On seismic design

On seismic design:

Although over the years, experience and research have diminished our uncertainties and concerns regarding the characteristics of earthquake motions and its manifestations, it is unlikely, though, that there will be such a change in the nature of knowledge to relieve us of the necessity of dealing openly with random variables. In a way, earthquake engineering is a parody of other branches of engineering. Earthquake effects on structures systematically bring out the mistakes made in design and construction, even the minutest mistakes. Add to this the undeniable dynamic nature of disturbances, the importance of soil-structure interaction and the extremely random nature of it all; it could be said that earthquake engineering is to the rest of the engineering disciplines what psychiatry is to other branches of medicine. This aspect of arthquake engineering makes it challenging and fascinating, and gives it an educational value beyond its inmediate objectives. If structural engineers are to acquire fruitful experience in a brief span of time, expose them to the concepts of earthquake engineering, even if their interest in earthquake-resistant design is indirect. Sooner or later, they will learn that the difficulties encountered in seismic design are technically intriguing and begin to exercise that nebulous trait called engineering judgment to make allowance for these unknown factors.

Bungale S. Taranath, “Structural Analysis and Design of Tall Buildings. Steel and Composite Construction”. CRC Press, 2012, Boca Raton, Florida.

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