How Engineering Solutions Have Made Buildings More Disaster Resistant

May 14, 2012

On Saturday, Chris Poland, a structural engineer and the chairman and senior principal of Degenkolb Engineers, appeared on CCTV Americas to discuss engineering solutions that have helped make buildings more resilient during earthquakes. According to Poland, "earthquake resistance" in structural engineering refers to how a building is constructed to perform after an earthquake hits.

Poland describes the difference between two levels of earthquake resistance. The "life safety level" is meant to simply keep the building standing after an earthquake long enough to protect the occupants and allow them to get out of them safely; these buildings might not necessarily be repaired. "Operational level" structural engineering is meant to make the building resistant enough to be immediately available for use after the earthquake, which is important for places like hospitals, police stations, city halls, and so on.

To learn more, watch the video of Poland's CCTV Americas interview, or read his recent article on safety, security, and social justice on Sustainable Cities 2012.