Engineering and Organizational Issues Related to the World Trade Center Terrorist Attack: Volume 4: From the WTC Tragedy to the Development of Disaster Engineering for Landmark Buildings - An Extension of the Performance-based Earthquake Engineering Approach

G.C. Lee, V. Rzhevsky, M. Tong and S. Chen

MCEER-03-SP04 | 09/01/2003 | 102 pages

Keywords: World Trade Center (WTC).  Collision impact.  Vapor cloud explosion (VCE) loading.  Fire damage.  Dynamic response.  Structural response.  Performance based engineering.  Multi hazard loading.  Multi hazard disaster engineering.

Abstract: The fourth report in the series, Engineering and Organizational Issues Related to the World Trade Center Attack, this volume presents a review of the major hazard loadings (collision, fire and explosion) that were factors in the collapse of the WTC towers.  Also detailed is a performance-based engineering approach, referred to as multi-hazard engineering, that combines knowledge accumulated in earthquake engineering design, hazard mitigation methods and structural response control approaches with lessons learned from the WTC collapse.  The authors propose (1) a new building performance requirement related to a major disaster, referred to as delayed building collapse, and (2) a new performance level category, catastrophe limitation, to complement the existing limited safety and catastrophe prevention categories.  This catastrophe limitation category is intended to delay the inevitable collapse of a building to allow occupants enough time to safely evacuate.  The purpose of the report is to formulate a rational and reasonable multi-hazard design platform, based on the data gathered from the collapse of the towers.