Front and Center

by Jay Landers, Contributing Editor; ASCE, ASCE World Headquarters, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2016, Vol. 86, Issue 9, Pg. 80-87


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The new, 221 ft tall air traffic control tower at San Francisco International Airport represents a bold blend of iconic architectural design and innovative engineering. As striking as it is functional, the new landmark features a vertically posttensioned concrete core that is designed to right itself after an earthquake. Because its height exceeded that allowed by the building code for an essential facility developed by means of a prescriptive design in a region of high seismic activity, the tower became the first such structure in the country to be developed through performance-based seismic design.

Subject Headings: Building design | Seismic design | Air traffic control | Seismic tests | Highway and road design | Innovation

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