MCEER logo

MCEER Bulletin, Volume 20, Number 2, Summer 2006

skip navigation

Volume 20, Number 2, Summer 2006

mceer logo

Multi-hazard Mitigation and Response for Large Public Buildings

An International Cooperative Demonstration Project


Artist sketch of the 2008 Olympic badminton arena

MCEER investigators at the University at Buffalo (UB) are engaged in an international cooperative research project with researchers from the Beijing University of Technology (BJUT), People’s Republic of China, to develop and implement a health monitoring system for a badminton arena on the BJUT campus in time for the 2008 Olympic Games. This real-world demonstration project is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the equivalent funding agency in China on “multiple hazard protection of public buildings” (earthquakes, wind, blast, fire, and indoor air quality).

George Lee, MCEER Special Tasks Director, and Xiyuan Zhou, Director of the Key Laboratory at BJUT, began planning for a joint demonstration project several years ago. In 2003, they organized the first China-US workshop in Beijing (co-sponsored by NSF and the China National Natural Science Foundation) on “Protection of Large Public Buildings against Natural and Manmade Hazards.”

A follow-up workshop co-organized by Professors Lee and Zhou was carried out in November 2005 in Beijing. Participants presented state-of-the-art research related to multiple hazards resilient critical facilities. Topics included structural health monitoring, design structural strength under multiple hazard loadings, indoor air quality and safety monitoring, structural damage detection and response control, multiple hazard risk analysis and evacuation systems.

Based on the successful discussions from these two workshops, UB and BJUT agreed to focus on the development of a demonstration project of multiple hazard mitigation and emergency responses for large public buildings. An action plan is currently being developed by MCEER senior research scientist and US-China Exchange Program Administrator Mai Tong and BJUT colleagues, Ailing Zhang, Vice President for 2008 Badminton Gymnasium Construction, Xiuli Du, Director of Sponsored Research, and Weimin Yan, BJUT Key Laboratory Manager. The project will be targeted to a few selected areas including long-term structural and nonstructural system monitoring, hazard related analysis and emergency response strategies.

Several UB researchers and selected experts from other U.S. universities are expected to participate in the project. Follow-up workshops are planned to ensure that a demonstrative multi-hazard resilient gymnasium can be available to serve the Olympic Games in 2008, and more importantly, to provide useful information for research on smart and hazard resilient structures in the future.