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Structural Design for Disaster Resilience



Fahim H. Sadek, Joseph Main, John L. Gross, Therese P. McAllister


This paper presents a brief overview of research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on disaster resilience of buildings, infrastructure, and communities, including component programs and projects. NIST's efforts aim at developing the scientific basis required to enable technological innovation, improve predictive capabilities, and improve codes, standards, and practices for the cost-effective improvement of disaster resilience, including life-safety and reduction of property loss due to natural and man-made hazards. The fundamental idea underpinning this research is that disaster resilience can be enhanced by developing a robust capability to predict the effects of hazards on the performance of complex structural systems. This will be achieved by providing data to characterize the hazard, validated models to predict performance, metrics for measuring performance, acceptance criteria for differing levels of performance objectives, and mitigation strategies based on performance evaluation. Special emphasis is provided for two key research efforts related to structural design for disaster resilience currently underway at the NIST. These include mitigation of disproportionate collapse and fire performance of structures. For each effort, an overview is provided, followed by details of recent work carried out by the NIST including experiments and computational studies for the assessment of disproportionate collapse potential and the design and construction of the National Fire Research Laboratory (NFRL).
Proceedings Title
IStructE Conference on Structural Engineering in Hazard Mitigation 2013
Conference Dates
October 28-November 1, 2013
Conference Location
Beijing, CN


Computational modeling, disaster resilience, disproportionate collapse, experiments, performance based design, structural fire, structural performance


Sadek, F. , Main, J. , Gross, J. and McAllister, T. (2013), Structural Design for Disaster Resilience, IStructE Conference on Structural Engineering in Hazard Mitigation 2013, Beijing, CN, [online], (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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Created October 27, 2013, Updated October 12, 2021