Regulatory Policy, Risk, and Engineering Framework
Earthquake and Post-Earthquake Fire Performance of Buildings
In April and May 2012, a series of landmark full-scale experiments were conducted on and within a 5-story reinforced concrete frame test specimen, which was erected on the nation’s largest outdoor shake table at the Englekirk Structural Engineering Center at the University of California, San Diego. Referred to as the building nonstructural components and systems (BNCS) project, the goal of this $5 Million academe-industry-government collaborative was to investigate earthquake performance of nonstructural building systems and post-earthquake fire performance.
The fire test program of this project was led by WPI Department of Fire Protection Engineering professor Brian Meacham, supported by three students, PhD candidate Haejun Park, MS candidate Jin Kyung Kim, and MS candidate A.J. Campanella. A report on the fire test program, data collection and preliminary observations is available for download here and a shorter Executive Summary of the fire test program here. As part of the overall research effort, UCSD-TV documented the construction and testing of the building, and produced a 29-minute video with a focus on building earthquake resilient hospitals for the future. The video overviews the building and presents images from the earthquake and fire tests. View the video here.
The author of numerous texts and an internationally recognized expert on risk-informed, performance-based design and regulation, Professor Meacham focuses on the development of new approaches for enhancing public safety. His work has impacted the profession of fire protection engineering by influencing building regulatory decision makers in the United States and abroad.
My work requires collaboration with government agencies responsible for developing regulatory policy, particularly for performance-based building regulations. Historically, building regulations have been developed in response to catastrophic events, and developing regulations that meet societal expectations for building safety and performance, resulting in a better allocation of resources focused on critical needs.Brian Meacham