Skip to content

Progressive Collapse of Structures, Second edition

Author(s): Uwe Starossek

* VAT information
Publication date: 06 December 2017
Digital version: Buy this eBook
Progressive Collapse of Structures, Second edition provides structural engineers with the practical and systematic frameworks they need to anticipate the risk of progressive and/or disproportionate collapse, and to apply this knowledge to the design of new structures as well as the retrofit design of existing structures. With design codes becomi

Progressive Collapse of Structures, Second edition provides structural engineers with the practical and systematic frameworks they need to anticipate the risk of progressive and/or disproportionate collapse, and to apply this knowledge to the design of new structures as well as the retrofit design of existing structures.

With design codes becoming more stringent in their collapse resistance requirements, there is an increased demand for guidance. This new edition addresses this demand by explaining progressive collapse as it occurs in different kinds of structures, as well as outlining both code provisions and general methods for providing resistance against disproportionate collapse.

Progressive Collapse of Structures, Second edition:

• offers a comprehensive, straightforward introduction to the topic
• catalogues and describes in detail the different types of progressive collapse
• includes a new chapter outlining and discussing the current US and European codes on design against disproportionate collapse – and their limitations
• for the first time presents model guidelines that are not limited to building design but applicable to all kinds of structures
• contains an extended applications chapter on the design of long bridges and tall buildings
• proposes revised and extended measures of robustness.

You can also read the author's blog which examines what it would have taken to prevent the total collapse of the Twin Towers.

Book Review

Progressive Collapse of Structures aims to be a stand-alone reference that will not only standardize nomenclature and procedures but also provide pragmatic guidance to both practising and future engineers.

Ray Bert

Progressive Collapse of Structures, 2nd edition, is exceptionally well organized and clear, with figures and schemes that are of very high quality. It is certain to be of interest to a wide range of readers, including researchers, structural design and construction experts, and undergraduate architecture and civil engineering students wishing to enter the field of progressive collapse. Of special interest are the quantity and quality of references at the end of each chapter, which will be of enormous help to those who want to dig deeper into specific topics.

Brief Description of Each Chapter Chapter 1 begins with a series of preliminary definitions and a description of some interesting cases by way of introduction to the progressive collapse problem. It awakens the reader’s interest right from the start. The chapter also includes a brief review of the current state of research, standards, and guidelines. Chapter 2 classifies the different types of progressive collapse with clear descriptions that aid understanding of the mechanisms involved in progressive structural collapse. Being familiar with these mechanisms is, of course, crucial to the design of robust structures. Chapter 3, the shortest in the book, describes the limitations of current design procedures and provides suggestions for improvement. Chapter 4 concisely sums up the steps to be followed in designing measures against progressive collapse. It ties in with Chapter 5, which discusses these preventive measures. Of special interest is Professor Starossek’s explanation of the segmentation method, in which he uses an example from a bridge he helped to design. There is an interesting debate in Section 5.3.4 on the advantages and disadvantages of redundancy and segmentation. Chapter 6, discussing ways to minimize the risk of progressive collapse of tall buildings and bridges, will certainly hold the reader’s attention, particularly its descriptions of situations to which the scientific community and those responsible for design guidelines have so far paid very little attention. Chapter 7 presents a series of approximations and formulas designed to gauge robustness and ability of structures to resist collapse. Although the author gives a correct account of this topic, it must be said that, in spite of the great advances recently made in this field, some of the latest formulations have been left out. Chapters 8 and 9 are new and specifically written for the second edition. The former provides excellent explanations of the most important definitions associated with progressive collapse and robustness of structures in a review that is probably the most complete of any carried out to date. The latter includes a brief review of design criteria, requirements, and objectives currently considered in devising robust structures. In Chapter 9, the essential characteristics of the best known codes and recommendations are described in detail, including those of the Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC), the General Services Administration (GSA), Eurocode EN 1991-1-7, and some ASCE publications. This chapter will be particularly useful to engineers and architects facing the challenge of designing and constructing robust buildings able to withstand potential collapse situations. Bearing in mind that this book is going to be distributed all over the world, it would have been interesting to learn about other international codes and guidelines widely used in countries such as China, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The conclusions given in Chapter 10 perfectly reflect the magnificent job done by Professor Starossek in compiling Progressive Collapse of Structures, 2nd edition.

Conclusions In this magnificent book, probably the most complete in its field, the reader will find the work of one of the world’s leading experts in progressive collapse. This second edition will no doubt become a vital reference in any technical library. When it first appeared in 2009, the first edition of Progressive Collapse of Structures covered a gap in the structural design field, and nine years later the second edition carries on as an excellent guide to the field. Apart from its technical aspects, the book’s price is also worthy of mention. Considering its quality and the author’s prestige, at only $115 (the official price on the publisher’s web page) it is excellent value for the money.​

Jose M. Adam review in ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities

Book Summary provided by our author

Chapter 1 sets the stage for the fabric of terminology and procedures developed in the book. Key terms like “abnormal event,” “robustness,” and “collapse resistance” are defined and the difference between progressive collapse and disproportionate collapse is explained. The introduction to the topic is continued by describing selected failure incidents, already with respect to possible design measures discussed in detail later in the book, and a presentation of the state of research and the development and present state of regulations.

