The earthquake performance of retrofitted clay brick masonry substation buildings was investigated from a multidisciplinary perspective that included structural, economic, and social considerations. One-hundred-fifteen single-story double-leaf clay-brick masonry substation buildings located within the wider Christchurch, New Zealand, region were investigated in detail. In the mid-1990s, these substation buildings were seismically retrofitted using a system of simple and cost-effective steel elements as part of a natural disaster improvement program, with an overall cost of N.Z. $6 million (approximately U.S. $4 million). Rapid assessment evaluation was conducted following the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes with the determination that 82% of these clay-brick masonry substation buildings sustained minor damage, and 15% had moderate damage. Meanwhile, one substation building suffered significant damage, and two substation buildings experienced heavy damage. Investment in the seismic improvement program resulted in cost savings of approximately N.Z. $60 million (U.S. $44 million) and contributed to heritage building preservation.

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