Earlier this month, we wrote about What Disasters Teach Us About the Importance of Design Codes. the role that our own founder and principal Kirby Hartle played during the devastating 2010 Haiti Earthquake when he served as a Structures Specialist with the Urban Search and Rescue Virginia Task Force 1.
For the two weeks Kirby worked to assess and reinforce unstable structures so that teams could safely rescue earthquake survivors, he was deeply affected by the country’s overwhelming devastation.
“We saw concrete and masonry buildings that may have been sufficient to withstand hurricanes that were absolutely decimated by the earthquake,” Kirby said. He explained that these structures were built well for the strong winds of hurricanes due to their massiveness and concrete nature, but they were not able to withstand an earthquake’s strong seismic forces.
“All of that destruction, and all those lives lost, hit me hard and gave me a tremendous appreciation for the extent we go to here in the United States to keep the public safe,” he said. “How many times a day do we walk into various buildings and never have to think about whether it’s going to fall in on us? This is thanks to effective design codes and diligent engineers making sure we are safe.”
Kirby acknowledges that while nothing can ever be deemed 100% safe, federal, state, county, and city building codes all work together to improve public safety and the standard of care.
“These codes represent our industry’s constant dedication to making things better all the time,” he explained. “The Haiti earthquake, while horrific, showed me why codes are worth maintaining, enforcing, studying, and continually improving so we can always try to remain safe.”
Kirby and his team at Top Level Engineering work in tandem with designers, inspectors and contractors to ensure that their designs are not only code compliant, but efficient, cost-effective and durable. Read More The company is licensed and well versed in Federal building codes, as well as state codes throughout The District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
“At Top Level Engineering, our structural design professionals don’t simply read codes, they understand them and work to ensure their designs meet the requirements for every jurisdiction,” Kirby said. “For us, it is about more than just being compliant, it is engineering for safety,” Kirby said.
Would you like to ensure your building is engineered for safety yet still cost-effective? Reach out for a consultation today!