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STRUCTURE A Joint Publication of NCSEA | CASE | SEI

Special Section: Seismic Products, Performance Based Design

June 2010
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Executive Director
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STRUCTURE magazine 4 June 2010

FEATURES 7 Editorial
16 Special Section – Seismic Products, Performance Based Design When Will You Become a
The Legacy of Northridge Lives On Licensed SE?
By Sam A. Rihani, P.E., F. ASCE
24 High Performance Economics 8 Structural Testing
By Paul W. McMullin, Ph.D., S.E. and Ronald H. Dunn, S.E. Seismic Testing
Not only did the Workers Compensation Fund corporate headquarters project By Steven E. Pryor, P.E., S.E.,
require a higher level of seismic performance, but the client insisted on a certain John W. van de Lindt, Ph.D.
and Shiling Pei, Ph.D.
type of connection.
13 Structural Performance
26 The Leaning Towers of Vegas Steel Special Moment Frames:
By Neb Erakovic, PEng, Terry Dawson, BEng, and Kyle Cossette, BSc A Historic Perspective
Situated in the center of the prestigious CityCenter development, the twin VeerTM By Scott M. Adan, Ph.D., P.E., S.E.
and Ronald O. Hamburger, S.E., SECB
Towers, on the world famous Las Vegas Strip, each lean dramatically at opposing
five degree angles from the vertical. 50 Structural Forum
Mitigating Terrorist Attacks
30 Nakheel Super Tall Tower and Earthquake Risk
By Ahmad Rahimian, Ph.D., S.E., P.E., Kamran Moazami, P.E., M. ASCE and Bart Sullivan, P.E. By James Lefter, P.E.
The Nakheel Tower, with a height of more than 3,300 feet, follows many other

bold initiatives taken in developing real estate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

35 Mineta San Jose International Airport

By Terry L. Palmer, P.E. 38 InSights
The Mineta San Jose International Airport authority, and the project’s design and Advanced Composites for
construction team, worked hard to leave a lasting impression on those who travel Structural Strengthening
By Scott F. Arnold, P.E.
to the Capital of Silicon Valley.
41 Spotlight
The Cathedral of Christ the Light
By Mark Sarkisian, P.E., S.E.,
Eric Long, P.E., S.E.
48 Risk Management

and win
Further Commentary on AIA
Document C401-2007
By Roger Stroud P.E., FACEC

an iPad!
and Ronald White, P.E.

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STRUCTURE magazine 5 June 2010

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STR 6-09
When Will You Become a Licensed SE?
By Sam A. Rihani, P.E., F. ASCE
Earlier this year, the Structural Engineering 8
Institute (SEI) issued its first Policy Statement in UT
support of Structural Engineer (SE) licensure. examination will be offered for the first time
6 WA
The policy states that the Institute “encourages by NCEES which will replace the current
Professional Engineers practicing structural OR SE-I and SE-II exams.
engineering to further obtain a Structural Engi- 4
HI Today, there is interest among several states
neer license in jurisdictions that have any form of NV in SE licensing and it is believed that another
Structural Engineering license by complying with CA seven to ten will join the ranks during the
the jurisdiction’s specified requirements for educa- 2 IL coming decade. States that are actively pur-
tion, experience and examination, and by meeting 1 suing an SE license act today are Florida,
continuing education requisites to maintain this 1915 1946 1976 2007 Georgia, Ohio, Texas, and Minnesota. Idaho
license. SEI also encourages jurisdictions to license is considering the transition from a title act to
Structural Engineers as a post-PE (Professional Engineer) credential, and to a practice act, while California wants to pursue expanding their current
include in their new legislation an equitable transitioning clause for engineers partial practice act to include additional significant structures.
currently practicing structural engineering.” The full text may be found at The Professional Activities Committee (PAC) of SEI has made its priority during the past 10 years to support any state that shows interest in
Before issuing the policy, SEI sought input from various engineering the enactment of a structural engineering practice act. Such support has
organizations and received endorsement from the American Society of come through four summits (2002 – 2008) during which structural
Civil Engineers (ASCE), the National Council of Structural Engineers engineers from around the nation gathered to address the need and
Association (NCSEA), and the Council of American Structural Engineers mechanism of enacting SE practice acts. The committee has presented
(CASE). SEI previously received support from various ASCE Institutes. several papers at Structures Congresses and prepared case studies which
The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) was the only highlight structural failures that may have been prevented had the design
organization that expressed their opposition to the policy. engineer been licensed as an SE. These case studies and other resources are
The first SE license was established in 1915 in Illinois. Today eleven available at
states, representing approximately 32% of licensed engineers, have Members of PAC continue to meet with representatives of states where
incorporated the SE license into their legislation. Seven of these states the pursuit of an SE practice act is desired, to share lessons learned from
(Illinois, Hawaii, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington) previous experiences and to provide the necessary information and
have a full or partial practice act while the remaining four (Arizona, materials that would assist in such an endeavor.
Idaho, Nebraska, and New Mexico) have a title act. There has been It is anticipated that it will take several years before the majority of
unprecedented activity in recent years, as three out of the seven states states would adopt a structural engineering practice act; however, the
with a practice act have enacted such legislation just in the last decade. current momentum is likely to increase the number of states requiring
The primary reason for this is the recognition that new technology and licensure of structural engineers in the coming few years. If you practice
building codes have resulted in more complex analyses and designs in one of the states that is currently pursuing a practice act, you may
of structures, thus requiring increased knowledge and skills. With be among those becoming licensed as an SE in the near future. If you
this trend, and to better serve and protect the public, those engineers practice in the other states, it is a matter of when, not if, you will be
who exhibit additional or advanced expertise and credentials within licensed as an SE.▪
the structural practice area of civil engineering should be identified
through post-PE credentialing programs and become responsible for Sam Rihani is the Chair of SEI-PAC and a member of the Board
designing significant structures. In 2004, in recognition of special of Governors of SEI. He is also the past Chairman of the Structural
licensing requirements for structural engineers, the National Council Engineers Association of Metropolitan Washington. He can be reached
of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) established a at
new Model Law Structural Engineer. In April 2011, a 16-hour structural

Editorial Board
Chair Craig E. Barnes, P.E., SECB Brian J. Leshko, P.E. Mike C. Mota, P.E. Greg Schindler, P.E., S.E.
Jon A. Schmidt, P.E., SECB CBI Consulting, Inc. HDR Engineering, Inc. CRSI KPFF Consulting Engineers
Burns & McDonnell Boston, MA Pittsburgh, PA Williamstown, NJ Seattle, WA
Kansas City, MO Richard Hess, S.E., SECB John A. Mercer, P.E. Evans Mountzouris, P.E. Stephen P. Schneider, Ph.D., P.E., S.E.
Hess Engineering Inc. Mercer Engineering, PC The DiSalvo Ericson Group BergerABAM
Executive Editor Los Alamitos, CA Minot, ND Ridgefield, CT Vancouver, WA
Jeanne M. Vogelzang, JD, CAE Brian W. Miller Matthew Salveson, Ph.D., P.E. John “Buddy” Showalter, P.E.
Mark W. Holmberg, P.E.
Heath & Lineback Engineers, Inc. AISC Dokken Engineering AF & PA/American Wood Council
Chicago, IL
Marietta, GA Davis, CA Folsom, CA Washington, DC

STRUCTURE magazine 7 June 2010

Seismic Testing
Seven-Story Mixed-Use Steel and Wood Light-Frame Structure
By Steven E. Pryor, P.E., S.E., John W. van de Lindt, Ph.D. and Shiling Pei, Ph.D.
In June and July of 2009, a unique four-
year test program was wrapping up in
Japan. The NEESWood Capstone test
program, largely a collaborative effort
between project leader Colorado State
University and industry partner Simpson
Strong-Tie, subjected a seven-story building
to severe ground shaking at E-Defense, the
world’s largest shake table facility in Miki,
Japan. As the largest building ever tested
on a shake table, the structure consisted
of a ground level retail area framed with
structural steel and six stories of wood light-
frame construction featuring 23 residential
units. The steel special moment frame
(SMF) on the first floor utilized a new type
of proprietary beam-column connection,
and the entire structure was designed using
a new direct displacement design meth-
odology woven into a performance-based Figure 1: Completed Structure on the Shake Table.
seismic design framework. The results
show conclusively that, if properly designed “green” construction is leading to the use seismic performance of California-type
and constructed, wood and mixed steel/ of wood in the commercial market as building stock designed in accordance
wood can be great performers in mid-rise well. While wood has historically proven with modern seismic codes – in this case
structures, even in areas of high seismicity. to be a good performer in seismic events, the 1988 Uniform Building Code (1988
the ever-increasing use of engineered lum- UBC). While providing another data
E-Defense ber and the prevalence of the use of wood set to measure the success of predictive
in mid-rise construction have fundamen- modeling, the test also confirmed and aug-
Following the devastating 1995 Kobe
tally changed the nature of these buildings mented the previous findings with respect
Structural teSting

Earthquake, the Japanese government

compared to what was built 50 years ago. to nonstructural finish materials adding
built the largest seismic testing facility in
These changes have led to structures with strength, stiffness and damping – an inher-
the world. Known as E(Earth)-Defense,
inherently less redundancy and a reduced ent part of the largely empirical R factor
the facility houses an enormous shake table
lateral strength overall. The ability of en- used in today’s building codes. In addition,
capable of moving in three directions
gineered lumber to span longer distances the CUREE-Caltech Woodframe Project
simultaneously. With surface dimensions
in both floors and roofs has created an tested a three-story apartment building
of approximately 50 x 65 feet, the table
environment in which there are fewer with “tuck-under” parking. This type of
can support test buildings weighing up
interior walls. The desire for more openings structure has one open side on the lowest
to 2.5 million pounds and has a range of
in these remaining walls concentrates lateral level to facilitate parking. The tests con-
motion in excess of 6 feet in all directions.
demand into much shorter wall segments. firmed that these types of structures are
The Capstone building used up most of
Consequently, our need to understand the likely to experience torsional problems
this space, with a footprint measuring 40
true systems-level behavior of these types of and/or soft story mechanisms, making
issues and advances related to structural testing

x 60 feet. The seven-story building was

structures has increased substantially. them susceptible to collapse.
constructed during a 16-week period
Over the last 12 years, a few projects Along with other test programs, this early
between February and June of 2009.
have incorporated full-scale shake table research has helped pave the way toward
Normally, test structures are constructed
tests of light-frame wood structures. The implementation of performance-based seis-
outside of the facility and then moved
2000 CUREE-Caltech Woodframe Project mic design (PBSD) for light-frame mid-rise
inside through mammoth sliding doors via
tested a modest two-story structure under buildings. Inherent in the assumptions of
a multi-wheeled crawler unit. The Cap-
uniaxial ground motion and was an im- PBSD is that structural modeling is accu-
stone building, however, was too large to
portant step in understanding nonlinear rate enough to warrant confidence that a
fit through the doors, so it was constructed
modeling issues as well as the influence of building really will perform in accordance
inside the main test bay adjacent to the
nonstructural finish materials. An earlier with the predictions. For wood light-frame
shake table.
component of the NEESWood project structures, this is perhaps more difficult
tested a larger 1,800 square foot two- because the load path is not as discrete as
The Need to Know story townhouse on the shake tables at the it is in typical steel or concrete structures.
Wood light-frame construction represents University at Buffalo’s SEESL laboratory. The Capstone project, given the large
the most common method of building Utilizing triaxial ground motion input, size of the test structure and triaxial in-
single and multi-family residential units this “benchmark” structure, as it was re- put motions, represents a quantum leap
in the United States, and the push for ferred to, helped establish the expected forward in providing a data set to test and

STRUCTURE magazine 8 June 2010

refine researchers’ abilities to predict structural
response as well as validate new and existing
construction methods.

The Test Program

The Capstone testing consisted of two phases.
Phase I tested the response of the full seven-
story mixed-use steel/wood structure. This
included two tests on June 30, 2009, utilizing
the Canoga Park ground motion recorded
during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The
first test used a ground motion scaled to 60%
of the original record, while the second test
used a ground motion scaled to 140% of the
original. This second test corresponded to a
5% in 50 year level event, slightly higher than
the Design Basis Earthquake (DBE). Following
the second test, the steel special moment
frame was reconfigured for Phase II as a robust
braced frame via activation of a very stiff bracing Figure 2: Wood Nailers Being Installed on Steel Frame.
system that had been designed for the job. of the original record. This level of scaling frames (SMF) require bracing to prevent lateral-
Because of the added bracing participation of represented the 2% in 50 year return interval torsional buckling at plastic hinges, along
the moment frame was locked out of the re- event, or Maximum Considered Earthquake the length of the beam and at concentrated
sponse in Phase II so that the upper six stories (MCE). Between each test, the structure was loads. To work properly, this bracing needs
of light-frame construction could be studied carefully inspected to see if structural repairs both strength and stiffness, as required by the
on their own. were needed, and in each case they were not. American Institute of Steel Construcction’s
Phase II testing also utilized the Canoga Park (AISC) Seismic Provisions, with the stiffness
record at various amplification levels. Tests Design and Construction requirement often overlooked because it is
three and four were run at 60% and 120% The steel special moment frame utilized a actually given in Appendix A of the AISC Speci-
of original, respectively, but the final test five new beam-column connection designed to ad- fication for Structural Steel Buildings. When the
on July 14 subjected the structure to 180% dress several issues. First, steel special moment floor diaphragm adjacent to the steel beam
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SSTM-SDSCREW10_7_1-2x4_3-4.indd 1 STRUCTURE magazine 9 June 2010 2/3/2010 4:34:28 PM

in a SMF is built using wood, it is nearly and overturning forces from the upper wood anchor tie-down system (ATS). Shear trans-
impossible to meet both requirements when a structure to the steel frame was accomplished fer made widespread use of ¼-inch diameter
detailed investigation of available strength and with traditional bolted wood nailers and welded self-drilling screws to anchor sill plates to the
stiffness is conducted. The new connection steel brackets to receive the tie-down rods from rim board below. In this case, the “rim board”
addresses this by moving the plastic hinge out the shear walls above. was actually a glulam member nearly the same
of the beam itself, thereby allowing the beams In many respects, the six-story wood structure width of the wall and occupying the full floor
to be designed to remain elastic and unbraced. was essentially the same as typical light-frame cavity. Gravity and overturning compression
The second function of this connection is to construction, with a few exceptions. Walls were forces were very large and the glulams facili-
limit the damage to easily replaceable “fuses”. framed with 3x6 sill plates, 2x6 studs, and tated the needed force transfer through the
Since these moment-transferring fuses connect double 2x6 top plates. Floors were framed depth of the floor into the walls below. They
beam to column using snug-tight bolts, not only with 9.5-inch deep I-joists. Shear walls were also functioned as horizontal collectors in the
is field erection simple, field repair following an designed using the segmented approach, and diaphragm to help complete the load path.
earthquake can be very rapid and supports the boundary members were comprised of multiple One line of shear resistance also contained
resilient structure concept. Transfer of shear (up to 15) 2x6s spaced about each side of the a new type of experimental, high-strength
wood shear wall system known as Mid-ply, the
concept for which was developed by Canada’s
FPInnovations-Forintek. As is to be expected
for a building of this type designed for high
seismicity, sheathing in the lower stories
covered both sides of most walls with nail
spacing of two to three inches on center.
The performance-based design objective for
the response of the building under the MCE
level shaking was for only a 20% chance that
average interstory drift would exceed 4%. This
level of drift is well into the inelastic range of
response of the shear walls and requires new
tools to evaluate. The Direct Displacement
Design procedure developed as part of the
NEESWood project was created to do this in
a manner that could be implemented in the
design office. By using these procedures to
look at the nonlinear response of the building,
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and targeting performance objectives at the

true expected drift levels, the designer is better
equipped to assure that strength and stiffness
is spread over the height of the structure to
prevent story drift from accumulating in any
one level.