Chapter 2 catalogues and describes the different types of progressive collapse, such as pancake-type, zipper-type, domino-type, and section-type collapses, and others. A higher level of abstraction is achieved by combining the pancake-type and domino-type categories, on the one hand, into a so-called impact class, and the zipper-type and section-type categories, on the other hand, into a redistribution class. Such a differentiation of types and classes of collapse is important with regard to all aspects of the conceptual and practical treatment of progressive collapse and is, to date, the only attempt at differentiating and describing the various types of progressive collapse. 

Chapter 3 discusses the reasons for the failure of ordinary design procedures in preventing disproportionate collapse. Based on a discussion of the basics of the probabilistic theory of reliability, three reasons are worked out for this theory – as well as for semi-probabilistic theories using partial safety factors – not easily being able to handle phenomena associated with progressive and disproportionate collapse.

Chapter 4 contains the main ideas of the pragmatic and deterministic design approach suggested by the author. The concept is presented as a flowchart of design criteria which are determined and processed one after the other: design requirements, design objectives, design methods, and verification procedures. The findings of Chapter 3 are consistently incorporated. One main feature, for instance, is that the design objectives – such as the assumed abnormal events and cases of initial failure as well as the acceptable extent of collapse – cannot be derived from first principles, but need to be defined by the stakeholders of a given project in a judgment and decision-making process.

Chapter 5 is dedicated to the design methods. The two main design strategies aim at either preventing an initial local failure or at assuming an initial local failure and designing the structure so that such failure does not lead to disproportionate collapse. Each of these main design strategies contains two sub-methods. If collapse resistance is to be achieved by preventing initial local failure, the design methods “specific local resistance” and “protective measures” are available to provide an increased level of safety against local failure. If an initial local failure is accepted and assumed, the design methods “alternative load paths” and “segmentation” can be used to limit the damage to an acceptable extent. All these methods are outlined, exemplified, and compared in detail so that their applicability, and respective advantages and disadvantages become clear.

In Chapter 6, the design methods outlined in Chapter 5 are applied to a variety of structures. The most important types of large bridges are examined and respective recommendations for the collapse-resistant design of such structures are derived. Concerning the design of high-rise buildings, only extremely tall and slender structures and extreme abnormal events and initial local failure scenarios are considered. Economic aspects are treated here as secondary to the question of the possibility in principle of achieving a collapse-resistant design. The design of buildings for less extreme initial failure scenarios, such as they are specified in current regulations, is not treated here but later in Chapter 9.

Chapter 7 proposes measures of robustness and collapse resistance. A more objective mathematical basis for the pragmatic design approach outlined in Chapter 4 is aimed at here. Such measures can be useful, for instance, for regulations and as a design aid. However, they need to fulfil certain requirements, such as expressiveness, calculability, and objectivity, which are defined. The further discussion shows that these requirements are partly in conflict with each other, so that it may not be possible to meet them all simultaneously to the same extent. Four different measures of robustness are proposed – called the damage-based, stiffness-based, reserve-based, and energy-based measures, respectively – and their applicability, also with regard to different kinds of structures and different types of collapse, is outlined.

Chapter 8 for the first time presents model guidelines for collapse-resistant design that are not limited to buildings but applicable to any kind of structure. It is based on a draft by the former ASCE Disproportionate Collapse Standards and Guidance Committee and its Terminology and Procedures Sub-Committee, which was chaired by the author. In this draft, and in Chapter 8, the pragmatic design approach outlined and exemplified in Chapters 4 to 6 is developed into a complete set of guidelines. These model guidelines contain a comprehensive set of definitions of relevant terms such as robustness, vulnerability, direct design, indirect design, threat-specific design, non-threat specific design, and many more, which up to now have not been consistently defined and used. On this basis, a conceptual framework of design – including a specific set of suggested design criteria – is developed, which forms a solid foundation that can be used as a basis for project-specific design criteria or be built on to develop regulations for designing general structures against disproportionate collapse.

Chapter 9 gives a detailed outline of the current US and European codes on design against disproportionate collapse. Furthermore, these codes are discussed, evaluated, and compared so that their respective limitations become clear. The US United Facilities Criteria document UFC 4-023-031 is highlighted as the currently most advanced guidance for design against disproportionate collapse. However, it is not applicable to any kind of structure but only to buildings. Other shortcomings – shared by all the codes examined here – are that the segmentation method is not included and that the initial failure scenarios of the alternative path method are limited to the removal of single structural elements instead of giving consideration to an initial failure of multiple elements. It is emphasized that the abnormal events safely covered by such an approach is correspondingly bounded, which is particularly problematic for high-risk buildings.

In summary, Progressive Collapse of Structures, Second Edition by Uwe Starossek sets the theoretical foundations for dealing with the risk of progressive collapse and provides structural engineers with the practical and systematic framework they need to anticipate this risk and to apply this knowledge to the design of structures. The book is recommended to students, practitioners, and researchers alike.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780727761682
Number of pages: 240
Product code: 9780727761682
Page size: 234x156mm
Publication status: Published
Publisher: ICE Publishing

No customer reviews