Engineering Seminar Series
Andre Filiatrault, Ph.D, Eng.
Professor of Structural Engineering
State University of New York at Buffalo

Seismic Design of Nonstructural Building Elements: Why, How and Who?


The reduction in seismic performance of buildings caused by the vulnerability of nonstructural building elements has been observed repeatedly during recent earthquakes worldwide. Moreover, nonstructural damage has limited the functionality of critical facilities, such as hospitals following major seismic events. The investment in nonstructural building elements and building contents is far greater than that of structural elements and framing. Therefore, it is not surprising that in many past earthquakes, losses from damage to nonstructural building elements have exceeded losses from structural damage. Furthermore, the failure of nonstructural building elements can become a safety hazard or can hamper the safe movement of occupants evacuating or of rescue workers entering buildings. In comparison to structural elements and systems, there is relatively limited information on the seismic design of nonstructural building elements. Basic research work in this area has been sparse, and the available codes and guidelines are usually, for the most parts, based on past experiences, engineering judgment and intuition, rather than on objective experimental and analytical results. This presentation will provide a state-of-the-art overview of the technical and organizational issues associated with the seismic design of nonstructural building elements.

About Prof. Filiatrault

Prof. Filiatrault is a professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY. He received his master's (1985) and Ph.D. (1988) degrees in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia. His research over the last 25 years has focused on the seismic testing, analysis and design of civil engineering structures. His current research involves the seismic design and analysis of wood structures, seismic performance of nonstructural building components, seismic performance of substation electrical equipment, earthquake response and rehabilitation of critical lifelines, and seismic design of propped rocking cantilever concrete walls. The professional achievements resulting from his research and teaching activities include four textbooks, more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific publications, the 1990 Sir Casimir Stanislaus Gzowski Medal from the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, the 2002 Moisseiff Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the 2008 Outstanding Researcher/Scholar Award from the Research Foundation of the State University of New York.


Friday, February 28th, 2014


11:00 am EST

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