Progressive building collapse occurs when failure of a structural component leads to the failure and collapse of surrounding members, possibly promoting additional collapse. It is a complex, nonlinear dynamic process characterized by inelastic behavior, large deformations and contact/impact. Global system collapse will occur if the damaged system is unable to reach a new static equilibrium configuration. In spite of the clear system-wide nature of progressive collapse, the majority of past studies on structures are motivated by seismic and wind effects, and focused on the behavior of individual structural members and connections, with little attention paid to the behavior of the structural system as a whole.
Hence, this study is focused on forecasting the collapse of common framed buildings, i.e. offices or apartments, made of reinforced concrete only. As it is only a short-term study, it is restricted to one statically-removed column on the ground floor. Using a few parameters characterizing the typical dimensions of a building -its length, width, height, and the number of its columns- this paper examines the following questions: Will the removal of a column trigger collapse? If it does, will the collapse be partial or total? In other words, can we make an assessment of which floors will be damaged?
G. Demailly: The Analysis of Collapse of Deteriorated Framed Buildings. Masters Thesis, French Military Academy of Saint-Cyr, December 2008.