Experimental investigation into the seismic fragility of a commercial glazing system
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Good seismic performance of glazing systems is essential to maintaining building functionality and limiting repair costs in a post-earthquake scenario. This paper reports on experimental research into the seismic performance of a standard commercial glazing system used in New Zealand. The focus of the research is to provide information not only on the life-safety performance of glazing but also on the serviceability of glazing systems, considering post-earthquake weather-tightness. This paper first describes the experimental testing set-up developed at the University of Canterbury to achieve this, then details the damage observed and finally, fragility functions for different damage states are reported. Leakage of the glazing is seen to initiate at a median storey drift demand of only 0.35%, whereas glass breakage did not occur until a median drift storey demand of 5.0%. The results obtained from this research demonstrate that the life-safety risk posed by modern commercial glazing in earthquakes will typically be low but the serviceability performance, and in particular weather-tightness post-earthquake, should be improved.