The structural design of many buildings along the coast and in southern Florida will be tested over the next 24 to 48 hours. As Hurricane Irma makes land sometime Saturday night into Sunday morning, the civil engineering structural design of buildings, bridges, overpasses, and roads will be tested. And if Hurrican Irma packs the power that she has so far, it will take many more structural design engineers to to help safely pick up the ruins and create the needed new plans for rebuilding. In some cases, structural engineers may have to make the difficult decision to take down buildings in places that will be deemed unsuitable as future building sites.
It will likely take the biggest civil engineering companies in the world to tackle the future risks that come with an increased number of natural disasters. The fact that these increasingly numerous storms are bigger and more powerful than anything seen in the past, means that purpose of transportation planning and building designs will have to be carefully considered and planned.
New, More Stringent Building Codes Will Likely be Enforced After the Recent Hurricanes
After the powerful winds and heavy rains of the two Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it will take months, most predict years to reevaluate and to rebuild. Finding the best solutions to these nearly impossible situations will take the best structural design engineers to recreate communities. This time, however, the buildings will need to be ready for what seems to be the new normal that we seem to be facing.
It should come as no surprise that even before the biggest of storms make landfall, a large number of people will already be anticipating the plans that will be needed to rebuild after the waters recede and the winds die. Consider some of these facts and figures about the structural design of buildings and the goals of transportation planning:
- More than 25% of bridges in the U.S. need significant repairs or are handling more traffic than they were originally designed to carry.
- America?s aging sewer systems are a danger to both people and the environment, as they spill an estimated 1.26 trillion gallons of untreated sewage on a yearly basis.
- Keeping close records on buildings that remain after a large storm will help city developers work on new plans and new designs for the rebuilding of areas destroyed by winds and flooding.
- It is estimated that over 33% of America?s major roads are in mediocre or poor condition.
- Nearly 33% of all highway fatalities are related to substandard road conditions, roadside hazards, or obsolete road designs, conditions that can all be corrected.
- Geotechnical engineering firms provide services for vertical and horizontal and vertical construction projects including commercial, power, industrial, institutional structures and buildings.
- Photogrammetry is the process where at least two dimensional (2D) images are translated into three dimensional (3D) models or measurements. This process most often involves comparing and analyzing 2D photographs for the purpose of designing builds and planning transportation routes.
- Lidar surveying is the process that was used to plan Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, California. It is a process where data is collected by air and this remote sensing method can be used to examine the surface of the Earth.
- America’s roads are failing. In fact, more than half of America?s interstate miles are at 70% of traffic capacity, and nearly 25% of the miles are strained as much as more than 95% capacity. Without new plans for additional travel options, the current roads, highways, and interstates will continue to deteriorate.
- Not a day goes by that the role of a structural engineer does not play a significant role in the lives that we all lead.
- Structural engineers help with the planning of transportation routes and city buildings. With a plan for structural integrity, these plans are put into place by teams of engineers who look to build new cities and rebuild cities that are destroyed by fires, storms, and other natural disasters
As the nation prepares for Hurricane Irma and the likely destruction that she will cause, many cities will be MAKING PLANS to recover and then to rebuild. With the help of engineers and city planners, the goal will be to create new cities and neighborhoods that will withstand the next big storm.