More than 200 sensors of various types were
used to collect data on the performance of the
NEESWood Capstone building. Optical track-
ing was employed to obtain data on the gross
external movement of the building at each level.
Strain gauges determined tie-down forces,
accelerometers tracked floor accelerations, and
string potentiometers measured shear defor-
mation and post movement in the structure.
In tests one to four, maximum average inter-
story drift did not exceed 1.25% in any level.
In the final MCE level shake of test five, maxi-
mum average interstory drift was just under 2%,
with the largest drift in any wall line just over
3%. Damage was primarily nonstructural in
nature and consisted of drywall cracks around
openings. These results indicated very good
performance and satisfied the performance
objectives, demonstrating both the benefits
and utility of Direct Displacement Design.

STRUCTURE magazine 10 June 2010

Figure 3: Gypboard Damage at Door (L) and Window (R).

One area of keen interest in the project was have proven to be very effective in delivering
the data collected on tie-down forces. While superior structural performance under severe
a full account is not possible in this article, a ground shaking. The NEESWood Capstone
few highlights are in order. First, overall re- tests have pushed the boundaries of where

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sponse of the shear walls was not consistent and light-frame construction is typically used and
varied between segmented and perforated. As will serve as a foundation for future implemen-
mentioned earlier, a segmented approach to tation of mid-rise wood frame construction in
the shear walls was used. This produced tie- seismic regions.▪
down design demands that we expected might
be conservative. This was in fact the case, where
the walls behaved in a more perforated manner. Steven E. Pryor, P.E., S.E., International
However, there also were cases where the pre- Director of Building Systems, Simpson
dicted demands and the measured demands Strong-Tie, Pleasanton, California. Steven
were actually very close to the anticipated large may be reached at
tie-down forces. 130 kips was measured in the John W. van de Lindt, Ph.D., Associate
lowest rods in a six-story tall shear wall stack Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering,
comprised of typical double and single-sided Colorado State University, Fort Collins,
wood structural panel sheathed shear wall Colorado. John may be reached at
construction. The side-by-side Mid-ply walls
generated a combined maximum uplift of 170 Shiling Pei, Ph.D., Post Doctoral Researcher,
kips. Both of these results were very close to Dept. of Civil Engineering, Colorado State
what was predicted. University, Fort Collins, Colorado. Shiling may
be reached at
Currently, the province of British Columbia
in Canada is allowing light-frame wood con-
struction up to six stories. The trend toward Acknowledgements
urban densification is leading to increased The material presented in this article is
popularity of mixed-use mid-rise buildings, based upon work supported by grants from
and the combination of bolted steel special the National Science Foundation. Any
moment frames and wood light-frame con- opinions, findings, and conclusions or rec-
struction shortens the construction cycle and ommendations expressed in this material are
reduces cost. A road map for building this type those of the author(s) and do not necessar-
of structure to withstand severe earthquakes ily reflect the views of the National Science
has been outlined by the NEESWood project. Foundation. For more information on Project
Specifically, the design and construction meth- Team members and others involved in this
ods used in the Capstone program, including project, see the online version of this article
the Direct Displacement Design methodology at
developed within the NEESWood project and
numerous structural detailing configurations,

STRUCTURE magazine 11 June 2010

Steel Special Moment Frames: A Historic Perspective
By Scott M. Adan, Ph.D., P.E., S.E. and Ronald O. Hamburger, S.E., SECB

Structural Performance
performance issues relative to extreme events
Many modern buildings use steel special and other multi-story buildings in
moment frames for their seismic lateral Chicago, spawned an entire gen-
force-resisting system. A moment frame eration of tall buildings constructed
is comprised of a rectangular system of with load bearing steel frames
rigidly connected columns and beams supporting concrete floors and non-
that resist moment and shear forces devel- load bearing unreinforced masonry
oped during earthquake ground shaking. infill walls at their perimeters.
The building code considers the system Framing in these early structures
extremely ductile and assigns it the highest typically utilized “H” shapes built
allowable response modification coefficient. up from plate, “L” and “Z” sections.
It is one of only a few systems permitted Starting with the Manhattan Build-
in Seismic Design Categories D, E and F ing (1889), perimeter framing
for buildings exceeding 160 feet in height. connections typically incorporated
With the absence of diagonal braces or large stiffened triangular gusset Figure 1: Typical early built-up and riveted
structural walls, the system facilitates plates, joined to the beams and moment connection.
architectural versatility for interior space columns with angles and rivets
layout and aesthetic exterior expression. (Figure 1). Typically, steel framing was tall structures, including the Empire State
Because earthquake motions can induce completely encased by masonry, concrete, Building in New York, for many years
multiple inelastic displacement cycles, or a combination of these, to provide fire the world’s tallest structure, are of this
special proportioning and qualification resistance. Anecdotal evidence suggests construction type.
requirements are essential for robust mo- that designers of these early moment Following WWII, it became uneconomi-
ment frame performance. The numerous frame structures neglected the structural cal to construct perimeter walls out of
interrelated code provisions that address contributions of concrete and masonry infill unreinforced masonry, particularly
these special requirements are not necessar- encasement, and assumed that framing for tall buildings, and more modern glass
ily arranged in a logical sequence, making connections had sufficient flexibility to be and aluminum curtain wall systems were
their application challenging for all but treated as pinned connections for gravity adopted as part of the new modernist
the most experienced designers. loading and fixed connections for lateral architectural style. The larger windows
As part of its support for the National loading. Despite these design assumptions, possible with these new curtain wall sys-
Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program the steel framing in these structures was tems made the large gusseted framing
(NEHRP), the National Institute of substantially stiffened and strengthened connections undesirable, and engineers
Standards and Technology (NIST) is de- by composite behavior with their encase- began to design connections using un-
veloping a series of technical briefs to ments, and exhibited significant fixity at stiffened angles or split tees to connect
assist in improving seismic design and framing connections both for lateral and top and bottom beam flanges to columns
construction quality. Technical Brief No. gravity loadings. (Figure 2, page 14). In the 1950s, as welding
2, Seismic Design of Steel Special Moment This basic construction style remained was introduced into building construction,
Frames: A Guide for Practicing Engineers, popular for high-rise construction through the angles and split tees were replaced by
addresses the design, specification, and the 1930s. By the early 1900s, rolled “H” flange plates, shop welded to the column
construction of steel special moment shape sections began to see increasing flanges, then riveted to the beam flanges.
frames. This article, the first of two, con- use in place of the built-up sections, in By the 1960s, riveting had become un-
tains excerpts from the brief summarizing particular for lighter framing. Many very economical and was replaced by high
the development of the steel special mo- strength bolting. Finally, in the early 1970s,
ment frame. engineers began to use the connection type
known today as the welded unreinforced
Moment Frame flange – bolted web (WUF-B) (Figure
3, page 14) incorporating field-welded,
Historic Development complete joint penetration (CJP) groove
Although the steel special moment frame welds to join beam flanges to columns,
is a relatively recent development in build- and shop-welded, field bolted shear plates
ing codes, steel frames have been in use joining beam webs to columns.
for more than one hundred years, dating Almost from their inception as a means
to the earliest use of structural steel in of building construction, engineers began
building construction. Steel building con- to observe that steel moment-frames
struction with the frame carrying the seemed to exhibit superior performance
vertical loads initiated in Chicago in in earthquakes. More than 20 such struc-
the 1880s. One of the first of these, the tures were subjected to and survived the
Home Insurance Building in Chicago, a great 1906 San Francisco earthquake
10-story structure constructed in 1884 and the fires that followed it, while few
with a height of 138 feet, is often cred- other buildings in the central commer-
ited with being the first skyscraper. This, Figure 2: Riveted, unstiffened seat angle connection. cial district of San Francisco remained

STRUCTURE magazine 13 June 2010

because special criteria applied to the design
of these structures and also because special,
superior behavior was anticipated of them
in strong earthquakes.
Initially, the special design criteria were
limited to a requirement that connections
be capable of developing the strength of
the connected members, with the WUF-B
connection identified as a deemed-to-
comply standard. Later, requirements were
introduced to provide for strong-column/
weak-beam behavior, balance of the shear
strength of panel zones with beam flexural Figure 4: Fracturing of a W14 column at the welded beam-
capacity, and addition of section compact- to-column connection. Courtesy of the SAC Joint Venture.
ness and lateral bracing criteria. Building codes research and development to determine the
of this era required the use of ductile moment- causes of this unanticipated behavior and to
resisting space frames in all structures exceeding develop recommendations for more robust
240 feet in height in zones of high risk of moment frame construction. Conducted at a
experiencing strong ground motion. As a result, cost of $12 million over eight years, the SAC
nearly every tall building constructed in the research determined the fractures were a result of
Figure 3: Welded unreinforced flange – bolted web western U.S. in this era was of steel moment- the basic connection geometry, lack of control
(WUF-B) connection popular from 1970 to1994. frame construction. Such structures designed of base material properties, the use of weld filler
standing. Many of these steel frame buildings in the 1960s and 1970s tended to employ metals with inherent low toughness, uncon-
are still in service today. For nearly 90 years, moment-resisting connections at every beam- trolled deposition rates, inadequate quality
engineers continued to observe apparent column joint, providing great redundancy control and other factors. The resulting research
superior performance of these structures, and distribution of lateral force resistance. is the basis for the current steel special moment
building the reputation that they had superior However, by the 1980s engineers had begun frame code design requirements.▪
earthquake-resisting capability. It is worth not- to economize their designs and minimize
ing that much of the seismic and fire resistance expensive field welding by using fewer bays
possessed by these structures was a result of the of moment-resisting framing that employed
Scott M. Adan, Ph.D., P.E., S.E. is a
composite interaction of the steel framing with heavier beams and columns, resulting in less
practicing Structural Engineer in San
the encasing masonry and concrete. Modern redundant structures with more concentrated
Francisco, California. Dr. Adan is Chair
steel structures typically do not have the benefit lateral force resistance. In extreme cases, some
of the SEAONC Steel Subcommittee
of these features. tall structures were provided with only a single
and is a member of both the Connection
As a result of the apparent superior perfor- bay of moment-resisting framing on each side
Prequalification Review Panel and the
mance of these structures, building codes of of the building.
Committee on Manuals for AISC. He can be
the 1960s adopted preferential design criteria Following the 1994 Northridge earthquake,
reached at
for steel moment frames. Under these codes, engineers were surprised to discover that a
buildings having complete vertical load-carrying number of modern special moment-resisting Ronald O. Hamburger, S.E., SECB is Head
space frames as their lateral force resisting frame structures had experienced unanticipated of Structural Engineering, Western Region
system could be designed for two thirds of brittle fracturing of their welded beam-column for Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. in San
the seismic forces specified for braced frames connections (Figure 4). Similar damage occurred Francisco. Mr. Hamburger is Chair of the
and half the forces specified for bearing wall one year later, in the 1995 Kobe, Japan earth- AISC Connection Prequalification Review
structures. Further, these codes required such quake. Following these discoveries, a consortium Panel and received the Institute’s Higgins
frames in buildings exceeding 240 feet in height. of professional associations and researchers, award in 2006. He can be reached at
In the 1960s and 1970s, researchers began known as the SAC Joint Venture, engaged
to perform cyclic laboratory testing of steel in a federally funded, multi-year program of
moment framing. The researchers determined
that some control on the proportioning and
detailing of these structures was necessary to Further historic information is contained in the NEHRP Technical Brief No. 2. The brief
obtain superior inelastic behavior in strong also provides information on the expected earthquake performance of the system in general
earthquakes. Slowly, throughout the 1970s and outlines applicable building code design criteria. The intent of the brief is to emphasis
and 1980s, the building codes began to adopt code requirements and accepted approaches to their implementation. It provides background
the recommendations of these researchers information and illustrations to help understand the requirements. The brief was developed
and require special design, configuration, by the NEHRP Consultants Joint Venture (a partnership of the Applied Technology Council
and detailing of steel moment frames used and Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering), under Contract
for seismic resistance in regions of high seismic SB134107CQ0019, Earthquake Structural and Engineering Research, issued by the National
risk. Frames conforming to these design cri- Institute of Standards and Technology. It is available as a free download at
teria were first designated as Ductile Moment pdf/nistgcr9-917-3.pdf. The contributions of brief coauthors, Helmut Krawinkler and James
Resisting Space Frames, and then finally, in O. Malley are gratefully acknowledged.
1988, as Special Moment-Resisting Space
Frames. The term “special” was adopted, both

STRUCTURE magazine 14 June 2010

Now your hospital

longer seismic
Now your
care facilitiescare
buildings constructed
AISC RBS doglonger
health and health
have 3 times
can have 3 times
longer seismic cyclic and
buildings constructed have
dog bone
life than
life than
More thanbuildings
More constructed
than 500have with have
been completedAISC RBS dog
beentocompleted bone connections.
date withto date with
extensive cost More
extensive thanand
cost500 structures
savings have
and triple
the seismic cyclic completed
life using
the seismic cyclic to date with
thelife using the
SSDA SlottedWeb design.
SSDA SlottedWebcost savings
design.and triple
SSDA’s SlottedWebseismic cyclicislife design
SlottedWeb using the is
a far superiorSSDA SlottedWeb
a far superiorframe design.
moment frame
connection solution
connection SlottedWeb
solution design is
it because it
a far superior moment SSDA’s slotted
frame SSDA’sweb slotteddesign
websavesdesign money
savesthree money ways.
three . .ways. . .

11 2 2 3 3
eliminates lateral torsional
eliminates lateral torsional
buckling in the beam in
buckling solution
the beambecause
drastically it
drastically SSDA’s slotted web design saves money three ways. . .

1 2 3
reducing damage
reducing lateral torsional
to columns
damage to columns
and curtain-wall in the beam
and curtain-wall drastically
during earthquakes damage toand
during earthquakes columns
and curtain-wall
Thus, this unique Reduces steel
Thus, this unique Reduces steel Cuts the number Cuts the ofnumber Requires
of less shop less shop
during earthquakes and requirements by
requirements braces
by perbraces
span by pera span fabrication time and time and
by a fabrication
design affords significant
design affordscost
significant cost
windstorms. Thus, this approximately
unique Reduces steel magnitudeCuts
approximately of upthetonumber
magnitude of field
up of toflange welding.
Requiresflange welding.
less shop
savings oversavings
existing designs!
2.5 lbs./sq. ft. lbs./sq.
2.5 OSHPD*ft.3
requirements to 1, so it’s
by 3 far
braces1, easier
perit’s far easier
span by a fabrication time and
Sound to good Soundtoaffords
to true?
to be true? cost W36x396
permits permits W36x396 to route mechanical,
to route mechanical,
approximately magnitude of up to field flange welding.
Call Jay Allen or over
Jim existing
Partridge designs!
Call Jay Allen or Jim Partridgerolled or equivalent
2.5 or
lbs./sq. ft.electrical,
OSHPD* sprinkler
3 to 1, so sprinkler
it’s far easier
sections forpermits
sections systems and
for columns
W36x396 wastemechanical,
to route and waste
at Sound
at 888-4-slot-web to good to be
888-4-slot-web true?
Call Jay Allen or Jim based on cyclic
Partridge rolledtests
based or lines.
cyclic tests lines.
electrical, sprinkler
or check us or outcheck
on theuswebout at:
on the web at:
provided for hospitals.
sections forcolumns
for hospitals. systems and waste
www.slottedweb.com888-4-slot-web today
based on cyclic tests lines.
or check us out on the web* at: Office ofprovided
* Office ofHealth Planning
for hospitals. and
Health Development,
Planning State of California
and Development, State of California Interstory Drift vs. Number of Cycles to Fracture
* Office of Statewide Health Planning3
and Development,
SW Nf data RBS Nf data
State of California
pre-N Nf data WUF-W Nf data

Seismic Seismic 2.5

Interstory Drift (%)

StructuralStructural fiQ

Design Design for for

AssociatesAssociates eldifies
Design Points”Poifn

Inc. Inc. otrs”

