Science of Progressive Collapse Resistance of Reinforced Concrete Structures
F4-K (Phase 1)

Download the 2013 Project Report

The bombing of the Murrah Federal Building (MFB) led to the progressive collapse of the structure and almost half of the building came down, killing 168 people. Most studies have cited the use of a third floor transfer girder along the north side of the building as the prime cause for the extent of progressive collapse. There are also studies that have identified other primary causes such as the slab punching shear failure. The initial blast damage to the building is not quite known, however there is an agreement among researchers that the column closest the blast was shattered by the blast. FEMA 277 concluded that the building would have collapsed, even if only column G20 were removed statically. The study presented here demonstrates that this conclusion is not valid. Therefore, the initial damage must have been more severe.

The results obtained in this project can be used in developing smart structures with a reliable collapse warning system, whose development depends on the synergy between an extensive sensing system and a computational model of the structural system.
F4-K Year 5 Progress Report, Education Activity
Project Leader
  • Mehrdad Sasani
    Associate Professor
    Northeastern University

Students Currently Involved in Project
  • Ali Kazemi
    Northeastern University