Reliability and Limit States Approaches to Design

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 9, Pg. 75-77

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Increasingly, designers of structures and other civil engineering projects will be designing in these ways. What is the reliability approach? It is based in part on the fact that the magnitude and frequency of many types of load (for example wind loads on buildings) vary in a predictable but complexly varying way. Using knowledge of these loading patterns, the engineer designs for a given reliability—that is, with understanding that a tradeoff must be made between the job's cost and degree of assurance it will not fail. The limit states approach means that the engineer designs so as not to reach a given limit state—such as fracture, collapse, or noise level, or frequency of vibration, etc. Here is an introduction, in simple language, to what the researchers predict will be the design approach of the future.

Subject Headings: Loads | Limit analysis | Reliability |

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