WTC Performance Study Presented to Congress

A 25-member professional task force—organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Society of Civil Engineers—has presented to Congress the findings of a building performance study evaluating the collapse and damage of the World Trade Center (WTC) and surrounding buildings on Sept. 11, 2001.

05/02/2002


A 25-member professional task force—organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Society of Civil Engineers—has presented to Congress the findings of a building performance study evaluating the collapse and damage of the World Trade Center (WTC) and surrounding buildings on Sept. 11, 2001.

In association with New York City, federal agencies and professional organizations, including the National Fire Protection Association and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, the task force analyzed the catastrophe and:

  • Presented WTC strengths that enabled the structures to remain standing while close to 95% of their occupants successfully evacuated.

  • Determined that the impact of the two planes crashing into the towers, the burning jet fuel spilling out from the planes and the ensuing fires igniting the building's contents combined to cause the structural collapse of the towers.

  • Identified design features that may have played a role in the collapse.

  • Presented recommendations for improving the structural integrity, fire protection and egress in buildings.

  • Suggested specific recommendations for continued evaluation and study of the World Trade Center collapse.

While the report presented recommendations for facility improvements, it was also noted, "it may not be technically feasible to develop design provisions that would enable all structures to be designed and constructed to resist the effects of impacts by rapidly moving aircraft, and the ensuing fires, without collapse. In addition, the cost of constructing such structures might be so large as to make this type of design intent practically infeasible."

For more information on the World Trade Center Building Performance Study , visit ASCE's web site at: www.asce.org/responds .





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