Target guidelines seek improving high-rises’ structural design

By , on May 10, 2014

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MANILA (PNA) — The public works department targets enforcing, from 2014 onwards, guidelines for implementing National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP) provisions on installing earthquake-recording instrumentation in high-rise buildings nationwide.

“Such instrumentation will generate data on ground movement during earthquakes in the country so structural engineers can have local information essential in better designing high-rises nationwide,” said Napoleon Nicolas Jr., building management cluster engineer from Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

He noted at present, foreign data still account for much of information for designing as absence of guidelines to implement the NSCP provisions continues fueling lack of facts on actual earthquake-induced ground movement in the Philippines, a tremor-prone country.

DPWH and Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP) are already working on such guidelines, he said.

The 2010 NSCP provides that “unless waived by the building official, every building in Seismic Zone 4 over 50 m. in height shall be provided with not less than three approved recording accelerographs.”

Such accelerographs must be interconnected for common start and timing, NSCP notes.

“”The instruments shall be located in the basement, mid-portion and near the top of the building,” NSCP continues.

Seismic Zone 4 covers seismically active areas, noted Nicolas.

Experts said accelerograph is an instrument that recordsacceleration of the ground during an earthquake.

Nicolas said DPWH is already reviewing the revised instrumentation guidelines ASEP prepared then submitted to the agency this week for comment and possible approval.

He noted DPWH will immediately enforce the guidelines once this agency approves these.

“DPWH hopes to begin enforcing the guidelines this year,” he continued.

Earlier, DPWH Acting Exec. Dir. for national building code development Johnson Domingo said the construction sector is increasingly clamoring for guidelines to implement such NSCP provisions.

Even building officials in the country are already inquiring about the guidelines, he observed.

“DPWH is keen on finalizing the guidelines as soon as possible,” he said.

He added compliance with NSCP provisions on earthquake-recording instrumentation ultimately aims to better protect life, limb and property nationwide. (PNA)