Thursday, July 9, 2015

ISO Standard Aims to Prevent Building Collapse During Earthquakes

Photo by Christopher Mardorf /FEMA
As the world has witnessed throughout history, most recently in places such as Haiti and Nepal, earthquakes often produce crushing consequences, from multiple fatalities to property damage and economic ruin. ISO 16711:2015 aims to help reduce loss of life by preventing building collapse during earthquakes. "Compared to disasters like floods, earthquakes have long return periods," ISO explains. "They only occur once every so often. But when they do, they happen suddenly and with little warning and their impact is often significant."

The only way to counteract this is to identify, manage and mitigate risks beforehand, ISO says. The new standard, "Seismic Assessment and Retrofit of Concrete Structures," will help engineers and architects conduct a seismic assessment and seismic retrofit work to address critical structural vulnerabilities that could lead to a sudden failure when a large earthquake strikes.