Experts from different parts of the world are deliberating on techniques and developments in construction and civil engineering technology to enhance the durability and lifespan of buildings at a workshop underway in the city.

The two-day workshop commenced on Monday. It was organised by the Building Fire Research Centre of the National Institute of Engineering, in association with the University of British Columbia, and titled ‘PROTECT-2013: Performance, Protection and Strengthening of Structures under Extreme Loading’.

C.S. Vishwanath, chairman, Civil-Aid Technoclinic Pvt. Ltd. delivered the keynote address and pointed out that civil engineering structures are generally designed for the anticipated loads and the prevailing atmospheric conditions with well-laid out procedures to ensure their durability.

But these structures become vulnerable when subjected to abnormal or extreme loads due to fire or other natural disasters or even overloading. Hence such situations call for adequate strengthening of the structures and there have been tremendous developments in the field in the last few decades, said Mr. Vishwanath.

He pointed out some of these developments, such as diagnostic devices, materials for strengthening of rehabilitation, techniques for implementing them and assessment of their performance. Citing a few examples, Mr. Vishwanath pointed out that electron microscopes, ultrasonic flaw detectors, radiographic devices, eddy current tests etc have come in handy and help engineers to asses the health of the existing structure and the choice of strengthening measures. Advancements in the field of mechanical equipment also helped in the effective implementation of strengthening measures, he added.

The workshop is the fourth in the series. Its predecessors were held in Canada in 2007, Japan in 2009 and Switzerland in 2011. The Minister for Higher Education R.V. Deshpande was supposed to inaugurate the workshop, but he sent a message underlining the importance of the workshop in the context of enhancing the strength of the structures for longevity.

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