“Keeping “Keeping
steel construction competitive”
steel construction competitive”
0 50 Points”
100 150 200 250
Cycles to Fracture (Nf)
Published in FEMA 350; approved
Published in FEMA by
350;every U. S. Federal
approved by everyand
U. State authority
S. Federal for use
and State in hospitals,
authority for useschools and commercial
in hospitals, andcommercial
schools and residentialand residential
construction. ICC-ES “Keeping
construction. steel
ICC-ESER-5861, construction
LR-Approval ofER-5861,
Los Angeles competitive”
City RR25614,
of U.S. Patents
Los Angeles 5,680,738;
RR25614, Why the WUF-W
U.S. Patents should
5,680,738; 6,237,303; not be used.
SSDA SlottedWeb is aSlottedWeb
SSDA registered trademark of Seismic
is a registered Structural
trademark Design
of Seismic Associates,
Structural Inc.Associates, Inc.
Published in FEMA 350; approved by every U. S. Federal and State authority for use in hospitals, schools and commercial and residential
construction. ICC-ES LR-Approval ER-5861, City of Los Angeles RR25614, U.S. Patents 5,680,738; 6,237,303; 7,047,695.
SSDA SlottedWeb is a registered trademark of Seismic Structural Design Associates, Inc.
Special Section: Seismic Products,
Performance Based Design

The Legacy of Northridge Lives On

By Larry Kahanar

The January 17, 1994 Northridge, California earthquake dramatically Adds Reynolds: “There’s a number of FEMA and ASCE guidelines
affected how structural engineers conduct the art and practice of for how to model, and we’ve really gone and tested that to get more
building design, probably more so than any other earthquake in performance out of buildings. That’s why we’re doing complicated,
recent history. Certainly changes resulted from the 1933 Long Beach non-linear analyses of buildings. Performance-based retrofitting, with
earthquake and the 1971 San Fernando earthquake; but it was the component testing, is the cutting edge in learning about the behavior of
Northridge earthquake that led to widespread and sweeping changes buildings and building components… It’s the most interesting seismic
in regulation, standards, design and products that have become well- design we’re doing right now.”
accepted and employed throughout the world. “We definitely have noticed, in the past few years, an increase in
The growth of performance-based design is probably the most sig- structural engineering firms using performance-based design,” says
nificant change that resulted from Northridge. Although it has been Henry Gallart, President of SidePlate Systems, Inc., based in Laguna
used for decades in the manufacture of cars, airplanes and other mass Hills, California ( “Non-linear dynamic analysis
produced products, performance-based design is difficult to employ in is definitely increasing among firms that do this kind of work.”
structures because each structure is unique, exists in a different environ- SidePlate offers a suite of high-performance steel frame connection
ment, and is built on varying ground conditions. technologies that have successfully been tested to provide protection
“Our LA office does a lot of hospital projects, mainly performance-based against blasts, progressive collapse, and earthquakes. The technology
design, for existing and new buildings,” says Aaron Reynolds, Principal was originally developed in response to the devastation caused by the
of consulting engineers KPFF, Inc., and based in their Los Angeles office 1994 Northridge earthquake in California, but it has been proven to
( “The state of the art on seismic design for buildings provide protection for other hazards as well, says Gallart.
that need a higher degree of seismic performance is performance-based Upcoming projects using SidePlate products include the Oakland
design, base isolation, or use of modern technology like BRBs.” He says: (CA) Air Traffic Control tower, which begins construction in the fall,
“We are doing a lot of retrofit performance-based design on steel moment and the Scripps Cardiovascular Institute in La Jolla, California.
frame buildings built in the 70s or concrete shear walls from the 50s.” “Another trend we’re seeing,” says Gallart, “is that patented construction
systems like SidePlate seem to have reached a
level of maturity, where more engineers are ac-
cepting them and willing to use them…When
they’ve proven to be cost effective, fabricators
also have accepted them; and that’s also been a
factor in engineers’ decisions.”
Another proprietary system that grew out
of the aftermath of Northridge is that of The
Spectrus Group’s Special Truss Moment Frame
(STMF) called Tru-Frame, which evolved from
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an extensive, multi-year study at the University

of Michigan.
“We took the study’s results and produced a
STMF,” says John Mayo, President and CEO of
The Spectrus Group, Inc. in Auburn, California
(, a division of
JD Squared, Inc. “We added a special segment
in the middle of the truss. It yields. We want
them to chew up energy, to elongate and not
return…After Northridge, lots of buildings
had to be closed and redone,” he says.
Mayo says that his company has been involved
in the construction of about 60 buildings, mainly
on the West Coast, including warehouses and
military office buildings. “In warehouses, we
are able to eliminate chevron bracing, which
opens up the interior space… We get rid of
the heavy moment connection at the column
which requires a lot of welding and inspection.
This reduces the weight 25-30 percent and
continued on page 18

STRUCTURE magazine 16 June 2010

Special Section
decreases foundation requirements. The speed
of the project goes quicker, too,” says Mayo.
Another offering, by Seismic Structural Design
SlottedWeb, a proprietary design developed in
response to the failure of moment frame connec-
tions during the 1994 Northridge earthquakes,
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according to company officials. The International

SIMPLIFIED MODELING TOOLS Code Council approves it for general use as a pre-
qualified connection in Special Moment Frames.
For fast and easy project modeling, Star Seismic BRB data is The SlottedWeb design works by separating
included with RAM and available for ETABS, RISA and REVIT. the beam web from the beam flanges in the con-
nection region, thus eliminating lateral-torsional
buckling and reducing large stress and strain
gradients across the beam flanges by permitting
them to flex out of plane. Vertical beam shear in
the flange/welds are reduced from typically 50
percent in the pre-Northridge Welded-Flange/
Bolted-Web connections to approximately 3
percent with the SlottedWeb design. Essentially,
all of the vertical shear is transferred to the
column through the beam web and shear plate,
thus reducing complex multi-axial stress and
strain in the column flanges which can lead to
We can help! Star Seismic provides design guidance for BRB frame analysis. reduced material ductility. Residual stresses in the
welding processes are also significantly reduced. 435-940-9222 (See ad on page 15.)
continued on page 20
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STRUCTURE magazine 18 June 2010

• Provides modeling information • Substantially reduces fabrication • Reduces structure weight by 25-30% • Advantages of “moment frame”
to easily evaluate comparison to time and delivery of steel to site design without “moment”
• Reduces foundation requirements
conventional framing connections
• No full-penetration welding allows • Eliminates full-penetration welding,
• Fully codified for easy jurisdictional quicker erection • No cumbersome diagonal bracing
saving substantial costs in both shop
approval through exterior windows or
• No leaving deck sheets out for and field
hindering interior flexibility
• Easy-to-learn system increases completion of beam-to-column • Eliminates special inspection costs
office efficiency connections • Superior vibration characteristics
• Eliminates Grade Beams
• Reduces design time by eliminating • Simple visual inspection of • Provides opportunity to lower
moment connection detailing connections allows other trades floor-to-floor heights by running
to begin sooner MEP through open framing
Special Section from lumber... In the Tallahassee Supreme Court building, it is used for
its blast resistance.” (See ad on page 18.)
Sure-Board has been in business for ten years. Their products are
Many engineers are exploiting the growing popularity of Buckling approved by the GSA using ASTM E2126-07 reverse cycling testing.
Restrained Braces or BRB because they are not only replaceable after a A company that offers a unique product for seismic protection
quake, but they can be adjusted to a structure’s specific requirements. “One is Fibrwrap Construction, Inc. ( of
of the nice things about BRB’s is that you can fine tune the buckling for a Ontario, California. “We are a specialized contractor that supplies and
specific application. We can fine tune for stiffness and strength,” says Steve installs fiber-reinforced polymer products, or Fiber Wrap, manufactured
Powell, a Principal of Star Seismic, Park City, Utah (, by the Fyfe Company,” says CEO Heath Carr. “We also perform other
which holds patents on BRB products. (See ad on page 18.) structural strengthening applications, including concrete repair, epoxy
Powell notes that many of the buildings in Chile use structural steel crack injection, and specialty coatings.”
frames, and the question raised after the giant quake this year was whether “When the Fiber Wrap is applied to columns, for instance, for seismic
to repair the damaged buildings or tear them down. “This is a huge issue strengthening”, says Carr, “it reinforces the structure so that, during an
because of the non-ductile shear walls there. Not very many buildings earthquake, catastrophic events do not occur, such as building collapse.”
failed, but now they’re damaged buildings. There were not many deaths, The company recently finished work on the Downtown Women’s
but many people had to move out. Minimal compliance is a safety matter. Center in Los Angeles where it retrofitted 140 columns, as part of the
People got out; but now what do you do with the buildings?” building’s renovation and conversion to housing for homeless women.
Carleton Elliott, CFO of International Materials, Inc., parent company “The key benefit of the Tyfo® Fibrwrap® is that you can add structural
of Sure-Board (, says that his company’s patented, value to columns, beams, walls, and even piping with a lightweight,
proprietary product, which laminates steel sheet to many different sub- low-profile, advanced composite material. The foundation is not
strates, can increase the load-resisting capacity of steel up to 35 percent. impacted, even though you’re adding significantly to the robustness of
“The typical method of controlling lateral movement is with products the structure; and, at the same time, when the material is applied, the
such as X-bracing, plywood or OSB [oriented strand board]. X-brace is overall profile of the structural member is typically only increased one
for the uplift side, but not compression. Sure-Board and plywood come quarter to one-half an inch,” says Carr.
from the same family of control, but we’re non-combustible.” He adds: Taylor Devices ( of North Tonawanda, New
“We can butt a standard piece of drywall to Sure-Board without furring.” York, takes another approach to seismic protection with its line of
Elliott notes that Sure-Board is used on the East Coast to prevent seismic dampers and seismic isolation components. “For tall buildings,
damage from hurricane-force high winds in buildings such as military we have been doing well with our toggle brace. We pioneered its use
facilities and housing projects. It is also used for earthquake protection on 111 Huntington in Boston, a 38-story high rise,” says CEO Doug
on West Coast buildings such as those at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Taylor. “Toggle braces lower building deflections by a factor of four, so
and Los Angeles schools. “They chose steel to eliminate off-gassing you can use smaller dampers; and this makes dampers easier to package.
continued on page 22
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STRUCTURE magazine 20 June 2010

Special Section
We sell it along with dampers; there is a cost savings of 20 to 30 percent
sounds weird; but in the world of earthquakes, that’s good.” One of the
over conventional dampers. It cuts damper diameter by half, which unique facets is that the device uses machined spring technology which,
saves space.” in large sizes, is pretty new, Taylor notes. “You can make it from steel
Taylor notes that there is some potentially game-changing seismic that you cannot ordinarily make springs from, because it’s machined
testing now being conducted at the State University of New York at from a hunk of metal.” The first paper describing the study is expected
Buffalo. The research, funded by the National Science Foundation, is to be published in July.
studying a Negative Stiffness Device. “It’s an odd name,” admits Taylor.
Still another approach to seismic protection is soil improvement and
The device works in conjunction with dampers and makes the building mitigation of liquefaction, specialties of Hayward Baker, Inc., head-
fairly stiff under smaller wind gusts. Under larger inputs, such as 5.5
quartered in Odenton, Maryland ( “People
earthquakes, the building becomes ‘softer’ once it moves past a certain
hear seismic and they think California; but we do a lot of work outside of
point. “I know it sounds weird,” Taylor says of the device, which usesCalifornia, such as in the Northeast and the Caribbean. They also have
technology borrowed from NASA. “It is inactive under small pushes, seismic issues,” says Director Jim Hussin. “There are few parts of the
but BraceYrslfStrctrMag.qxd
under larger 9/3/09
pushes it tries to push the building10:09 AM which
further, Page
1 country that don’t have to deal with these issues.” (See ad on page 21.)
One trend that Hussin is seeing is that increasing
numbers of jurisdictions are adopting the Inter-
national Building Code (IBC). “It’s becoming
more and more the standard; and, the IBC is
Y O U B U I L D I T.
W E ’ L L P R O T E C T I T. pretty specific about how foundations should
be designed.”
Hussin notes that the company’s first job was
SEISMIC PROTECTION the Santa Barbara waste water treatment plant in
FROM TAYLOR DEVICES 1974. A more recent project is the Cancer Center
in Ventura, California, where they did soil mixing.
Stand firm. Don’t settle for less than the seismic protection The company also performed seismic upgrading
of Taylor Fluid Viscous Dampers. As a world leader in for the San Pablo Dam in Richmond, California.
the science of shock isolation, we are the team you “People don’t think of earthquakes in New York
want between your structure and the undeniable forces City, but they have faults. We just did Harlem
of nature. Others agree. Taylor Fluid Viscous Dampers Hospital, which is in an area with loose sands
are currently providing earthquake, wind, and motion that can liquefy during an earthquake.”
protection on more than 240 buildings and bridges. Although innovative engineering designs are
From the historic Los Angeles City Hall to Mexico’s key to seismic protection, proper fabrication
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Torre Mayor and the new Shin-Yokohama High-speed procedures also must be addressed. To this end,
Train Station in Japan, owners, architects, engineers, ESAB North America (, a
and contractors trust the proven subsidiary of Anderson Group, Inc., has been
technology of Taylor Devices’ working for about three years on electrodes that
Fluid Viscous Dampers. are certified for seismic use. “We have quite a
few certified, and they’re being used now,” says
Roger Bushey, Product Compliance Manager.
“The most famous project where these are being
used is the Freedom Tower in New York.”
Founded more than 100 years ago, ESAB Cut-
ting & Welding is involved in welding and cutting
equipment, welding consumables, welding auto-
mation, and cutting systems.
Bushey notes that electrodes must adhere to
American Welding Society (AWS) D1.8 for
seismic service. “We have had inquiries from
Mexico (about certified electrodes) as well as in-
terest from Asia, even though they don’t always
follow AWS or FEMA standards.”
Taylor Devices’ Fluid Viscous Dampers give you the seismic protection To help inexperienced welders and make experi-
you need and the architectural freedom you want. enced welders more productive, ESAB has come
out with its Dual Shield X-Series of flux-cored
w w w. t a y l o r d e v i c e s . c o m wires. The new wires are much more forgiving
than traditional flux-cored wires. “We have
seismic certified electrodes, and we’re coming out
with more. They have a wider operating range,
North Tonawanda, NY 14120 - 0748
so it doesn’t have to be dialed in exactly. The
Phone: 716.694 .0800 • Fax: 716.695 .6015 wires are forgiving because of how they’re made,”
says Bushey.▪

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High Performance Economics
By Paul W. McMullin, Ph.D., S.E.
and Ronald H. Dunn, S.E.

South elevation showing steel framing and interior shear walls.

It is not every day that your client knows enough about structural design. Two key goals grew from this desire: Immediate Occupancy
engineering to require a certain type of connection and insist on a seismic performance and Progressive Collapse resistance. The first goal
higher level of seismic protection. But that is exactly what Workers was a requirement of the design. The second was not explicit, just a
Compensation Fund (WCF) did when they built their new corporate desire to have as much protection as possible through prudent design
headquarters in Sandy, Utah, in the south portion of the Salt Lake decisions. These two goals influenced a myriad of structural and other
Valley. After a seismic study indicated their offices did not meet current design decisions.
seismic codes, and unsatisfied with the time and interruption of a With an understanding of seismic performance options from their
retrofit, WCF embarked on a journey to build a new home that would previous building study, WCF knew that the traditional building code
meet their needs for years to come and ensure continued operation only provided life safety and that higher levels were available. The
under demanding environmental conditions. question was how much more performance could they afford in light
WCF is a sophisticated client who understands the economic loss of escalating construction costs. To assist the owner in their decision
of not being operational. A driving desire for them was to serve their making process, the structural engineer and contractor developed
clients after a major seismic event, and not spend time scrambling to a number of structural options with associated costs, and compared
take care of themselves. To do this required significant contribution these to a typical office building design. From this iterative process, the
from all parties involved. The owner, contractor, and design team owner selected Immediate Occupancy for a 5%/50 seismic event and
collaborated closely throughout the design and construction process to Life Safety for a 2%/50 year event. The return period for the Immediate
satisfy WCF’s challenging goals. The end result was a high-performance Occupancy design interestingly corresponded with WCF’s standard
building that met WCF’s aesthetic and functional needs. risk interval of 1 in 1000 years.
Although the threat of terrorist activities against this type of owner is
Project Goals & Criteria believed to be low, WCF desired to have as much Anti-Terrorism/Force
Protection (AT/FP) resistance available, without negatively affecting
Knowing this would be a one time opportunity, WCF approached
the project budget. In other words, they essentially asked that the team
the project with a thirst for understanding their options. They had
make design decisions that would provide as much protection as pos-
developed several other buildings and parking structures as investments,
sible. This posed a significant opportunity to be creative.
but this time it was for keeps. From finishes to foundations, they pushed
In addition to the high-performance structural system and back-up
the design team and contractor for information in order to weigh their
systems to ensure continued operation, aesthetics and energy efficiency
many options and desires. Their hunger for knowledge, and back and
were paramount to the owners. This resulted in utilizing an attractive
forth design interactions, defined the project.
and durable stone and curtain wall cladding system, pursuit of a LEED
In addition to goals common to office type projects, WCF wanted a
Gold rating (which WCF is on track to receive), 10-foot ceilings, and
building that would structurally perform far beyond a traditional IBC
an open floor plate.

