Research Findings on Strengthening Structural Members beyond BNBC Code for Protection Against Earthquakes

bti recently sponsored a unique structural engineering research “Strengthening Structural Members beyond BNBC code for Protection against Earthquakes”. A roundtable session on the research findings was held at the Daily Star Centre on 2nd April 2016.

The research is first of its kind in Civil Engineering Field of Bangladesh which has been carried out under the leadership of prominent structural engineer Professor Dr. Jamilur Reza Choudhury of University of Asia Pacific. Apart from providing financial support for the project, bti also came forward to augment earthquake protection in the country by providing technical data and physical model for the research.

In the roundtable session, the research findings were unveiled with a view to raise public awareness and promote recommendation for the implementation of research findings to combat earthquake. Professor Dr. Jamilur Reza Choudhury of University of Asia Pacific conducted the session. Other key note speakers were Mr Mahfuz Anam, Chief Editor of The Daily Star and Md. Faizur Rahman Khan, Managing Director of bti . Eminent structural engineers, civil engineers, professors of reputed institutions like NSU, BUET and others were also invited to the discussion.

Mr. Mahfuz Anam appreciated the joint efforts of bti and Professor Dr. Jamilur Reza Choudhury to come up with this innovative idea to develop solutions on how to prevent the disastrous impact of earthquake rather than focusing on post earthquake management. Professor Dr. Jamilur Reza Choudhury added on the advancement of technology available to the experts which can now provide realistic simulation to determine earthquake impacts on building structures. Md. Faizur Rahman Khan noted that although it might seem like a minor finding, its significance is very high in reinforcing earthquake resistance in building structures. A short video was displayed to show what happens, when earthquakes hit and methods to predict the damage and combat it with structural engineering through smart buildings that are more earthquake resistant.

Prof Dr. Jamilur Reza Choudhury then invited Dr. Iftekhar Anam of UAP to present on the research findings.The research covered review of earthquake design based on BNBC 1993 code and further improvements on this, as well as recommendations. Several mathematical analytical tools were used to carry forward the research. The research presented interesting outcomes to structural modifications that can make buildings better earthquake resistance within the restraints of existing BNBC code. A significant finding of the research is the “soft story” that is buildings with ground floor parking having only pillars which are found to be more susceptible to collapse during earthquake. The research shows how the columns can be strengthened through “jacketing” without changing its dimension or altering the architectural layout in a cost effective way to make it earthquake resistance.

The program was concluded by a Q&A session where guest speakers gave their remarks and recommendations about the research. Prof Dr. Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Dr. Iftekhar Anam and Md. FR Khan responded to the queries.

Prof Nazmul Islam, NSU, recommended to take architectural elements, utility pipe size into consideration for further research .

Md Sohel Engineer, PWD Thanked the organizers and recommended a simple guideline to implement research findings into real life practice

Md Abdul Qayum, Prothom Alo- commented on public awareness to segregate between people living in existent in buildings and people who will be living in newly developed buildings.

Dr .Abu Sayeed Mushtaq Ahmed, president IAB appreciated the research initiative as well as making the research findings public for earthquake safety.

The research will hopefully inspire others to take recommendations from the findings to make buildings more earthquake resistant.