Optimum Expenditures in Seismic Design

by Emilio Rosenblueth, (F.ASCE), Prof. of Engrg.; Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, D.F., Mexico,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 177-187

Document Type: Journal Paper


Optimization is taken as minimization of the sum of expected present values of initial costs (including engineering services and construction) and (magnified) losses due to a structure's entrance into limit states. Dead, live, and seismic loads are considered. Attention is given to optimization of expenditures in engineering services. The treatment is extended to deal with optimization of resource allocation to research and development. Professional uncertainty and human errors depend on the investment in structural engineering services, which can be optimized. For N nominally identical structures, the optimum expenditures on analysis, design, and revision per unit grow approximately as N½, while the optimum on supervision varies little with N. Under some conditions, the most profitable research effort at present consists in improving knowledge about seismicity.

Subject Headings: Seismic design | Professional services | Seismic tests | Seismic loads | Human factors | Construction costs | Limit states | Dead loads

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