Structural System and Design

WCF executives overseeing the project do not like braced frames.
Their current board room only has two small windows next to a large,
furred-out frame bay, effectively obstructing the view of the Salt Lake
valley. It was a nuisance to them and they were determined not to go
there. With braced frames out, a perimeter moment frame became the
most logical choice for the lateral force resisting system. This presented
several advantages:
• Open interior floor plates
• Unobstructed views
• High seismic energy absorption capacity
• Significant Progressive Collapse resistance
When presented with the dog-bone connection option, WCF found
it strange to remove a portion of the beam. One of the executives re-
Finished, southeast elevation. marked, “It doesn’t make sense to take a perfectly good beam and cut a

STRUCTURE magazine 24 June 2010

big piece out of it.” It was counter intuitive enough that they insisted on utilizing a different con-
nection. Given the high seismic zone and desire for progressive collapse protection, the SidePlate™
connection was a natural fit. With the decision to use a SidePlate moment connection, steel
became the material for the gravity system as well.
With the lateral system and material decided upon, Dunn Associates Inc. set out to design
the perimeter moment frame. Preliminary frame sizes required 800 pound-per-foot column
sections, which attracted the contractor’s immediate attention. Sizes over 400 pounds-per-foot
come from overseas and, at the time, had a minimum six month lead period with no firm
delivery date. To meet the schedule, the team decided to utilize the perimeter moment frame
with a concrete shear wall core. The concrete core drew enough seismic force to reduce the
frame column sizes such that they were available in the United States.
The final lateral system design consisted of:
• Moment frames with 36-inch series columns and 21-inch series beams.
• Concrete shear wall core that was continuous around the first two stories, then individual
wall segments for the remaining five levels. The wall thickness varied from 14 inches in
the basement to 8 inches at the top two stories.
• Mat foundation to support the core walls and several interior columns.
• Grade beams around the perimeter to carry the moment frame reactions.
The design basis for the lateral system was ASCE 41 Seismic Rehabilitation for Existing Buildings.
While originally developed for retrofit of existing structures, this Performance Based approach
is applicable to new building design. A linear dynamic model provided the structural analysis
which was used in combination with spreadsheets developed specifically for shear wall and moment Corner SidePlate™ connection at roof.
frame design, according to ASCE 41.
For added progressive collapse resistance design the final documents included:
• Reinforced slabs over metal deck with #3@18 inches each way in lieu of Paul McMullin, Ph.D., S.E. ( is
the welded wire reinforcing. a Principal with Dunn Associates Inc. and directs their high-
• Hooked slab reinforcing at the perimeter frame beams and shear wall embeds. performance building work.
• Double clip angle steel to steel connections. Ronald Dunn, S.E. ( is the President and
owner of Dunn Associates Inc.
WCF, the contractor, and the design team have met the goals set out at the
beginning of the project. Together, they have delivered a high-performance, Cross-Hole Analyzer Model CHAMP
aesthetically pleasing, energy efficient building that will serve the user for
decades to come. Without the close cooperation of all involved, these goals
would still be on the drawing board.
The high-performance structure of WCF’s new home added a mere 3% Crosshole
to the overall cost of the building; a small price to pay to be operational Sonic Logging
immediately after an earthquake.
When an owner looks at their building as being critical to their ability to and Single Hole
stay in business, the entire discussion changes. The building goes from being Logging per

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an expense, or even an asset, to a vital part of their operation. This opens up
the ability to create a truly high-performance building that will help protect ASTM D6760
the owner’s economic security.▪

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Structural framing, showing moment frames and interior shear walls.

STRUCTURE magazine 25 June 2010

The Leaning
Towers of
VeerTM Towers,
Las Vegas, NV
By Neb Erakovic, PEng, Terry Dawson, BEng,
and Kyle Cossette, BSc
Figure 1: Typical VeerTM Towers Cross Section and Plan.
Courtesy of Murphy/Jahn Architects.

S ituated in the center of the prestigious CityCenter development,

the VeerTM Towers occupy a privileged spot on the world famous
Las Vegas Strip. To earn such an honored location, and the moniker
Veer Towers, these twin, high-rise buildings each lean dramatically
at opposing five degree angles from the vertical. The leans, their imposes permanent lateral shears and overturning moments on the lat-
defining architectural characteristic, required the sophisticated eral load resisting system of the towers. These forces try to push the
application of conventionally reinforced concrete to the structural towers further over in the direction of their lean.
building systems.
Halcrow Yolles was selected by MGM MIRAGE to provide Lateral Load Resisting System
structural engineering consulting services for one of three blocks
The push from the permanent P-delta effects, together with transient lateral
of the giant, 17 million square foot CityCenter project, which is
wind and earthquake forces, dictates a requirement for a laterally stiff and
unprecedented in size in North America. Two of the four high-rise
strong coupled shear wall system for each tower. To satisfy this requirement,
buildings designed by Halcrow Yolles are the 37-story LEED® Gold
shear walls (Figure 1) form a large, boxed, ‘Z’ shaped core on plan at the center
certified Veer Towers. These stunning towers rise 480 feet above
of each tower.
the Las Vegas Strip to provide accommodation for approximately
670 condominium units, spectacular rooftop amenity spaces, Earthquake Loading
and podium lobby spaces. As Structural Engineers of Record,
Halcrow Yolles collaborated with world-renowned architects Active faults lie beneath the Las Vegas Basin, and the city is located in
Gensler, Murphy/Jahn, and AAI Architects Inc. in the design of a region of high seismicity. This high seismic hazard, combined with the
this challenging project. tall height and heavy weight of the towers, makes earthquake loading
more critical than wind loading for the building design. With the towers
already leaning, the occurrence of a major earthquake has the potential to
Leaning Towers superimpose large additional forces onto the permanently stressed lateral
Intuitively, a leaning building has a natural tendency to lean load resisting systems. It is common to use the energy-absorbing benefits of
beyond the intended angle due to the eccentricity of the structural ductility to reduce earthquake design forces for buildings subjected
weight at the top of the building. Other factors, including to high seismic hazard. However, in the Veer Towers, stiff and strong shear walls
lateral earthquake and wind loads, differential axial shortening are required to resist leaning forces and limit lateral drifts. As a result, a high
of vertical structural elements, and differential foundation level of ductility cannot efficiently be used to reduce earthquake design forces,
settlement, increase this natural tendency to lean further. and ordinary reinforced concrete shear walls are utilized.
The combined actions can potentially cause building insta- An earthquake can shake the towers in any direction. If the earthquake ground
bility or damage to elements of the building. The structural shaking direction coincides with the direction of the lean of one of the towers,
design of the Veer Towers ensures that the towers remain the effect on the lateral load resisting system of that tower becomes critical, as the
stable, and that movements are within acceptable building permanent and transient lateral shears and overturning moments become additive.
code specified limits, to ensure comparable performance This is particularly critical on the vertical elements of the lateral load resisting
to a vertical building. system due to the additive overturning moments. If the side that the tower leans
towards is considered the down-lean side, the vertical compression is increased on
P-Delta Effects that side while on the opposite up-lean side of the tower net vertical tension may
Due to the tower leans, the weight of the upper floors occur. Thick, heavily reinforced walls are required on the down-lean side, while the
of the towers is eccentric to the vertical centerline of each net vertical tension requires mechanically coupled vertical reinforcing up the height
tower (Figure 1). The P-delta effect of this eccentricity of the tower walls on the up-lean side.

STRUCTURE magazine 26 June 2010

Differential Axial Shortening Due to Creep and Shrinkage
All high-rise reinforced concrete buildings require assessment of dif-
ferential axial compression shortening. Long term creep and shrinkage
of concrete occurs when permanent or long term loads are applied.
Columns and walls both vertically support the permanent weight of
the buildings. However, the columns tend to have higher compression
stress than walls and interior columns tend to have higher compression
stress than perimeter columns. These differences in permanent axial
stresses cause the columns and walls to axially shorten at different rates
and by different amounts. This differential shortening effect is made
worse by the leans of the Veer Towers, increasing compression pressures
on the down-lean side of the towers in comparison to the up-lean side.
If the down-lean side shortens more than the up-lean side, the tops of
the towers will move laterally, increasing the P-delta eccentricity and
increasing the leans of the towers.
To allow for the anticipated shortening of the columns and walls,
each floor slab is built slightly higher than the final intended design
height. This super elevation of floors is common for reinforced concrete
high-rise buildings. Despite analyses indicating a preference to super
elevate by different amounts across each floor plate due to differential
shortening, construction practicalities dictated a need for constant
super elevations for each floor plate varying linearly up the height of the
towers. Floor levelling compound is applied within each condominium
unit to mitigate this potential problem.

Differential Settlement
If the full footprint of a building settles evenly, at the same rate and
by the same vertical distance, no adverse effects will be experienced
within that footprint. However, unless separated by expansion joints,
if one area of a building settles more than another area this difference
may cause adverse effects including structural cracking and damage to Figure 2: South Façade Inclined Composite Lobby Columns under Construction.
non-structural building elements. A system of
drilled reinforced concrete foundation shafts is
utilized to support the towers and limit differ-
ential building settlements to acceptable levels.
To resist vertical loads, the shafts rely on end
bearing onto the dense sand below and surface
friction against the sand down the sides of the
shafts. The vertical compressive pressure on the
sand is higher on the down-lean side and lower
on the up-lean side, leading to differential settle-

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ment. Similarly to differential axial shortening,
this differential settlement will cause the tops of
the towers to move laterally, increasing the leans.
The combined impact of P-delta effects, perma-
nent loads, transient earthquake loads, differential
axial shortening, and differential settlement, were
studied extensively for impact on the leans of the
towers. Regular survey monitoring was carried out
during construction to ensure that the intentional
five degree leans of the towers were not uninten-
tionally exceeded.

Structural Building Features

Branch Column Transfers
The shear walls and internal tower columns
extend vertically over the height of the towers.
However, the leans of the towers derive trans-
lating floor plates over the height with inclined
columns on the sloping north and south building

STRUCTURE magazine 27 June 2010

Project Team
Owner: MGM MIRAGE, Las Vegas, NV & Infinity World
Development Corp, a subsidiary of Dubai World
Executive Architect: Gensler, Las Vegas, NV
Design Architect: Murphy/Jahn Architects, Chicago, IL
Architect of Record: AAI Architects Inc, Toronto, ON
Executive Construction Manager: Tishman Construction Corp, Las Vegas, NV
General Contractor: Perini Building Company, Las Vegas, NV
Post-Tensioning Sub-Contractor: Dywidag Systems International USA Inc., Long Beach, CA
Structural Engineer of Record: Halcrow Yolles, Toronto, ON & Las Vegas, NV
Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing
Engineers of Record: Flack & Kurtz, San Francisco, CA
Interior Designer: Dianna Wong Architecture & Interior Design Inc,
Los Angeles, CA
Interior Design Architect of Record: Hamilton Anderson Associates, Detroit, MI

post-tensioned concrete transfer beams are utilized to support these

columns, and to transfer their loads to adjacent columns that continue
down to foundation level. The parallelogram-shaped floor plate and
architectural requirement for open podium floor plates necessitate
transfer beams supported on other transfer beams, creating complex
pre-stressing and reinforcement details. In particular, three large transfer
beams intersect together at one location. To alleviate reinforcing
congestion between heavily reinforced vertical elements and transfer
beam pre-stressing anchors and end reinforcing, transfer beams are
extended through supporting walls and past supporting columns.

Conventionally reinforced concrete and pre-stressed, post-tensioned
concrete is innovatively applied to the structural systems of the leaning
Veer Towers. In leaning concrete buildings, there are P-delta effects
from permanent and transient loads, differential axial shortening, and
differential settlement, all of which can amplify the lean requiring thor-
ough design checks and construction monitoring.
VeerTM Towers. Branched column transfers are readily applied to reinforced concrete
buildings, but apply horizontal membrane forces to floor systems. Struc-
façades. Over the 480-foot height of the 37 stories, the floor plates shift tural steel ‘W’ sections can also readily be embedded into tall, heavily loaded
a total of 35 feet in the north/south direction. At the sixth, nineteenth reinforced concrete columns to reduce column cross section dimensions.
and thirty-second floors, column transfers are utilized for the inclined With careful attention to reinforcing detailing, large intersecting concrete
north and south façade columns to maintain feasible spans for the transfer beams can be utilized to increase usable space at the base of tower
eight-inch-thick flat reinforced concrete floor slabs. Column transfers buildings by terminating columns and transferring their loads.
are tree-branch-shaped (Figure 1, page 26 ) with floor diaphragms The architectural success of the striking leaning Veer Towers is reliant
reinforced for the resultant horizontal forces. on an advanced structural engineering solution utilizing stiff reinforced
concrete lateral load resisting systems to withstand a natural tendency
Inclined Composite Lobby Columns
to lean further than intended.
The south façades of both buildings’ lobbies are characterized with From an airplane window flying into Las Vegas, from a limousine cruis-
80-foot-tall exposed reinforced concrete columns, inclined to follow ing along the Strip, or from a balcony of one of MGM MIRAGE’s other
the leans of the towers (Figure 2, page 27 ). Due to architectural space iconic Las Vegas properties, the dramatic lean of the Veer Towers catches
constraints for the lobbies, and the requirement to maximize usable space the eye and the imagination, drawing visitors into MGM MIRAGE’s mag-
by minimizing column sizes, composite columns with large embedded nificent CityCenter. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2010.▪
‘W’ structural steel members were introduced at a number of locations.
Temporary shoring was required to hold the columns in their correct
position until the tops of the columns could be tied into the transfer floor Neb Erakovic, PEng, is a Principal in Halcrow Yolles’s Toronto office.
level above the podium. The vertical height and sizes of these inclined He can be reached at
columns are large, and required checking for lateral deflections due to Terry Dawson, BEng, is an Associate in Halcrow Yolles’s Toronto office.
self-weight in addition to slenderness, buckling and P-delta effects. He can be reached at
Kyle Cossette, BSc, is a Project Manager in Halcrow Yolles’s Las Vegas
Pre-Stressed, Post-Tensioned Column Transfer Beams
office. He can be reached at
Due to retail and lobby space requirements at the podium base of
the towers, a number of tower columns above are terminated at the For applicable design codes and standards see the online
transfer floor level (Figure 1, page 26 ). A series of large pre-stressed, version of this article at

STRUCTURE magazine 28 June 2010

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Nakheel Super Tall Tower
By Ahmad Rahimian, Ph.D., S.E., P.E., Kamran Moazami, P.E., M. ASCE
and Bart Sullivan, P.E.

