Seismic sustainability of building enclosures

February 27, 2012

Extreme events should be part of the life cycle cost (LCC) decision-making for sustainable design of the building envelope and other nonstructural components of buildings. Recently, concerns over population growth, depletion of the world’s natural resources, and global warming have led to a renaissance in designing buildings and cities to be more sustainable. For seismic regions, a major problem with the current procedures is that they neglect the impact of seismic events on a building’s sustainability. For an enclosure of a building to be considered sustainable, it must have durable performance. Most enclosures are designed considering durable performance to withstand water, air and vapor intrusion and aging due to environmental loadings including wind, rain, temperature variation, exposure to sun, etc. Most do not consider seismic sustainability.


Structural Engineer

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