Arup Thoughts: Resilience-based earthquake design saves cost, heartache

If San Francisco were to experience a repeat of its devastating 1906 earthquake, modern building codes should prevent extensive loss of life. Although buildings might not collapse, they could still be rendered useless for years, severely disrupting the life of the city. This is why we need to adopt resilience-based design.

05/06/2014


 

 

Courtesy of Arup.Seismic building codes are based on ductility – how much you can deform a building before it collapses – and focuses on saving lives. Resilience-based design, on the other hand, seeks to keep people safe and ensure that buildings (and all the components and contents within the building) sustain less damage, enabling communities to recover quickly.

I think this is what the average citizen doesn’t realize. Building codes reassure people they will be safe if an earthquake strikes, but in doing so, they offer a false sense of security about what life will be like once the shaking stops. I don’t think many people realize that a building that meets the latest seismic codes may still be unusable after an earthquake.

So designing buildings to be minimally damaged by using innovative structural technologies (such as base isolation) to reduce earthquake demands and enhanced architectural detailing, could save a lot of heartache, disruption and expense. Arup’s research has shown the cost of repairing code-designed buildings following an earthquake is typically 20-25% of their value. And can you imagine surviving a major earthquake only to find your home uninhabitable and your business disrupted for years?

It’s almost unthinkable. As a result, Arup has developed a guideline to implement resilience-based earthquake design through a new rating system with support from multi-disciplinary design professionals and other stakeholders.

The highest level (Platinum) of our Resilience-based Earthquake Design Initiative (REDi) Rating System would see buildings designed so they could be re-occupied immediately. They would be functioning normally again within 72 hours and repairs would cost less than 2.5% of the building’s value.

Of course, such a high level of resilience comes at a price – but it’s not a significant one. We’ve established that stepping up from a conventional design to a REDi Gold rating (which corresponds to functionality within 30 days), adds less than 5% to construction costs.

Incentives could offset the small cost premium and encourage owners to adopt resilience-based design. Maybe cities or governments could offer flexibility in zoning requirements or insurance companies could offer lower premiums for buildings designed to be resilient. Or perhaps REDi Platinum rating could attract higher rents.

This will not happen overnight, but if we can replace our dilapidated building stock with resilient buildings (and infrastructure) over the course of a generation, we can ensure that San Francisco, and other cities susceptible to earthquakes, not only survives, but thrives after a major earthquake.


This post originally appeared on Arup Thoughts. 

Ibrahim Almufti is a structural engineer and specializes in resilience-based earthquake design.

Edited by Jessica DuBois-Maahs, associate content manager, CFE Media, jdmaahs[at]cfemedia.com.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
Automation modernization; Predictive analytics enable open connectivity; System integration success; Automation turns home brewer into brew house
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
Compressed air plays a vital role in most manufacturing plants, and availability of compressed air is crucial to a wide variety of operations.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me