SED 11 (ePDF) Design for Robustness

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Robustness is the ability to surviveRobustness unforeseen circumstances without undue damage or loss of function. It has become a requirement expressed in modern building codes, mostly without much advice as to how it can be achieved. Engineering has developed some approaches based on traditional practice as well as recent insight. However, knowledge about robustness remains scattered and ambiguous, making it difficult to apply to many specific cases. The authors’ attempt to collect and review elements, methods and strategies toward structural robustness, using a holistic, almost philosophical approach. This leads to a set of considerations to guide selection and implementation of measures in specific cases, followed by a collection of applications and examples from the authors practice. The world, engineering and construction are imperfect and not entirely predictable. Robustness provides a measure of structural safety beyond traditional codified design rules.

ISBN 978-3-85748-120-8

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Robustness is a property, the description of which varies so much with context that it is difficult to put order into its manifold aspects, relationships and ramifications, let alone to pronounce a consistent and general theory. This text is an attempt to provide at least a practical review of the important elements of robustness in the context of structural systems, and to collect ideas or ways and means to deal with some typical circumstances in terms of structural design, in order to enhance survival, or to mitigate the consequences of unforeseen events to structural systems.
The text is divided into two parts:
• A review of the elements of robustness and strategies for its establishment by design (Chapters 1–8). Hopefully, this part will be found to be sufficiently short and concise for the reader not to become overly and prematurely bored.
• A review of specific scenarios intended to illustrate some typical or notorious situations where robustness must be established beyond the schoolbook structural design procedures (Chapters 9 and 10).