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Performance-Based Design

Performance-Based Design

Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul

Codes are written with new, typical buildings in mind. Buildings of unconventional size, shape, structural system or function can often benefit from performance-based design (PBD) instead. It can apply to supertall towers, unique structures, public safety facilities required to function after an earthquake or hurricane, ‘mission critical’ business operations and older buildings designed under outdated codes, materials and details. Using PBD, project-specific operational or performance criteria are established, appropriate loading events are set, and advanced analytical techniques such as non-linear and time-history analysis are applied to confirm that criteria are met.

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Vulnerability Analysis

Vulnerability Analysis

Evaluating blast vulnerability

Catastrophic loads may be applied to buildings by hurricanes or terrorists, but they need not lead to catastrophic results. A vulnerability analysis will identify potential effects of extreme events using a variety of analytical and test-based methods, including blast analysis if appropriate. The vulnerability analysis will then determine appropriate measures to reduce adverse consequences, such as standoff, perimeter protection, glass hazard mitigation, structural redundancy and localized structural hardening.

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Vibration Analysis

Vibration Analysis

Vibration analysis of a ballroom floor

Successful buildings don’t just remain standing; they also maintain comfortable and functional conditions for the occupants. Vibrations from walking, dancing, exercising, synchronous cheering, construction and wind gusts can generate movements that disturb building occupants or disrupt sensitive operations. Through analysis and monitoring we identify vibration sources and propose methods to reduce or eliminate the undesirable effects. We have investigated vibrations in stadium grandstands, operable roofs, laboratory and industrial buildings, commercial and residential high rise buildings, and other locations.

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Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis

Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis

Multi-element seismic energy absorption graph

Extreme events such as blasts, seismic tremors, collisions, collapses and demolition activities involve moving masses, large deformations, highly strained materials and cyclic degradation of properties. To properly capture and understand the resulting performance often requires analysis methods based on advanced physical models that capture nonlinear dynamic behaviors. While this analysis can be part of a performance-based design or a vulnerability analysis, it is also useful in other situations such as establishing the cause and failure origin of a collapse, or evaluating the safety and risk level of a particular demolition strategy.

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