Assessing when to go beyond prescribed building codes
Modern building codes are written to help structures withstand extreme loads like earthquakes and windstorms, but the amount of damage a building sustains depends on the quality of the design and the criteria the building is designed to meet. Exponent's structural failure investigations over the past 50 years reveal that many buildings are designed to conform to minimum requirements prescribed by building codes and standards but often do not meet expectations.
Performance-based design requires the designer to go beyond code prescriptions and accurately predict how a structure will respond to its environment, often during extreme events. Making these predictions typically requires sophisticated structural analysis and advanced software and laboratory testing to determine damage mechanisms and thresholds. With cutting-edge tools, Exponent's multidisciplinary team of engineers predicts the performance of complex structural systems under extreme conditions like earthquakes and hurricanes.
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