The Nakheel Tower is part of the Nakheel Harbour & Tower Development in Dubai, United
Arab Emirates. The record breaking design of the Tall Tower, with a height of more than 3,300
feet (1 kilometer), follows many other bold initiatives taken in developing real estate in the
Emirate. It is intended to be a central focal point of the numerous large scale developments
(some constructed, some planned) that the quasi-government owned Nakheel has implemented.
The shear size of the tower, over 10 million square feet (1 million square meters), will be
a mixed-use development containing residential, office, hotel, and accompanying retail and
amenity spaces. It will be situated adjacent to the proposed Arabian Canal, and will be the
center of a 667 acre (270 hectare) development, home to 55,000 people and to a workplace
for 45,000 more.
The tower’s record breaking height and gross area necessitated a unique approach to super-
tall building design from the standpoint of functionality, structural design and constructability.
Influenced by historical Islamic patterns, the project architect, Woods Bagot, Dubai, UAE,
conceptualized a symmetric cylindrical tower that is accented by 16 points formed by
perimeter columns.
The diameter of the building was set at nearly 330 feet (100 meters) in order to limit the
height-to-width aspect ratio to approximately 1:10. Without any mitigating strategy, this would
have created a very large floor plan with central areas far from natural light. This led to the
creation of a central void which then created the opportunity to place large vertical slots through
the tower. These slots are an essential means of improving the building’s aerodynamics.
One of the main tenets of tall building design is to maximize the most valuable real estate, i.e.
the usable areas at the top of the building. This led to an almost uniform cylindrical shape for
the tower from the ground up. This is contrary to traditional tall buildings that tend to taper as
they reach greater heights. While tapering is effective to reduce the wind sail of the building, it
also reduces the most valuable real estate. However, by allowing wind to pass directly through the Nakheel Harbour and Tower. Courtesy of
Woods Bagot Architects.
center of the tower, an effective reduction in wind forces would be provided.

The slots typically divide the building into four quadrants over • Constructability issues need to be addressed and embedded
approximately 25 floors, which are then linked together by three- within the early stages of the design concept.
story “skybridges”. This effectively results in several stacked 25 • Understanding the wind aerodynamics, aero-elastic effects
story buildings – creating a vertical city. Each skybridge serves as a and approaches to mitigating those effects are the key to a
transfer point from shuttle lifts to local lifts, and provides amenity successful design.
and retail spaces for the 25 floors above. In addition, these levels Beyond its constant form from top to bottom, the tower is also
provide spaces for plant rooms, emergency medical facilities, as well characterized by its symmetry. This provides two very important
as alternate means of egress. benefits for the structure. First, there are no transfers of vertical
elements in the main body of the tower. Second, it allows for a
Structural Form uniform distribution of gravity forces throughout the structure.
These characteristics allow for a more efficient structure. Further,
In order to create an efficient structure in super tall buildings,
they address an important design consideration for super-tall
“First Principles”, as described below, have to be established early
buildings – axial shortening.
on that provide guidance throughout the design process. With
Differential axial shortening becomes a greater and greater concern
conventional buildings the design is not highly sensitive to many
with each additional story in a building. Maintaining a uniform
of these principles; overlooking them in super tall buildings would
distribution of load throughout the structure was one of the driving
have a significant effect.
forces in developing the structural systems, given that the building
• Architectural and Structural concepts need to merge and
would likely shorten more than 16 inches (400 millimeters) at its
complement each other like body and soul.
observation level due to elastic, creep and shrinkage effects.
• Structural components and systems need to follow a
Every element of the structure is interconnected. This creates
utilitarian rationale for their presence, thus reinforcing the
an extremely efficient structure where the materials perform dual
entire fabric of the structure and architecture.
roles; they provide for multiple alternative load paths for added
• Robust and intrinsic load paths and symmetry are critical virtues.
redundancy and redistribution of loads and, by placing materials
• All vertical structural elements need to participate in
only where they are required for strength, they create a uniform
supporting both vertical and lateral load effects, leaving no
distribution of loads so as not to have differential shortening.
ounce of structure under-utilized.

STRUCTURE magazine 30 June 2010

Structural System
The floor system is a conventional steel framed composite concrete on
metal deck system. Reducing the overall weight of super-tall buildings
is always a principal goal, since the weight tends to compound itself
in the vertical elements. The vertical load carrying system is primarily
reinforced concrete, comprised of mega columns at the perimeter,
interconnected to a series of internal walls.
The wall system consists of a drum wall acting as
the main spine of the tower, which is essentially
analogous to a typical building’s central core wall.
The drum walls are connected to a series of fin
walls, both inward and outward of the drum walls,
to provide gravity support.
The fin walls provide connections to the eight
corner mega-columns at the perimeter. The mega-
columns are interconnected by a three-story
perimeter belt truss at each skybridge. These three-
story high steel trusses provide a means of engaging
the mega-columns to further increase the lateral
stiffness of the building.
The composite link walls extend over several
floors, occurring at every skybridge. The walls serve to
link the drum walls of each quadrant. This produces
an interconnected structural system that behaves as a
single tower rather than separate quadrants. These
walls consist of steel plate shear walls encased with
up to 50 inches (1300 millimeters) of reinforced
concrete. Structural bracing is also extended from
Finite Element the link in order to provide added strength while
Analysis Model of allowing circulation through the skybridge. Wind Flow through the Slots. Courtesy of Woods Bagot Architects.
Spire and Crown. continued on the next page
structure_ad_June_2010.pdf 5/5/2010 12:17:13 PM

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STRUCTURE magazine 31 June 2010

Isometric View of Skybridge Belt Trusses.

Spanning across the internal void at each sky bridge is a series of steel
trusses. The primary floor trusses span the void in one direction, with
a series of secondary trusses in the perpendicular direction to create Conceptual Slip-Form System. Courtesy of Taisei Corporation.
added redundancy with alternate load paths.
to the superstructure design. Fugor Consultants provided the geotechnical
Spire and Crown Structure investigation services and Golder Associates provided the geotechnical
The top of the building is characterized by a series of eight arches that consulting services. The tower foundation is a combination of raft and
extend upward to a center spire that supports several special function deep foundations using closely spaced barrettes, capped with a rein-
floors. The arch structure itself is taller than the Eiffel Tower. forced concrete raft system whose thickness ranges between 13 feet (4
The spire itself is a cylindrical concrete form that is supported from meters) and 26 feet (8 meters). Barrettes are deep foundations similar to
the upper skybridge by a series of concrete walls. The special function drilled cast-in-place piles that are constructed in a rectangular shape.
floors and the arches are to be constructed with structural steel. Normally Grab-Bucket or Hydrofraise drilling tools are use. Soletanche-
Outrigger trusses at the special function levels would serve to support Bachy, the foundation contractor, has already installed almost one half
the floor systems, as well as stabilize the spire by engaging the arch of the deep foundations for the tower.
elements. The arch elements are designed as trussed space frames to
be architecturally clad. Wind Tunnel Testing
The wind phenomenon is perhaps the single greatest challenge in the
Constructability design of super tall buildings. Establishing the wind climate, under-
Constructability was the paramount issue in creating an efficient standing wind’s behavior at different strata, direction and frequency
structural design for such a project. Reinforced concrete was chosen of occurrence, understanding the building’s aerodynamic and aero-
as the basic structural material because of its structural design and elastic response, and making subsequent adjustments to the build-
constructability efficiency in this tall building application. Self ing’s geometry to mitigate wind effects was key to addressing
climbing slip form construction has been planned for this challenge. The structural engineering, architecture
the erection of the wall system. and wind tunnel testing of the tower were very
The utilization of high performance concrete is closely intertwined throughout the development
imperative in achieving a building of such un- of the project.
precedented height. Although there is a ready Numerous alternates for the building’s
supply of concrete in Dubai, concrete be- shape were studied throughout the tower’s
yond 11,500 psi (80 MPa) is believed to development to address programming,
not have been attempted. For the Nakheel functionality and response to wind effects.
Tower, concrete in excess of 14,500 psi Ultimately, many of the refinements to the
(100 MPa) has been specified. tower’s architectural concept were driven
To this end, the design team collaborated by aerodynamics.
with concrete technologists Ancon Beton, Where it was more appropriate, computa-
Australia, to develop special design mixes. tional fluid dynamics (CFD) was also used
This was seen as a crucial element in the to study variations in geometry together
structural design of the building, and work with dozens of high frequency force balance
on the concrete mix design was undertaken (HFFB) tests. The slots through the build-
before completion of the schematic design. ing were employed to mitigate the vortex
The geotechnical investigation and foun- shedding phenomenon that is typical of
dation design were advanced in parallel tracks Foundation Barrette Plan. slender round structures. These slots serve

STRUCTURE magazine 32 June 2010

to reduce the overall wind load on the building by
three fold. One lesson learned in the design was that
very subtle changes in the slot or internal void geometry
can substantially impact the aerodynamic behavior.
Aeroelastic model testing and high frequency pressure
integration studies were also performed to provide
additional pieces to the puzzle.

The design has progressed into Design Development
with most of the project’s challenging design issues
resolved. Currently, more than half of the foundation
barrettes have been placed successfully. However, the HFFB Test at RWDI.
project is on hold due to the current market
downturn and, at the moment, the future con-
struction schedule is unknown.▪

Ahmad Rahimian, Ph.D., P.E., S.E is the

President of WSP Cantor Seinuk, based in
We make your morning
New York and part of WSP Group PLC. Dr.
Rahimian was the recipient of 2007 AISC commute possible.
Special Achievement Award, 2005 ASCE-
CERF Charles Pankow Award for innovation
and the ENR Excellence Award as one of the
Top 25 Newsmakers of 2003.
Kamran Moazami, P.E., M. ASCE, is Senior
Vice President and Director of WSP Cantor
Seinuk in London, UK.
Bart Sullivan, P.E. is a Vice President and

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Director of the Middle East with WSP
Cantor Seinuk.

This article is a modified version of a keynote speech

given at the fib Symposium in London in June
2009, which was published in the fib Symposium
Proceedings. It is reprinted with permission. Micropile Installation
I-94/Riverside Drive Interchange
Battle Creek, MI

This project was the result of intense collabora- The support you need to protect
tive efforts between various international design critical infrastructure.
and construction team members under the
guidance of the ownership, in particular with When overpass foundations unexpectedly shifted
the project architect, Woods Bagot. WSP Group during construction operations at the I-94/Riverside
has been appointed as structural consultant; Drive Interchange in Battle Creek, MI, an emergency
managed by its specialty high-rise group, WSP 1-800-388-2340 response was needed to keep this important route open.
Cantor Seinuk, as the lead structural engineer
In two days, Nicholson Construction Company had
in collaboration with Leslie E. Robertson Asso-
ciates, New York, and VDM Group, Australia. designed a fix and was on-site installing micropiles to
Winward Structures, Melbourne, Australia, was stabilize the bridge foundations and prevent further
assigned as the structural peer reviewer. RWDI, movement. At Nicholson, we specialize in deep foun-
Ontario, Canada was assigned as the wind dations, earth retention, ground treatment and ground
engineer in collaboration with Boundary Layer improvement techniques that help you achieve your
Wind Tunnel Laboratory at University of Western project goals. Nicholson...the support you need.
Ontario, Canada and Mel Consultants, Melbourne,
Australia as wind tunnel peer reviewers.

STRUCTURE magazine 33 June 2010

Windows reflecting the sky.
Thousands of people at work.
The livelihood of a nation.
A moment of urban renewal.

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Mineta San Jose International Airport
elivering orm anD unction

By Terry L. Palmer, P.E.

Figure 1: San Jose’s newest airport terminal and concourse elegantly marry form and function, readily meeting traveler needs while embodying the spirit of the Silicon
Valley in a shape reflective of an unraveling fiber optics cable. Courtesy of Magnusson Klemencic Associates.

On a recent shuttle bus trip to Mineta San Jose International Airport, produce an early bid package that included the basement excavation,
the new airport terminal and concourse came into view (Figure 1). dewatering, and shoring walls. Because the ground water on site can rise
My fellow passengers came alive with spontaneous comments that up to within 5 feet of grade, minimizing the depth of excavation was
were overwhelmingly positive: “Wow, that’s a sexy looking building.” very important. The cost of dewatering and the hydrostatic uplift pres-
“It’s beautiful.” “I can’t wait to use it! We’ve needed a new terminal sure increased dramatically the deeper the hole became. Two solutions
for years.” Achieving this reaction was no accident; it was the result of were developed to minimize basement depth:
insightful leadership and smart decisions. The airport authority, and • Precast concrete tension piles driven into the ground below the
the project’s design and construction team, worked hard and cohesively basement level, with a reinforced concrete mat foundation. The
to create a new form that functions well and leaves a lasting impression pattern developed for pile placement reduced the mat foundation
on those who travel to the Capital of Silicon Valley. It’s clear to visitors thickness by several feet.
and locals alike: San Jose has a sparkling new airport that embraces • A reinforced concrete flat plate ground-floor structure. This
form and function. solution reduced the structural depth of the floor by about 2 feet
compared to conventional steel beam and composite deck.
Travel Planning 101: Be Flexible and Adaptable These features alone reduced the cost of excavation and substructure
by over $10 million. The basement readily accommodates the required
For years, the San Jose Airport operated out of Terminals A and C,
bag conveyors and additional equipment, with capacity for future
both of which had significant operational and cosmetic issues. The
systems as well. continued on next page
roadways, parking, and rental car facilities were not up to par, especially
on busy travel days, and post-9/11 passenger screening requirements
were causing long, unacceptable waiting lines for passengers. It was
clear San Jose needed a new airport.
Gensler, as Master Architect, held several community outreach meet-
ings and workshops with airport staff to clearly define the airport’s
vision, budget, and needs. The existing airport site is constrained by the
Guadalupe River and Highway 87, leading to a linear solution for the
concourse and terminal.
It soon became clear that the new concourse structure needed to
accommodate an architectural design that was still evolving: the airport
vision was being defined, room locations were not set, the bag conveyor
system was conceptual, and interior and exterior designs were in
flux. Yet, even with the terminal and concourse shape in the midst of
formulation, early construction packages for excavation and structural
steel had to be released for bid. In response, the structural solutions
developed allowed a great deal of design flexibility.

Economical, Dry Bag Storage Beneath Your Feet

For long-term adaptability, the airport wanted a basement below the Figure 2: Following careful evaluation of options, a unique earthquake-resisting
concourse to house utilities, bag conveyors, equipment, and storage. structural system known as a special truss moment frame (STMF) was selected, in a
During the schematic design stage, the design team was directed to first-ever use at an international airport. The STMF system, which uses steel trusses
to resist gravity, seismic, and wind loads, is cost effective, quickly erected, seismically
robust, flexible, and adaptable. Courtesy of Magnusson Klemencic Associates.

STRUCTURE magazine 35 June 2010

Figure 3: At the suggestion of the
design/build team, led by Hensel
Phelps, the new Terminal B was
moved to the north and tied
directly into the concourse, without
seismically separating the two
buildings. Courtesy of Hensel Phelps.

