The cost of the damage of the earthquakes in the last 10 years has been serious especially on prefabricated industrial structures. Therefore in this study, extensive, serious damage and failures in prefabricated reinforced concrete structures in the August-17, 1999 Adapazari (Turkey) and November-12, 1999 Duzce (Turkey) earthquakes have been examined. By performing a cause and effect assessment of the damage types experienced, some strengthening recommendations have been made. To investigate the causes of the damage beside the assessment of practical imperfections, a comparison between the sets of criteria encompassed in the Turkish Code, UBC-97 and Eurocode-8-98 Codes especially on the criteria of base shear force, displacement and loads acting on the nodes/connections has been made. For the sake of a more comprehensible illustration of the distinctions, the design of a pre-constructed industrial structure to the three mentioned codes has been conducted. In order to compare the above-mentioned codes a sample prefabricated structure, which totally failed after 1999 Marmara earthquake is analysed. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.