial aspects;

-        Particular issues in further implementation of anti-seismic systems in developing countries.



The 8th World Seminar on Seismic Isolation, Energy Dissipation and Active Vibration Control of Structures states:



  1. The concept of seismic isolation is currently widely accepted in earthquake-prone regions of the world for protecting structures from earthquake ground motions, and there are now many applications of MAS technologies in Armenia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, the P.R. China, Russia, the United States and other countries.


  1. MAS technologies are considered to be already fully mature technologies of providing a mitigation of seismic damage for civil and industrial structures and equipment and have proven to be reliable and cost-effective for many structures such as bridges and viaducts, civil buildings, critical facilities like schools, hospitals etc. It is extremely important to further widely extend the use of these technologies to cultural heritage, ordinary apartment buildings and industrial facilities, including nuclear plants, chemical plants and other high-risk facilities.


  1.  Seismic isolation is an approach to earthquake-resistant design, which is recognized as the only practical way of reducing simultaneously interstory drift and floor accelerations. However, in many countries seismic design code provisions for design of seismic isolated structures are still complicated and difficult for the engineers to apply. This constitutes a considerable impediment to the implementing of MAS technologies. The requirements in some countries are so conservative that the potential advantages of using seismic isolation are lost. Overconservative barriers in seismic design codes should be bypassed based on the excellent examples of the reliable behavior of seismic isolated structures during very strong earthquakes (Kobe, 1995) and the use of seismic isolation and energy dissipation (ED) should become a routine procedure for many types of structures.
  2. Taking into account the tragic consequences of the catastrophic earthquakes occurred during the last years in many countries and addressing to the Governments of these countries, the 8th World Seminar believes that the time has come to destroy conservatism, inertia of thinking, traditional perceptions of earthquake resistant construction and bureaucratic barriers and to provide the possibility of extensive implementation of MAS technologies in the construction practice.


  1. Government officials, International institutions dealing with construction and decision-makers in construction policy should be aware that seismic isolated buildings and structures, which have already experienced earthquakes of different intensities have reliably performed as predicted. Based on the positive world experience of implementation of MAS technologies the conservative attitude towards these technologies should be reconsidered and the ways for large application of progressive and cost-effective seismic isolation systems should be opened.


  1. For each type of civil and industrial structures one or more modern suitable anti-seismic systems can usually be identified that allows for largely increasing the seismic safety of the structure by also protecting the non-structural elements and contents, thus ensuring the full operability after the earthquake. Significant R&D remains necessary for cultural heritage, for which further MAS systems that are compatible with the conservation requirements shall be developed to more widely cover the application demand.


  1. The development of MAS technologies will also enable the local industries, especially in developing countries, to start production of anti-seismic devices, which in its turn will increase the efficiency of seismic isolation and will make it accessible for many investors and construction companies.


  1. The Seminar in Yerevan is a well-organized and very successful event, which fully accomplished the envisaged tasks and reached the set objectives. Being the first official event of ASSISi the Seminar considers it necessary for ASSISi to establish and develop close collaboration with IAEE, EAEE, IASC, EACS and with the relevant National Associations in different countries in the future.