Performance-Based Engineering

Improving safety and maximizing investment with a cutting-edge approach to engineering design


Performance-based engineering (PBE) is an alternative approach to absolute factor-of-safety engineering standards. Using complex analytical software, PBE evaluates the reliability of a design by modeling a variety of real-world loads and conditions a structure is expected to face.

PBE can be especially valuable when working with soft ground and in seismically active regions. In these more complex conditions, conventional force-based and factor-of-safety analysis approaches often aren’t adequate to develop a design that performs satisfactorily.

No prediction can be perfect, and PBE is probabilistic, but by predicting a structure’s performance before it is built, we can evaluate risk factors over a structure’s entire life cycle and incorporate the consequences of various types of structural failure. This information helps owners meet regulatory requirements and prioritize investment where the need is greatest.

With a grounding in these advanced design approaches and methods, we are helping make the next wave of infrastructure built in the United States and around the world more resilient, affordable and safe.

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