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Structural Performance for Multi-hazards Program


The objective of the Structural Performance under Multi-hazards program is to develop and deploy advances in measurement science to enhance the resilience of buildings and infrastructure to natural and manmade hazards by 2016.


This program addresses the gap between basic research and building codes, standards, and practice through measurement science research to: (1) predict structural performance up to failure under extreme loading conditions: (2) assess and evaluate the ability of existing structures to withstand extreme loads; (3) design new buildings and retrofit existing buildings using cost-effective, performance-based methods; and (4) derive lessons learned from disasters and failures involving structures. The program enhances the resilience and robustness of structures by focusing primarily on cross-cutting research topics including prevention of disproportionate collapse and disaster and failure studies, along with the specific hazards of extreme winds and coastal inundation.

This program supports the EL mission of promoting U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness in areas of critical national priority by anticipating and meeting the measurement science and standards needs for technology-intensive manufacturing, construction, and cyber-physical systems in ways that enhance economic prosperity and improve the quality of life. The program supports the EL core competencies in resilience and fire protection. The program further fulfills a national knowledge transfer role that is not well-supported by a fragmented U.S. construction industry (ACI 318, AISC, ASCE 7). Finally, NIST has statutory responsibilities including: (1) the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act (2004); (2) the Fire Prevention and Control Act (1974); and (3) the National Construction Safety Team Act (2002).

Major Accomplishments:

Some recent accomplishments in the area of Disaster and Failure Studies include:

  • Publication of NIST Special Publication 1164, "Preliminary Reconnaissance of the May 20, 2013, Newcastle-Moore Tornado in Oklahoma"
  • Released final report of NCST Joplin Tornado Investigation: "Technical Investigation of the May 22, 2011, Tornado in Joplin, Missouri: Final Report." NIST NCSTAR 3, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

A recent accomplishment in the area of Implementation of Joplin Tornado Recommendations:

  • Submitted code change proposal supporting NIST Joplin recommendation 7(b) requiring tornado shelters be installed in schools for 2018 IBC and 2018 IEBC

Some recent accomplishments in the area of National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program include:

  • Kuligowski, Erica D.; Phan, Long T.; Levitan, Marc L.; Jorgensen, David P., (2013). "Preliminary Reconnaissance of the May 20, 2013, Newcastle-Moore Tornado in Oklahoma." NIST Special Publication 1164.
  • Measurement Science R&D Roadmap for Windstorm and Coastal Inundation Impact Reduction, NISTGCR - 14-973-13.
  • Kuligowski, Erica D.; Lombardo, Franklin T.; Phan, Long T.; Levitan, Marc L.; Jorgensen, David P., (2014). "Technical Investigation of the May 22, 2011, Tornado in Joplin, Missouri: Final Report." NIST NCSTAR 3.
  • Dunn, C.L., Friedland, C.J., and Levitan, M.L., (2013). "Statistical representation of design parameters for hurricane risk reduction of structures", Structural Safety, vol. 45, Nov. 2013, pp 36–47.

Some recent accomplishments in the area of Wind Engineering and Coastal Inundation include:

  • Published Final Report - National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Technical Investigation of the May 22, 2011, Tornado in Joplin Missouri.
  • Gabbai, R. and Simiu, E. (2014). "Evaluation of Mean Recurrence Intervals of Wind Effects for Tall Building Design." J. Struct. Eng., 140(1), 04013037.
  • Software, Database Assisted Design for Tall Reinforced Concrete Buildings,
  • Simiu, E., Letchford, C., Isyumov, N., Chowdhury, A., and Yeo, D. (2013). "Assessment of ASCE 7-10 Standard Methods for Determining Wind Loads." J. Struct. Eng., 139(11), 2044–2047.
  • Yeo, D., Lin, N., and Simiu, E. (2014). "Estimation of Hurricane Wind Speed Probabilities: Application to New York City and Other Coastal Locations." J. Struct. Eng., 140(6), 04014017.
  • Kuligowski, Erica, Phan, Long, Levitan, Marc, Jorgensen, David (2013) Preliminary Reconnaissance of the May 20, 2013, Newcastle-Moore Tornado in Oklahoma, NIST SP 1164.

Some recent accomplishments in the area of Robust Structural Systems for Disproportionate Collapse Mitigation include:

  • Main, J.A. (2014). "Composite floor systems under column loss: Collapse resistance and tie force requirements." Journal of Structural Engineering, 10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0000952 , A4014003.
  • Bao, Y., Lew, H.S., Sadek, F., and Main, J.A., (2013). "A Simple Means for Reducing the Risk of Progressive Collapse." ACI Concrete International, 35(12), 33-38.
  • Main, J.A. and Sadek, F. (2014). "Modeling and analysis of single-plate shear connections under column loss." Journal of Structural Engineering, 140(3), 04013070.
  • Bao, Y., Lew, H.S., and Kunnath, S.K. (2014). "Modeling of reinforced concrete assemblies under a column removal scenario." Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, 140(1), 04013026.
World Trade Center complex
Worker looks over the disaster site at New York City’s World Trade Center complex a few days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Photo credit: FEMA

Start Date:

October 1, 2011

Lead Organizational Unit:




General Information:

Fahim Sadek
301 975 4420 Telephone

100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8611
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8611