Seismic designs refer to the engineering principles ensuring that buildings, structures, and facilities can withstand seismic activity. These layouts minimize the damage and risks posed by seismic events, guaranteeing the safety of occupants and the structure’s integrity. Some key design aspects include structural engineering, building codes and regulations, hazard assessment, and retrofitting and rehabilitation.
The following steps can help streamline the process of creating resilient structures:
Step 1: Take a Multi-Hazard Approach
A multi-hazard approach considers and addresses seismic forces and other major hazards to which a particular area may be susceptible. This comprehensiveness recognizes that various natural and human-induced hazards influence a building’s safety and resilience. These dangers include earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, fires, and other disasters.
Once the hazards are identified, the next stage is to analyze the building’s and its occupants’ vulnerability. This involves understanding the impacts of each risk on the facility’s structural integrity, functionality, and safety. For seismic forces, this would entail determining how the structure would react to ground shaking, deformation, and other tremors.
Step 2: Establish Performance-Based Requirements
Performance-based requirements involve setting specific objectives that exceed the minimum life safety requirements outlined in seismic codes and regulations. These requirements also aim to quantify the desired performance levels, such as specifying acceptable rates of structural damage and maximum limits on displacement or acceleration.
In addition, the requirements consider the building’s functional and operational aspects. This includes identifying systems, equipment, and processes that must remain operational or quickly recover after a hazard event. For example, hospitals may have specific requirements for maintaining power supply, medical services, and patient care during and after an earthquake.
Step 3: Form a Collaborative Design Team
The collaborative team must include professionals from various disciplines, such as structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, architects, and other relevant experts. Each member will contribute their unique knowledge and expertise to address the specific challenges of seismic design. This multidisciplinary nature ensures that all aspects from structural integrity to architectural aesthetics are considered.
The team must also promote continuous professional development and training to stay updated with the latest design practices, research, and technologies. This enables the members to incorporate innovations into their designs, ensuring the facility benefits from the most current principles.
Step 4: Perform Structural Analysis
The design team must use dynamic analysis techniques to evaluate how the structure will respond to earthquake-induced ground motion. This includes considering factors such as natural frequencies, periods of vibrations, and mode shapes. Based on the analysis, the team will construct the structure’s framework, load-bearing elements, and foundations to be resilient against seismic forces.
Step 5: Consider Soil-Structure Interaction
Soil-structure interaction analysis involves studying the interaction between the building and the underlying soil. The soil qualities, such as its type, density, and liquefaction potential, can substantially impact the behavior of the structure during an earthquake. By understanding this interaction, the design team can optimize the foundation design and ensure the structure’s stability and performance.
Step 6: Implement Retrofitting and Rehabilitation Measures
In cases where existing structures are being retrofitted or rehabilitated, assessing and strengthening their seismic resilience is important. This may require maintaining structural elements, adding bracing or reinforcement, modifying foundations, or incorporating retrofitting techniques. The goal is to enhance the structure’s ability to withstand earthquake-generated forces and meet current seismic design standards.
Choose Thornel for Dependable Seismic Services
Thornel provides seismic services to ensure regulatory adherence and a seamless process for our clients! Our process begins by evaluating local codes and regulations, enabling us to confidently initiate the design procedure. Then, we will collaborate with a seismic engineer to conduct a preliminary analysis, facilitating accurate quoting.
Contact us today to learn more and discuss your needs!