Not Your Typical Restraint System elements were supported on a metal roof deck that bends naturally
along the weak axis of the deck. In areas where curved members were
Selection of the lateral-restraint system was one of the design team’s
necessary, the radius of the curve was repeated to minimize set-up time
most important decisions. Braced- and moment-frame systems were
and fabrication costs (Figure 3).
evaluated based on cost, speed of erection, seismic ductility, adaptability
to design changes, and capacity to accommodate future expansion.
Ultimately, the team selected a special truss moment frame (STMF) Adapting to Changes in Itinerary
as their preferred system. Although STMF systems have been imple- Once construction of the concourse was well underway, the airport
mented for other important facilities such as hospitals, this was the first solicited design/build proposals for the next phase of construction, the
use of an STMF structural system at an international airport. Terminal Area Improvement Project (TAIP), which includes Terminal
The STMF system (Figure 2, page 35) is a unique form of moment- B and a renovation/expansion of Terminal A. The winning design/
resisting frame with steel trusses used to resist gravity, seismic, and wind builder, Hensel Phelps Construction Company and Fentress Architects,
loads. The design of the STMFs restricts inelastic response due to earth- reconciled the TAIP scope and value-engineered the program while
quake loading to special segments located in the middle half of the truss building upon the original City-Council-approved vision for Terminal
spans. As such, the system is a very ductile and robust seismic-restraint B. In collaboration with airport staff, Hensel Phelps suggested moving
solution – critically important in a high seismic region such as San Jose. Terminal B to the north several hundred feet and tying it directly to the
The STMF trusses proved to be fairly easy to fabricate, pre-assemble, new concourse. This shift produced great cost savings, as it eliminated
and ship to the site. In addition, field connections between the truss a planned temporary terminal, allowed the bag conveyor system to be
and the support columns required only fillet welding, thus avoiding placed within the concourse basement, and utilized already-constructed
slow and expensive complete-penetration welds. The STMF also new concourse airside hold room space.
simplified routing of ventilation ducts, pipes, and conduits, as many of This design shift was possible because the concourse structure was
these services could be located between the truss diagonals and through designed with expansion in mind. In fact, the timing was just right
the center special segment. for the Terminal B structure to be attached directly to the concourse
Even though structural steel prices were rising radically upward at the structure, eliminating costly seismic separation joints and a cumbersome
time, the concourse steel bids came in several million dollars below double row of columns. In essence, the wisdom of implementing an
budget. Furthermore, the structural steel was erected ahead of schedule. adaptable and expandable structure proved tremendously cost-effective.
The design/build team determined that the most effective method of
Sleek, Silver, and Silicon Style creating the curvilinear form of Terminal B would be to construct the
roof using curving wide-flange beams welded together to create tubular
As Gensler’s interior and exterior design firmed up, the City Council
shaped ribs at 30 feet on center. The deep acoustical roof deck spans 30
approved an architectural shape that embodied the spirit of San
feet between the arched roof beams to create a very open and inspiring
Jose and the Silicon Valley. Gensler’s vision included an interesting
space within the baggage claim area and the passenger screening
curvilinear exterior landside façade, with a skin that is both transparent
mezzanine. Curbside, in front of Terminal B, the arched roof ribs are
and glistening day and night – somewhat reflective of an unraveling
supported on three Teflon-coated bearings (Figure 4), which allow the
fiber optics or data cable. Within the concourse on the airside, a
terminal roof to slide during major seismic events.
curvilinear transparent roof was designed to celebrate dappled, natural
light as it cascades onto a fabric Paseo canopy. The combination of
the concourse shape and light produces a truly startling effect and a Navigating through the Airport
unique sense of place. A fully integrated Revit building information model (BIM) of Terminal
To create economical curvilinear shapes, MKA developed straight-line- B was developed by the design team (Figure 5). The design/build team
generated curves that allowed most of the structural support members employed the use of an integrated BIM model to minimize conflicts
to be straight, rather than physically curved. Many of the cladding between systems, speed up construction, and document existing condi-
elements were created from straight-line faceted panels. Other cladding tions for future building operations. Although the BIM model was not

STRUCTURE magazine 36 June 2010

Many sustainable design features were also employed in Terminal B
and the concourse to achieve LEED certification, including natural
light, extensive use of recycled materials, efficient structural systems,
and a displaced air ventilation system.

Unmatched On-Time Arrival

The new Mineta San Jose International Airport celebrates form and
function. The design embodies the rich cultural and high-tech image
repeatedly expressed during formulation of concepts for the new airport.
A great deal of vision, innovation, collaboration, and hard work by all
parties contributed to the successful execution. The message is clear:
“Welcome to San Jose, California, the Capital of Silicon Valley.”▪

Project Team
Terminal B Concourse
Architect – Gensler (also airport Master Planner)
Figure 4: The arched roof ribs of Terminal B are supported on three Teflon-coated Associate Architect – Steinberg Architects
bearings which allow the terminal roof to slide in the event of a major earthquake.
Structural – Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Courtesy of Magnusson Klemencic Associates.
Construction Manager – Gilbane
finalized until construction of the structure was well underway, Hensel Program Manager – Parsons Brinkerhoff Aviation
Phelps has seen a substantial reduction in field changes attributable to
interferences between separate systems. The BIM model was also very Terminal B
effective during installation of the intricate baggage conveyor system, Design Builder – Hensel Phelps Construction Company
shortening the installation time substantially. Architect – Fentress Architects
Structural – Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Passing through Security
Secure solutions were integrated into the design and layout of Terminal
B, the Terminal B Concourse, the roadways, and the new Rental Car Terry Palmer, P.E., is a Principal at Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Garage. MKA performed blast analysis to establish parameters for (MKA), and head of the firm’s Aviation Specialist Group. He is
parking, fuel tank locations, vehicle check points, and vehicle barriers also co-author of the TSA’s newest blast-resistant provisions in the
without impeding the operation of the airport or approach roadways. “Recommended Security Guidelines for Airport Planning, Design
These secure solutions were woven into the design in a manner that & Construction” published in June 2006. Terry may be reached at
avoided adverse impact to cost or the architectural design of the terminal
and concourse.

Figure 5: A fully integrated Revit Building Information Model of Terminal B was used to minimize conflicts, speed construction, and document existing conditions
for future operations. Courtesy of Hensel Phelps.

STRUCTURE magazine 37 June 2010

new trends, new techniques and current industry issues

Advanced Composites for Structural Strengthening

The State of the Industry
By Scott F. Arnold, P.E.
The last twenty-five years has seen Fiber link if they have not been properly trained
Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites move and certified by the FRP manufacturer. Poor
from testing in the laboratory to multi-million workmanship on the design and installation
dollar projects in our civil infrastructure. The has lead to failures of FRP strengthening sys-
use of these advanced composite materials has tems, which stresses the importance of always
been historically dominated by the aerospace using good workmanship and quality control
industry, the military and the recreational in- to ensure the proper design and installation of
dustry (e.g. skis, boats, race cars). Although FRP composites.
these industries still remain the primary users, In addition to the history of its growth, recent
the civil infrastructure industry is fast becoming testing developments have shown a potential
a major contender. for more growth for FRP in civil infrastructure.
The first applications in the FRP industry Developments in the strengthening of gypsum
for the use of structural strengthening and shearwalls and various steel components show
rehabilitation started with research and testing that this industry has not yet begun to reach
done in the 1980s. Its first major breakthrough its full potential. With more research and
occurred in the late 1980s, when seismic ret- development along the way, we expect this
rofits successfully increased the ductility of a industry to continue to grow as more advances
full-scale 6-foot diameter reinforced concrete are made in years to come.
bridge column that was tested at the University
of California at San Diego (UCSD) (Figure 1). Case History – Plum Point
This testing breakthrough opened the door,
and since then the industry has flourished. Figure 1: Wrapping of Full Scale Bridge Column Chimney Project
at UCSD.
FRP applications have been performed on a A good example of an innovative application
variety of structural elements such as columns, square footage of FRP installed on projects of FRP in Civil Infrastructure is the Plum
beams, slabs, walls, pipes, and storage tanks. over the years is shown in Figure 2. Point Chimney project (Figure 3).
FRP provides various enhancements to existing No matter the size of the project, each one The chimney was deficient in longitudinal
structures such as shear strengthening, flexural completed to date using FRP is unique and reinforcement and required additional flexural
strengthening, axial load strengthening, lap cannot be designed and installed purely on the capacity. A unidirectional carbon composite
splice enhancements, corrosion repair & pro- basis of past applications. Each project must be system was installed longitudinally on the ex-
tection, and blast mitigation. Through many designed based on clearly-defined performance terior and interior of the chimney, in order
years of testing and applications, structural criteria in order to achieve the desired design to provide the required additional vertical
strengthening with FRP materials has proven goal. Even then, the skills of the contractor reinforcement. In comparison to more con-
to be an effective retrofit solution when properly installing the material can prove to be a weak ventional methods such as steel or concrete,
designed and installed. FRP in civil infrastruc-
ture began with seismic retrofits of bridge Fiber Reinforced Polymer Usage Trend
columns and has since expanded to a range of
civil applications, and it should continue to 9.0
expand for years to come.

History of Growth 7.0

Square feet
in millions

There have been many FRP projects that 6.0

have ranged from small scale (dollar amount in 5.0 Approximate
the thousands) to large scale (dollar amounts square feet of Fiber
in the multi-millions). There has been more 4.0 Reinforced Polymer
material installed
growth in the industry over the past 20 years, 3.0
as engineers have become more and more fa-
miliar with its applications and have gained
more confidence in the abilities of FRP as a 1.0
structural material like steel and concrete. As
more successful applications and advance-
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
ments were made over time, FRP projects projected
continued to grow in quantity and size. The
Figure 2: Chart Showing Number of Square Footage of FRP Installed Over Time.

STRUCTURE magazine 38 June 2010

the FRP provided an effective solution. Time
and money was saved due to its ability to be
installed in a quick and efficient manner with
trained and certified applicators. Had tradi-
tional solutions such as concrete encasements
been used for this project, more weight would
have been added to the chimney stack thus
increasing the loading and causing more po-
tential strengthening work for the structure.
The major benefit of using fiberwrap is that
the additional moment capacity was provided
to the chimney stack without adding virtually
any weight. In addition to its high strength,
the FRP’s lightweight and low-profile nature
made it an excellent tool for strengthening
and rehabilitation.

Even though FRP has already come a long way
in its many uses for structural strengthening Figure 3: Application of FRP on Exterior (Left)
and Interior (Above) of Plum Point Chimney.
and rehabilitation of existing structures, we
have only begun to scratch the surface of this
powerful strengthening tool. As demonstrated
over the past 20+ years, new advancements
and applications will be found through exten-
sive testing and research. Once the structural to see how these relatively expensive materials
testing has validated a particular application, can still be more cost effective when all aspects Scott F. Arnold, P.E. is the Senior Vice-
the next step is to prove that the application of an installation are considered. We expect President and Technical Manager at Fyfe
will provide a cost effective solution when com- the type and number of projects to continue Co. LLC. Scott can be reached via email at
pared to conventional retrofit schemes. It is to grow as we realize a larger market share of
interesting to compare these overall costs and our civil infrastructure.▪
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STRUCTURE magazine 39 June 2010

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Email: Not listed? Visit
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STRUCTUREPOINT Updates for the 2010 Editorial Calendar, including the 2010
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STRUCTURE magazine 40 June 2010

award winners and outstanding projects

The Cathedral of Christ the Light

Sacred Geometry, Luminosity, and Longevity
By Mark Sarkisian, P.E., S.E., LEED® AP, M. ASCE, Peter Lee, P.E., S.E., LEED® AP, M. ASCE,
and Eric Long, P.E., S.E., LEED® AP, M. ASCE

W hen the Roman Catholic diocese of

Oakland began planning a replacement
for the St. Francis Cathedral, damaged in the
volume, while creating truncated vesici at
the Alpha and Omega Windows, which repre-
sent the beginning and the end in traditional
1989 earthquake, they required a facility that Christian liturgy. The Omega Window features a
would last at least 300 years, just as the great 58-foot-tall image of Christ rendered by light
Cathedrals of Europe have endured for centu- passing through the pixel-like perforations in
ries. Through an invited design competition, the aluminum panels of the window. The
the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings architecturally exposed reinforced concrete reli-
& Merrill LLP, was selected to design the new quary walls used to create both the inside and
building, The Cathedral of Christ the Light. outside of the structure are formed by overlap-
The design of this sacred space is deeply rooted ping circles with the same radii offset in plan.
in ancient Christian symbolism, unites light and To achieve the effect of luminosity within
structure, and overcomes difficult site condi- the Cathedral, curved, tapered, and glued- forgiving. The wood’s surfaces add warmth
tions in this seismically active region. laminated Douglas Fir timber rib members form while its elasticity allows for flexibility during
The 1,350-seat cathedral is the centerpiece of the framework of the sanctuary superstructure. seismic activity in this extremely sensitive area.
a 224,000-square-foot complex that includes a A total of 724 closely-spaced louver members Located approximately 2.9 miles from the
mausoleum, a conference center, administrative interconnect and provide lateral bracing for Hayward Fault and 15.8 miles from the San
offices, clergy residences, a bookstore, a café, inner rib members. Their sizes and orienta- Andreas Fault, the site is listed as Seismic Zone
and community-serving ministries. Drawing on tions respond to structural demand and allow 4 under the 2001 California Building Code
the tradition of light as a sacred phenomenon, natural daylight to filter into the space. Light (CBC) seismic design parameters. Through a
Design Partner Craig Hartman envisioned the reflects off the upper louver surfaces and il- rigorous analysis and design process, the entire
Cathedral to transform throughout the day as luminates lower, neighboring louvers. The inner cathedral complex was engineered to resist a
changing patterns of light interacted with the curved rib members form a spherical shape in 475-year return period earthquake as defined
structure. In order to accommodate both the plan and section. Exterior sloping, straight, under the CBC. The main sanctuary was
design concept and the potential seismic motion glued-laminated outer rib members form a designed to meet an even higher standard – to
caused by nearby faults, a delicate structure was conical shape in plan and are aligned in a radial resist without damage the CBC’s “maximum
required to enable the play of light within the geometry with inner ribs. Thirteen sets of capable” 1,000-year return period earthquake,
sanctuary and manage ground motions to reduce inner and outer vertical glued-laminated ribs which could measure 7.0 or more on the Richter
the demand on the superstructure during an form each half of the superstructure. Gravity Scale. The reliquary walls and sanctuary floor
earthquake. The main cathedral superstructure loads are resisted by 52 vertical, glued-laminated, diaphragm are supported by a steel, friction-
consists of a highly redundant hybrid structural and wood timber elements. pendulum seismic base isolation system.
system composed of reinforced-concrete, pre- High-strength steel rods and tapered, turned Through the innovative use of renewable
fabricated glue-laminated (glulam) wood timber glued-laminated wood struts interconnect the materials and advanced seismic engineering,
members, high-strength structural steel rods inner and outer ribs, forming a hybrid steel- the Cathedral has been designed to withstand
paired with glulam wooden compression struts, timber, three-dimensionally braced frame a 1,000-year earthquake while using minimal
and a steel friction pendulum seismic base- structure, providing stability under both vertical energy and natural resources, and achieves a
isolation system. and horizontal loading. Steel rods are designed luminous and evocative architectural presence
As the basis of the Cathedral’s geometric to resist both wind and seismic forces. A total of that exemplifies the devotion and craftsman-
vocabulary, the Vesica Piscis (“vessel of the fish”) 224 steel rods and 104 glued-laminated wood ship of the world’s great religious landmarks.
shape, formed of two interpenetrating circles timber compression struts provide redundancy As a result, the Cathedral of Christ the Light
of the same diameter, is an early Christian and reserve ductile capacity in the lateral load will endure for centuries and represents a true
symbol that represents the fusion and recon- resisting system. The high-strength steel rods integration of structure and light.▪
ciliation of opposites. These interpenetrating and wood struts are connected to the ribs with
circles are related to one another through the hidden steel knife plates and dowels from the Mark Sarkisian, P.E., S.E., LEED AP,
square roots of 2, 3, and 5 – the first three digits backside of the rib. M. ASCE (,
of the Fibonacci Sequence. The geometric While wood provides an important unifying is a structural engineering director in the
and mathematical applications of the resulting architectural, structural, and spiritual design San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings &
shape commonly occur in nature and in the element, its use as a primary material in the Merrill L.L.P. Peter Lee, P.E., S.E., LEED
order of the universe itself. The Vesica Piscis glue-laminated superstructure also contributes AP, M. ASCE (, and
conceived in plan is translated three dimen- to the desired long-term performance objectives. Eric Long, P.E., S.E., LEED AP, M. ASCE
sionally into the Cathedral’s superstructure. This material has proven to be aesthetically (, are associate directors
Two intersecting spheres define the interior pleasing, highly durable and structurally in the San Francisco office.

