Current building codes rely on high ductility systems to meet life safety requirements. Buildings designed to this standard may be impractical to repair following a severe earthquake. Efforts are being made to update building code requirements so that they address re-occupancy and functional recovery. One option being considered is to design more structures as Risk Category IV (higher strength and higher stiffness). This would be costly and may not provide the expected impact. Another option would be to use a technology like base isolation or supplemental viscous damping which adds significant cost and complexity. A complementary or alternative option is to improve the repairability of structures so they can be returned to service after severe earthquakes. Various replaceable fuse concepts have been explored with the most practical concepts already being used in practice.
About Justin Marshall
Justin Marshall is the President of DuraFuse Frames. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University and then worked as a structural engineer in upstate New York for 4 years. He then earned his PhD from Virginia Tech and took a faculty position at Auburn University. His time at Auburn included teaching structural engineering and doing research on seismic and wind engineering. He has been involved in several post-disaster reconnaissance efforts and has served on the Seismic Subcommittee for ASCE 7-16 and 7-22 to update the standards. He is licensed in Utah, California, and Nevada.