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Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:22 pm Post subject: Steel and retrofitting
The vast population of existing structures in India would not meet earthquake safety needs.
In my opinion to improve the earthquake safety of a significant percentage of such structures it would require incorporation of the strength and flexibility of steel.
In cities affected by the 2001 Gujarat quake there are now many structures in urgent need of retrofitting. I feel the local structural engineers are aware of the fact that steel can/should be used in retrofitting but have little to go by in terms of a method of arriving at detailed design af a steel based retrofitting. Even for relatively simple structures which form a significant percentage.
Retrofitting enjoys less priority because even new constructions are yet to be addressed fully. Also retrofitting is exposed to many essentially non engineering influences such as earthquake threat perception, availability of adequate information on existing structure to make a confident retrofitting determination, quantification of improved safety post retrofitting and therefore justifiability of cost etc..
On the other hand the main loss of life and property in an earthquake occurs in these structures. So they can't be totally ignored.
Is any attempt underway to provide guidance for steel based retrofitting to the extent possible, with or without the involvement of the Govt.?
Do steel companies view this opportunity as a significant viable marketing opportunity?
Would steel companies ( who already have a lot of research on the efficacy and usage of steel in structures available) regard assisting inadequately informed structural engineers as fulfilling a social responsibility?
In the aftermath of the Gujarat quake I had noticed some articles/tv clips on cage style retrofitting solutions. So there are some options available. But even simple options will require fully detailed information to implement.
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