STRUCTURE magazine 41 June 2010

Eighteenth Annual Conference
at a glance
News form the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations

September 30 – October 1, 2010

THURSDAY, September 30, 2010 FRIDAY, October 1, 2010

7:00 am – 8:00 am Registration and Breakfast 7:00 am – 8:00 am Registration and Breakfast
8:00 am – 8:15 am Welcome and Opening Remarks Sponsored Speaker
8:15 am – 9:00 am Keynote Address 8:00 am – 8:15 am Welcome and opening remarks

Exhibits Open
Robert D. LiMandri, Commissioner, 8:15 am – 8:30 am Roll Call and Introduction
NYC DOB of Candidates
9:00 am – 10:00 am Wood Frame 7-Story Building 8:30 am – 9:30 am Underpinning
on Shake Table in Japan Tim Lynch, NYC DOB
Steve Pryor, Simpson Strong-Tie 9:30 am – 10:00 am Coffee Break
10:00 am – 10:30 am Coffee Break 10:00 am – 11:00 am Masonry Standards Joint Committee
10:30 am – 11:45 am High Strength Concrete Design Ed Huston, Smith & Huston
Including Freedom Tower 11:00 am – 12:00 pm TBD
Caz Bognacki, Port Authority 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm Lunch Sponsor
of New York and New Jersey Gary Higbee, SINY
11:45 am – 1:00 pm Lunch Sponsor 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm East Side Access
Concrete Institute Board Colin Barratt, MTA
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Emergency Responder Legislation 2:15 pm – 3:00 pm Afternoon Break
Vicki Arbitrio, Gilsanz, Murray, Steficek 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm AISC Seismic Design Provisions:
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm Afternoon Break Past, Present, and Future
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm Structural Performance in James Malley, Degenkolb Engineers
Fire Conditions 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Renovation of the
Exhibits Open

David Scott, Arup, and Ramon Guggenheim Museum

Gilsanz, Gilsanz, Murray, Steficek Robert Silman and Nancy Hudson,
3:45 pm – 5:00 pm Lake Champlain Bridge Projects Robert Silman Associates
Ted Zoli, HNTB 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm Dinner at Carmine’s in the Theater
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Welcome Reception For District – New York City’s legendary
Exhibitors and Attendees family-style Italian restaurant.

Package Price after Early Bird SATURDAY, October 2, 2010

(details at August 20, 2010 Price
7:00 am – 8:00 am Breakfast
Thursday-Saturday $895 $845 8:00 am – 9:00 am Roll Call and Member
Thurs. Reception-Saturday $745 $695 Organization Remarks
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Committee Reports:
Thursday Only $395 $295

Advocacy, Basic Education,

Friday Only $395 $295 Code Advisory, Continuing
Education, Licensing, Publications,
Thursday & Friday $595 $495 SE Emergency Response
add Friday night $75 $75 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm – 4:30 pm NCSEA Strategic Plan 2011-2015
Friday night $150 $150 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm NCSEA Board of Directors Meeting
Spouse $275 $275 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Reception
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Excellence in Structural
Awards Banquet $180 $180 Engineering Awards Banquet
NYC Tour for Spouse $120 $120 Formal attire requested

Register online at

Hyatt Regency on the Hudson, Jersey City, NJ or call (800) 233-1234
Use Group Code G-NCSE for special $199 rate

STRUCTURE magazine 42 June 2010

Next NCSEA Webinar June 8
Understanding and Making Full Use of ASCE 31 and 41
Presented by Chris D. Poland, S.E., FSEAOC, NAE
Buildings respond to earthquakes in a wide variety of ways, but properly apply the documents.
always within the same patterns. The design guidelines for new Chris Poland is the Chairman
buildings are set to achieve acceptable safety. The code uses the and CEO of Degenkolb Engineers.
base shear to achieve the minimum strength required and also His structural engineering career
requires specific details of construction to contain the damage spans 35 years and includes a wide
to acceptable levels. It is a prescriptive set of requirements that variety of new design work, seismic analysis and strengthening
carefully balance strength and ductility. of existing buildings, structural failure analysis, and historic
Existing buildings do not have the required balance, but do preservation. As an internationally-recognized authority on
often have the ability to survive. ASCE 31 and 41 provide useful earthquake engineering, Mr. Poland routinely participates in
tools to assist design professionals in making that determination, policy-changing research projects sponsored by the NSF, USGS,
building-by-building. They provide the ability to judge the NIST and FEMA. As an advocate for seismic safety, he actively
adequacy of the ductility that is available, given the strength that participates in the academic, ethical and social advancement of
is present, using a “toolbox” of procedures that can be applied as his field by taking an active role in public advocacy, participating
appropriate to existing buildings. Included is a systematic process in numerous professional associations, leading national advisory
that defines target performance levels, considers earthquakes of committees overseeing earthquake engineering programs, regularly
various sizes, and provides four distinct analysis techniques and publishing technical papers, and presenting his findings in
a wide variety of modeling techniques to guide the evaluating professional forums. Chris currently presides as Chair of the

News from the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations

engineer into an appropriate conclusion and, when appropriate, congressionally-mandated Advisory Committee on Earthquake
a rehabilitation program. Hazards Reduction for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction
This webinar will focus on how to use these tools in a three- Program. He also chairs the ASCE Standards Committee on
phased approach to evaluation and rehabilitation. A variety of Seismic Rehabilitation and led the effort needed to produce the
actual projects will be used as examples to demonstrate how to ASCE 31 and ASCE 41 Standards.


Call for Entries
NCSEA’s Annual Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards program
highlights some of the best examples of structural engineering ingenuity
throughout the world. Structural engineers and structural engineering
firms are encouraged to enter this year’s program. Projects will be judged on
innovative design, engineering achievement and creativity.
Entries are due on Friday, July 9, 2010. Awards will be presented in October
at the NCSEA Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency on the Hudson, Jersey
City, New Jersey. Winning projects will be featured in future issues of
STRUCTURE magazine. For award program rules, project eligibility and entry
The University of Illinois Memorial Stadium, forms, see the Call for Entries on the NCSEA website at
photo courtesy of Brad Feinknopf.

Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, photo courtesy of Nic Lehoux Photography.

STRUCTURE magazine 43 June 2010

The Newsletter of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE


Don’t Gamble On Your Future – Come To The 2011 Structures Congress

Call For Sessions And Proposals For Structures ’11 Congress

Authors are invited to submit session proposals and/or paper
abstracts for the April 14-16, 2011 Structures Congress, which All submissions are due June 14, 2010.
will be held at the Green Valley Ranch, Resort & Spa in Las For more information on submitting an abstract, log on to
Vegas, Nevada.
Abstracts and session proposals must be submitted online
through the Structural Engineering Institute’s website at: Key Dates
Suggested technical paper topics include Bridge and Transpor- Session/Paper Requests Due: June 14, 2010
tation Structures; Buildings; Non Building and Special Structures; Notice of Acceptance: September 30, 2010
Non Structural Systems and Components; Advances, Applica-
All Final Papers Due: January 8, 2011
tions and New Research; Business and Professional Practice;
Forensics; Blast Loading and Response of Structures; Radical
Structural Engineering.

SEI Honors Newly Elected Distinguished Members

Distinguished Members exemplify the industry’s most accomplished professionals. These members are recognized for their
eminent contributions to advancing the field of civil engineering. The Structural Engineering Institute proudly honors the
advancement of the following individuals:
Ahsan Kareem, Ph.D., Dist.M.ASCE, NA
Bruce R. Ellingwood, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, NAE
is an internationally renowned scholar/
is internationally recognized as an authority engineer who has made lifetime
on structural load modeling and load contributions to civil engineering theories
Structural Columns

combination analysis, structural reliability and practices. He has made the most
and risk analysis of engineered facilities, and profound civil engineering research
as a leader in the technical development and contributions in subjects such as dynamic
implementation of probability-based codified wind load effects, system identification
design standards for building structures. and control, simulation and computational
methods, uncertainty, safety, and risk.
Dan M. Frangopol, Sc.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
Paul F. Mlakar, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
is a world-renowned expert in several
has been an icon in forensic engineering.
areas of civil engineering, including life-
Going much beyond his high impact
cycle civil engineering, bridge safety and
research and development of new
maintenance-management, structural
capabilities to deal with force protection
systems reliability, and integration of
and terrorism, he has served as a key
lifetime monitoring-maintenance-
individual in a number of the largest and
management and life-cycle cost through
most intense forensic analyses of the last
multi-criteria optimization. He is the
half century.
first to hold the Fazlur R. Khan Endowed
Chair of Structural Engineering and Distinguished Membership is the highest award the Society
Architecture at Lehigh University, one may confer, second only to the title of ASCE President. Members
of the most influential institutions in or Fellows elected to this prestigious and highly selective list have
the development of code provisions for attained acknowledged eminence in a branch of engineering or
structural design and maintenance. its related arts and sciences. To learn how you can nominate an
outstanding professional for Distinguished Membership, please
visit or contact

STRUCTURE magazine 44 June 2010

Structural Columns
2010 Student Structural deSign competition WinnerS
SEI would like to congratulate the winners of the 2010 Student Structural Design Competition:

First Place Award Winner Second Place Award Winner

The Villanova University team for their design of the Amigos Ben Sitler of Princeton University for the Design of a Grid-
de Jesus Proposed Dormitory. Student team members included: shell for the University Physics Building, Faculty Advisor: Sigrid
Colin Doyle, Timothy Harrington, Nicholas Martignetti, Adriaenssens. Mr. Sitler designed a steel and glass gridshell roof
Brian Mellen, Richard Runyen, with Faculty Advisors: Shawn as a retrofit over the unused courtyard of the University Physics
Gross and David Dinehart. Amigos de Jesus is a home for the Building. The project utilized an integrated digital design to
disenfranchised boys of Honduras. The expansion of their construction workflow, enabling the design stage to proceed
community requires the building of new facilities to house the rapidly. Included in this workflow was an advanced numeric
first girls on campus. Research into the environment of Honduras form finding method to assure that the architectural form was
was conducted in order to effectively determine the design wind generated from structural principles. This produces a more efficient
and seismic loads which may be experienced by the building. structure, while maintaining a visual order and distinct elegance.
Members of the design team traveled to Honduras to spend a
week at Amigos de Jesus over spring break. During this time,
the design team conducted field tests on the soil conditions,

The Newsletter of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE

Third Place Award Winner
learned firsthand about the typical construction practices and
limitations, and surveyed the future site of the dormitory in
order to lay out its perimeter.

SEI posts up-to-date errata information for our
publications at Click on The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Jolley Team for their
“Publications” on our menu, and select “Errata.” design of the Judge S.S. Jolley Bridge. Students that participated
If you have any errata that you would like to submit, include: Lacey Brady, Jacqueline Petrozzino, Brian Reeves, Fausto
please email it to Jim Rossberg at▪ Rozon, Samantha Smith, Robert Walters, with Faculty Advisor:
Michelle Roddenberry. The design was for the two-lane Judge S.S.
Jolley Bridge, which will be built parallel to an existing bridge.
To complete the project, the students had to learn new codes,
standards, software, design methods not taught in traditional
undergraduate courses, and prestressed concrete design.
SEI Philadelphia Chapter The student groups made presentations of their winning projects
during the 2010 Structures Congress in Orlando, Florida.
The Philadelphia Structural Technical Group (STG) is the most
recent to become a local chapter of SEI, joining the ranks of nine
other SEI chapters around the US. For a complete listing of SEI
chapters and STGs, visit the SEI Local Activities Division webpage
2011 SEI/ASCE Student
The changeover is a milestone in the long history of the ASCE
Structural Design Competition
Philadelphia section. SEI Philadelphia has more than 450 Enter the 2011 Student Structural Design Competition! Inno-
members. Their activities include arranging guest lecturers, vative projects demonstrating excellence in structural engineering
short courses, field visits, technical meetings with other local are invited for submission. Awards include cash prizes and
groups, promoting PDHs, offering training abroad, and an opportunity to present the winning designs at the 2011 SEI
providing resources and mentoring to engineering students. Structures Congress in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 14-16, 2011.
For more information on SEI Philadelphia, contact Dr. Deadline for Submissions: June 30, 2010
Mohiuddin Ali Khan, P.E., Chair, SEI Philadelphia Chapter For competition guidelines, entry form and a poster to promote
at the competition, visit:

STRUCTURE magazine 45 June 2010

Highlights from ACEC Annual Convention
In late April, 1,000-plus business and policy leaders attended
the ACEC Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. – including
delegations from China, India, Canada, Australia, Korea and
Nigeria; 70 first-time attendees; and representatives of colleague
associations including ASCE, ARTBA, FIDIC and NCEES.
Highlights included Greg Ip (Economist magazine) who said
we are now in a slow, sustained recovery; a debate between
The Newsletter of the Council of American Structural Engineers

Patrick Buchanan (MSNBC) and Eleanor Clift (Newsweek); the

signing of a partnership agreement with the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers; CEO insights from George Pierson of Parsons
Brinckerhoff, Len Rodman of Black & Veatch and Bob Uhler
of MWH; and a CIO workshop led by chief technology
officers from AECOM, Jacobs, Malcolm Pirnie and WSP
Flack & Kurtz.
In addition, ACEC’s Grand Conceptor Award
for top engineering achievement of the year was Chris Poland Recognized
won by HDR for a power facility fueled by on-
ion skins. Grand Awards went to Walter P Moore, for Service to CASE
Hatch Mott MacDonald, Jacobs, Magnusson
Klemencic, HNTB, Brown and Caldwell, and During the ACEC Annual Convention in D.C. in
Michael Baker, Jr. late April, Chris D. Poland, Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer, Degenkolb Engineers, was recognized
for his many years of outstanding service and dedica-
tion to CASE as its Chairman.

Add Expert Witness Services to Portfolio

with Courtroom Know-How
Applying Expertise as an Engineering Expert Witness
June 10 -11, Denver, CO

Adding new services that capitalize on your firm’s existing

expertise is a solid business strategy, and though your key staff
may well be qualified, only the court-savvy engineer should take
on potentially lucrative assignments as an expert witness in legal
proceedings. Applying Expertise as an Engineering Expert Witness,
ACEC’s unique 1½-day course will be presented June 10-11
in Denver, CO, to prepare participants for legal service, with
CASE in Point

recognition and a certificate of course completion. The course

is designed for professional engineers, architects and surveyors
interested in earning credentials for legal service engagements
professionally or as an added client service. Discussion will include
deposition behavior, permissible out-of-court statements, ethics,
pre-courtroom testimony preparation, courtroom demeanor,
how to maintain credibility, the differences between a fact witness
and an expert witness, plus the agreement and compensation for
taking on an assignment. Attendees completing this course who
wish to further enhance their professional credentials will have
taken important first steps towards applying for the professional
designation of Engineer Expert Witness (EXWSM).
For details and to register contact LaCreshea Makonnen at
ACEC at or 202-347-7474.

