Performance-Based Design


As owners become increasingly sophisticated in evaluating facility lifecycle costs, they find it sufficient to build to prescriptive seismic building code provisions that are geared to preventing collapse in an extreme earthquake. Many key buildings, such as hospitals, must function the day after or even during an earthquake.

Using progressive rational design approaches and supported by developments in computational technology as well as extensive laboratory research, Walter P Moore engineers design (or evaluate) structures to a specific level of expected performance under a variety of potential earthquake magnitudes.  Using this performance-based design approach, our engineers go beyond prescriptive code provisions to develop efficient seismic structural systems that are best suited to owner needs.

Our capabilities include:

  • ž  Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis
  • ž  Development of site-specific response spectra and ground motions
  • ž  Nonlinear dynamic time history analysis
  • ž  Consultation with local building officials

To learn more about our Seismic Performance-based Design, contact Rafael Sabelli

Self-Centering Post-tensioned Core, San Francisco International Airport Air Traffic Control Tower

Our structural design of the new 231 foot tall air traffic control tower at San Francisco International Airport had to ensure that air traffic controllers could remain operational even after a Maximum Considered Earthquake (MCE.)  To accomplish this we post-tensioned the central concrete core vertically to its mat foundation, creating an innovative self-centering behavior under the dynamic forces of an earthquake.  This system was supplemented with a tuned mass damper at the top of the tower to improve the tower’s dynamic performance under both typical and high winds.