Eight engineered buildings in San Salvador were selected to provide detailed descriptions of structures that performed both poorly and well during the 1986 earthquake. The buildings selected were all of reinforced concrete construction, both moment-frame and shear-wall, and were in the range of three to eight stories in height. The earthquake performance of the eight buildings ranged from the moderately severe structural and nonstructural damage to the El Salvador Sheraton Hotel, which will require retrofitting, to the negligible nonstructural damage to the VIP Building at the Sheraton Hotel complex. Comparison of the performance of the various buildings clearly shows that newer buildings, especially those built since 1973, revealed less damage than older buildings designed a-d constructed under less stringent codes.

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