STRUCTURE magazine 46 June 2010

CASE in Point
ACEC Publishes ACEC Urges California
The Blue Sourcebook Supreme Court to Review
Business Practices and Risk Management Major Indemnification Case
for Engineering Firms ACEC has joined ACEC/California in urging the California
ACEC has just published a unique real- Supreme Court to review a state appellate court decision in the
world guidebook that belongs in the case of UDC-Universal v. CH2M Hill, which orders a design
library of every engineering firm. The firm to pay the legal fees of a client after that client was sued
Blue Sourcebook: Business Practices and by a third party. ”The legal ruling in UDC imposes liability
Risk Management for Engineering Firms, on design professionals in the complete absence of negligence,
describes a wide variety of challenging and it is imperative that we fight it,” said Paul Meyer, executive
everyday – and the less usual – situa- director of ACEC/California. “We are grateful to ACEC for
tions and circumstances in which a firm the Minuteman Funds it has provided, as well as its ongoing
may find itself, with advice and/or assistance with our legal and legislative efforts to reverse this
alternatives on what to do next. This one- decision.” ACEC has provided Minuteman Fund assistance
of-a-kind book deals with the business side of engineering and to ACEC/California to support legal and legislative efforts to
includes best practices of engineering firms of all sizes through- overturn the decision, and will strongly support an amicus brief
out the U.S. With over 200 scenarios, solutions, tips, advice or fighting this unfair ruling if the High Court hears the case.
alternatives that have been previously tried and implemented by
many engineering firms, it’s the ideal go-to reference to help you
CASE Risk Management Convocation

CASE is a part of the American Council of Engineering Companies

react quickly to business situations and take preventive measures
to avoid trouble before it occurs. The Blue Sourcebook can be
ordered online or in hard copy from the ACEC Bookstore. The Comes to Puerto Rico in October
publication was authored by Ed Bajer, ACEC’s Senior Director
Following another successful CASE Risk Management Con-
for Contracts and Risk Management, who was previously the
vocation in Orlando last month, the next convocation will take
Executive Director for CASE for almost 20 years.
place in conjunction with the ACEC Fall Conference, to be held
October 17-20, 2010, at El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico.
Preliminary topics under development by the CASE
New, Next-Level BIM Course Programs Committee include: ate
t he D
Targets “Increased ROI” Avoiding the Pitfalls in Working
S ave -20, 201
with Architects Using
Realizing BIM Potential for A/E Firms: AIA C401
A Day in the Life of a Project Manager
Leveraging the Building Information Software Issues and Output Verification
Modeling Process for Increased ROI Lessons Learned from Actual Claims (Key Cases)
June 21-22, Orlando, FL Stay tuned for future updates!
ACEC’s new 2010 BIM course – Realiz-
ing BIM Potential for A/E Firms: Leveraging
the Building Information Modeling Process House Armed Services Panel
for Increased ROI – is a focused, next-level
exploration of the BIM process, presented
Endorses ACEC Call for 3% Repeal
by experienced practitioners, software A recently released report from the House Armed Services
experts, and A/E industry innovators. Committee has provided a critical boost to ACEC’s effort to
A/E company principals, project managers, repeal the 3 percent withholding mandate on contracts with
COOs, IT managers and business develop- federal and state agencies. After a review of defense acquisition
ment professionals of firms already using or systems and policies, the House Committee’s Defense Acquisition
familiar with BIM will get an inside look Reform Panel released a comprehensive set of recommendations,
at where and how to maximize bottom-line including the repeal of the 3 percent withholding mandate
benefits incorporating BIM into firm cul- which is scheduled to take effect in 2012. The Panel noted that
ture and services. Attendees of the June Congress created “a new obstacle to federal agencies accessing
21-22 course in Orlando will hear from the commercial marketplace” when it adopted the withholding
industry innovators who are successfully requirement, adding that the amendment will “substantially
transforming BIM projects into bottom-line discourage commercial firms that are tax compliant” from
success and marketplace advantage. competing on defense contracts. The Department of Defense
For details and to register contact LaCreshea Makonnen at has previously estimated that implementing the 3 percent
ACEC at or 202-347-7474. withholding provision will cost the department over $17 billion
in the first five years.

STRUCTURE magazine 47 June 2010

Risk ManageMent
risk management topics for structural engineers

Further Commentary on AIA Document C401-2007

By Roger Stroud P.E., FACEC and Ronald White, P.E., CASE Contracts Committee

This can be a very onerous clause if the SER

In the August 2009 issue of STRUCTURE® magazine, Arthur Johnson gave a good has no input into the decisions that drive the
overview of the new AIA Document C401, an Agreement between Architect and Consultant cost of the work in the first place. This clause
which replaces the old AIA Document C141. Any structural engineer signing C401 should should be part of the discussion in negotiating
obtain a copy of CASE Document 6-2009, which is a commentary on C401. your contract.

Some of the articles in C401 change the way the Agreement, and there is no lead or over- Article 7.1
we have been accustomed to doing things. all coordinator. Given today’s project delivery
CASE Document 6-2009 highlights these and schedule practices, it is rare for the SER “…the Consultant grants to the Architect a
items. For instance, did you know you are to have all the information needed for proper license to use the Consultant’s Instruments of
agreeing in C401 to the following: coordination with all other disciplines at the Service in the same manner and to the same
go-to-press date for bid documents. extent as the Architect has granted a license to
Article 1.6 Article 1.5 does state that “the Architect shall the Owner in the Prime Agreement.”
“If applicable, the Architect and Consultant be the administrator of professional services for
agree to share the costs and expenses incurred the project, and shall facilitate the exchange of The Consultant’s Instruments of Service, i.e.
in marketing, promotion, display, and information among the Owner, Consultant and Plans, may be reproduced by the owner, con-
procurement of this project as follows:” other consultants as necessary for the coordination tractor or subcontractors for use in perform-
of This Portion of the Project”, but it stops short ing services or construction for the project.
You may be agreeing to share the cost of mar- of actually placing any duty of coordination This is made clear in Article 7 of AIA Docu-
keting, promotion, display and procurement on the Architect. Coordination issues should ment B101 which C401 makes applicable to
of the projects. Did you include this expense be resolved at the beginning. the Consultant. The Structural Engineer can
in your fee? no longer refuse to allow his plans to be used
Article 4.2 in preparing shop drawings.
Article 2.4 These are a few of the clauses that you should
The Consultant shall provide____ ( ) site be aware of when negotiating your contract
The Consultant shall coordinate all aspects visits…. under the terms of AIA C401. As Art Johnson
of its design of the Work for This Portion of stated in the August 2009 article, you are en-
the Project with the Work designed by the The number of site visits can now be estab- couraged to obtain CASE Document 6-2009
Architect and other consultants, as necessary lished in the Agreement. Site visits in excess of for a more complete commentary. It is also
for the proper coordination of the Project. that number are considered Additional Ser- worth reiterating that many of the Terms
vices. This is clearly a favorable change. and Conditions and Scope of Work are in-
Although this language is essentially un- cluded in the Owner/Architect Agreement,
changed from AIA C141-1997, some who Article 6.2
AIA B101, rather than in AIA C401, and
have not read either AIA contract recently you should always review that as-executed
may be surprised to note that there is no “....the Consultant shall prepare and submit
Owner/Architect Agreement to make sure
burden of coordination on the Architect in to the Architect an estimate of the Cost of the
the terms and changes to that agreement are
Work for This Portion of the Project.”
consistent with your proposal.▪
This section may be intended for Consul-
ADVERTISEMENT – For Advertiser Information, visit

tants who typically estimate the cost of their

Roger Stroud, P.E., FACEC is the CEO
work. It is important to clarify what estimating
and founder of Stroud, Pence & Associates,
services you intend to provide. Normally,
headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA. He
The easiest to use software for calculating the Structural Engineer will only provide the
is a Past Chairman of CASE and of the
wind, seismic, snow and other loadings for structural information needed to make a cost
Contracts Committee. Roger can be reached
IBC, ASCE7, and all state codes based on estimate. He sometimes reviews the structural
these codes ($195.00). cost estimate if requested.
Article 6.3 also requires that if at any time the Ronald White, P.E., is President of White
Tilt-up Concrete Wall Panels ($95.00).
cost of the work exceeds the Owner’s budget, Engineering Associates, Inc. of Oklahoma
Floor Vibration for Steel Beams and Joists “the Consultant shall cooperate with the Architect City. He has over forty years of experience
($100.00). and the other consultants in redesigning the Work in structural engineering and is a Past
Concrete beams with torsion ($45.00). for This Portion of the Project to comply with the Chairman of CASE. Ron can be contacted
budget for the Cost of the Work.” at
Demos at:

STRUCTURE magazine 48 June 2010

continued from page 50
However, the new Port au Prince U.S. Embassy strated that IBC structural and nonstructural Some may assume that the cost of imple-
facility, completed in 2008, had only cosmetic provisions required for Seismic Design Cate- menting these recommendations is too high.
nonstructural damage and remained fully func- gories D or above can mitigate seismic disasters. This article reports that we may choose either
tional after the earthquake. These code provisions can be required for to implement them efficiently during design
Since 1998, there had been over 150 at- all important buildings at little additional and construction at a marginal cost or to
tacks on US Embassies, prompting the State construction cost while providing protection pay dearly later in lives, chaos and very high
Department to begin a program to design its against terrorist attacks. dollar costs. The Federal Government now
facilities against blast attacks as well as con- These examples demonstrate the need for: requires all of its buildings to be designed
ventional hazards. The design standards are • Structural strength, ductility, and to resist blast attacks as well as conventional
based on the IBC, but with specific seismic energy dissipating details for all hazards. In the meantime, all other schools,
site studies. important structures. hospitals, and public buildings are vulnerable
• Appropriate bracing for architectural, to terrorist attack. Spurred by the Haiti disas-
Seismic Design is the Key mechanical and electrical components. ter and the terrorist threat, IBC should close
• Design and construction meeting all these gaps immediately.▪
to Blast Mitigation building code requirements.
To mitigate against terrorist attacks, build- • Structural engineers considering the
ings must be able to resist blast forces as well as impact on structure stability if the fire James Lefter, P.E., was Visiting Professor
the traditional hazards. Blast-resistant design protection is compromised. and Lecturer in the Area of Construction
limits damage to confined areas. Although Engineering and Management in the
strength and stiffness are important, the keys Recommendations Departments of Civil and Environmental
to surviving seismic and blast forces are energy Engineering at the University of Illinois and at
dissipation and ductility. Special moment frame 1) Design all important structures in
Virginia Tech. He held Senior Executive Service
design significantly increases the toughness of Occupancy Classes II, III, and IV to meet
positions in the Federal Service as Associate
structures subjected to catastrophic loadings all requirements of IBC Seismic Design
Director for Architecture and Engineering
from blast as well as from major earthquakes Category D, or higher as appropriate.
and as Project Director/Contracting Officer,
(Corley 1998). Shear walls, especially perimeter 2) Design bracing for permanent
Office of Facilities, Veterans Administration.
walls, designed and detailed to resist high seis- nonstructural components of all
He served on the American Concrete Institute’s
mic forces, are also effective in reducing blast structures in Recommendation 1 to
Committee for Building Code Requirements for
and progressive collapse (Hayes 2005). Design meet requirements of IBC Seismic
Structural Concrete (ACI-318), as Director of
details are in the IBC but are required only for Design Category D, or higher as
the Learning from Earthquakes Program of the
Seismic Design Categories D and higher. appropriate, using a Nonstructural
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and
Architectural, mechanical, and electrical Component Importance Factor Ip
as a Member, NAE Committee for Review of
components should be braced to resist the of 1.5.
Project Management Practices on “Big Dig.”
structure’s strong motions under blast and 3) Require an independent Peer Review of
seismic forces. Again, design details are in the design.
the IBC but are required only for Seismic 4) Assign responsibility for fire protection The online version of this article
Design Categories D and higher. of structural members to the structural contains references. Please visit
engineer of record.
Summary and Conclusions
The Murrah Building collapsed immedi-
ately after the terrorist truck bomb exploded.
Typical of most buildings in the U.S., it had
no supplementary ductility or toughness, or
seismic resistance, that might have mitigated

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great expense in the initial construction, but products by visiting
excavation tured cylindrical
were generally unavailable after the attacks shell around ( square columns
because they were not braced against strong
motion. Extensive nonstructural damage oc-
Repair of under-
curred during the Chilean event in buildings PLEASE CALL US FOR AN EVALUATION BY water piles with-
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in the Port au Prince earthquake demon- ( (

STRUCTURE magazine 49 June 2010

Mitigating Terrorist Attacks and Earthquake Risk
International Building Code Revisions Can Provide Solutions
By James Lefter, P.E.

The United States has almost universally Federal Building, killing 168 people. Four protective design; that was the responsibility
adopted the International Building Code columns were destroyed; one directly due of the architects (NIST NCSTAR 1).
(IBC 2009) that includes provisions for to blast, and three due to a combination The Port Authority of New York and
design against geographical hazards (snow, of blast and the loss of lateral support. New Jersey adopted the 1968 Edition of
wind, flood and earthquake) and fire. Like most U.S. buildings, the Murrah the New York City Building Code for the
There are no blast resistant structural de- Building met the then current building WTC design. NIST identified at least two
sign provisions in the IBC. In the United code requirements and was conventional code violations that may have contributed
States, recent acts of terrorism against The in design and construction. It had no to the disaster (NIST NCSTAR 1):
World Trade Center, the Pentagon and supplementary ductility or toughness, or • The code required a minimum of four
the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, seismic resistance that might have mitigated independent means of egress from the
had precipitated disastrous consequences. the blast force (Corley 1998). Studies of observation deck at the top of each
The Chilean earthquake caused extensive strengthening schemes showed that special building. Only three were provided.
nonstructural damage in an area of weak moment frames and perimeter shear walls • The design for both buildings
ground shaking. In contrast, the U.S. could have effectively reduced direct blast- specified a 0.5-inch thickness of
Embassy facility’s performance in the 2010 induced damage (Hayes 2005). sprayed-on fire resistant insulation on
Port au Prince earthquake demonstrated floor truss members in order to meet
that IBC requirements for Seismic Design World Trade Center Towers a 2-hour fire endurance rating. NIST
Categories D or above can mitigate seismic fire tests for 0.75-inch insulation
On September 11, 2001, terrorists flew
damage. These code provisions can also received a rating of 2-hours; the 0.5-
jetliners into the Twin Towers of the World
mitigate terrorist blast attacks. They should inch insulation thickness received a
Trade Center. Although seven buildings in
be applied to all important buildings. rating of 45 minutes.
the complex were destroyed, this article
Building Codes set minimum require-
focuses on the Twin Towers attacks. The
ments to safeguard the public health, safety
and general welfare and are legally enforce-
110-story Towers buildings were office Chile Earthquake Feb 2010
buildings of almost identical structural Current Chilean building codes require
able by the adopting jurisdiction. The IBC
design as vertical structural steel cantilever modern earthquake resistant design and
seismic design provisions are based on
tubes. The planes penetrated the Towers construction. The M 8.8 Chilean earth-
occupancy category and seismic microzo-
buildings and exploded, causing signifi- quake of February 27, 2010, generated
nation maps. For economic reasons, the
cant damage and extensive fires. Designed strong ground shaking throughout Chile.
maximum earthquake ground motion for
to resist the impact of a jetliner crash, the In Concepción, near the epicenter, about
Structural Forum

any site has a probability of exceedance of

Towers survived the jetliners crashes, but 20 percent of buildings over 15 stories in
2 percent in 50 years. The specific require-
collapsed due to the fires that followed height were damaged beyond repair. In
ments in the IBC against terrorist attacks
(Miamis 2009), killing 2752 people, in- Santiago, where there was relatively weaker
are for standby power, risers for automatic
cluding firefighters. ground motion, buildings under construc-
sprinkler systems, stair tower changes, and
The impacts destroyed parts of the tion in an office development project
improved characteristics for sprayed on fire
structural systems, dislodged and damaged were largely undamaged structurally. But
opinions on topics of current importance to structural engineers

resistant materials. There are none for blast

the structures’ fire protective insulation, there was extensive damage to many of
resistant structural and nonstructural design.
disabled the fire sprinkler systems, demol- the nonstructural components (ceilings,
The IBC assigns buildings to Seismic
ished interior partitions, breached exterior interior partitions, heating and ventilat-
Design Categories from A, the lowest, to
walls and floors, knocked all elevators out ing equipment, ducts and piping). There
F, the highest. Special details for frames
of service, and blocked exit stairwells. The would have been many casualties if the
and shear walls are required only for Seismic
fires spread through several stories at the earthquake had occurred during the day
Design Categories D and above. These
levels of impacts, uncontrolled because (Yanev, 2010).
details increase the cost of construction in
sprinkler systems were broken; and the par-
high seismic hazards areas, but this increase
tially unprotected steel structures, exposed
is only a few percent of total construction
directly to the fires, collapsed. Almost all Haiti Earthquake
cost (ATC-57). These details can also mit-
occupants above the impact stories perished. Haiti is a high risk earthquake area, but
igate terrorist attacks.
The probability of extensive collateral and has no effective building code. The 2010
fire damage from an airliner crash was fore- Port au Prince earthquake destroyed almost
Murrah Building seen (Seattle Times 1993) but not addressed every inhabitable structure in the area,
The April 19, 1995, blast collapsed half directly by the designers. The Towers’ struc- killing over two hundred thousand people
of the 9-story reinforced concrete Murrah tural engineers had no responsibility for fire and leaving more than a million homeless.
continued on page 49

Structural Forum is intended to stimulate thoughtful dialogue and debate among structural engineers and other participants in the design
and construction process. Any opinions expressed in Structural Forum are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of
NCSEA, CASE, SEI, C 3 Ink, or the STRUCTURE magazine Editorial Board.

STRUCTURE magazine 50 June 2010