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Importance classes for buildings

Buildings are classified in four importance classes, depending on the consequences of collapse for human life, on their importance for public safety and civil protection in the immediate post-earthquake period, and on the social and economic consequences of collapse. The four importance classes are characterized by different importance factors, γΙ, and by reduction factors, v, that are used for determining the design seismic action for the reduction of damages. According to Eurocode 8, the importance factor for the class ΙΙ should be 1.0, and for the rest of the classes it should be defined in the National Annexes. Table 1 presents the importance classes as described in Eurocode 8.

Importance class



Buildings of minor importance for public safety, e.g. agricultural buildings, etc.


Ordinary buildings, not belonging in the other categories.


Buildings whose seismic resistance is of importance in view of the consequences associated with a collapse, e.g. schools, assembly halls, cultural institutions etc.


Buildings whose integrity during earthquakes is of vital importance for civil protection, e.g. hospitals, fire stations, power plants, etc.

Table 1: Importance classes for buildings according to Eurocode 8

(EC8 § 4.2.5 Table 4.3)

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