While one natural disaster does not predict another and a double disaster is unlikely to repeat itself, Hurricane Irene and the Virginia earthquake, much like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March, are chilling reminders that past experience is seldom an infallible guide to the worst-case scenarios thatinform structural design decisions. Engineers would do well to ponder the difference that a slightly stronger earthquake could have made on preparations for and damage from the storm that followed.Taking natural disasters one at a time, 20th-century style, should no longer be an option. Structures are best designed by considering the effects of
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.