Author: T. Shire
1 April 2016
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With Nicaragua planning a new canal to link the Atlantic and Pacific, Sean Brady considers the lessons of the Panama Canal when engineers face up to nature on such a grand scale.
Traditionally, extreme events were predominantly considered for structures where there was a high probability of such events occurring, due to their type and location, or where their failure would have a major consequence e.g. offshore structures or nuclear reactors. Clients for such structures are knowledgeable and confident in defining the event parameters and the performance requirements of their structures both during and just after hazard events. This is based on a rigorous understanding of risk, consequence and the costs associated with lack of resilience and post-event clean-up. Stakeholders and clients fresh to the subject can struggle to assess the criticality of their asset and set appropriate design requirements for extreme events such as an earthquake, flood, extended fire and explosion, without understanding the subtleties of designing for resilience. Neglecting to engage with this at project inception, before design requirements are determined and procurement is initiated, can lead to unrealistic or caveated tender returns and ultimately fail to achieve a resilient infrastructure solution.
All the articles published in the April 2016 issue.