Structural Resilience

Three words describe structural resiliency: robustness, redundancy, and recovery. A structure’s ability to absorb disastrous impacts with timely returns to normalcy is known as structural resilience.

Structural design, on the other hand, is load dependent and does not consider recovery time. Disasters include anything that debilitate structural functions for a period of time. Structural resiliency considers community capabilities as they relate to effective preparation and mobilization before, during, and after events.

Ultimately, blending robustness, redundancy and recovery characteristics will satisfy client objectives. Look for more detail in the links below:


Robustness/Progressive Collapse

Robust design improves structural safety and collapse resistance against unforeseen and extreme loading conditions.  Hinman protects against a multiple of hazards by evaluating robustness indicators and designing for progressive collapse.

After the Oklahoma City Bombing, Eve Hinman served as an on-site investigator studying the partially collapsed building’s structural failure patterns. Since 1997, Eve has participated in the development of progressive collapse criteria published by ASCE, NIST and NIBS.  We continue to reach out to the engineering community through various professional conferences and publications to recommend "best practices" solutions in implementing structural robustness within building design.

Our progressive collapse design and analysis capabilities constantly evolve as we seek elegant, practical and cost-effective solutions for collapse mitigation. We have developed  3-dimensional models to perform dynamic analysis in accordance with both ISC and UFC  criteria documents. 

Hinman’s advanced structural analysis team employs the state-of-the-art transient dynamic finite element program, LS-DYNA, to evaluate a structure’s susceptibility to both disproportionate and progressive collapse hazards. This sophisticated program offers the closest analytical approximation of real-time behavior under an extreme loading event by incorporating advanced analytical methods that surpass industry standard software capabilities. This advanced level of analysis is especially suited for existing buildings as well as structures with cost-sensitive construction and high threat sensitivity.

Keeping an eye on the next frontier, we developed an alternative approach to evaluate structural system robustness based on probability theory. Employing fast-running algorithms, we measure robustness in terms of response variations over a range of induced loading.  Using advanced analyses, we can compare systems and assign Robustness Indicators.. Results support high-level discussions with design teams regarding the best ways to configure structural systems while meeting both maximum robustness and minimum cost requirements. 


Redundant design adds a back-up system for seamless functioning in case primary systems are compromised.

Redundant design can be expensive at the building level, but may be appropriate for critical systems within the facility. Hinman will assist planning efforts to identify where redundancy makes more sense than, say, a hardening (robust) or recovery-type approach.

Recovery Planning (Emergency Preparedness)

It isn't just about the building.  It's about the people.

Our teams review building designs to enhance and facilitate emergency evacuation, rescue and recovery operations. Hinman methods are consistent with the ICC approved NIST recommendations developed post-9/11.

Our team’s in-depth of understanding of impaired building conditions after man-made or natural disasters provide a unique perspective in establishing Emergency Action Plans (EAPs). 

Hinman accesses EAP preparation resources and performs table-top training exercises that enable your facilities staff to respond quickly and effectively in the event of  explosion incidents, chemical or biological attacks, riots, sniper attacks as well as fire, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods.