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Spring 2018

The CPF Initiatives will be the major focus of most of the research funded by the Charles Pankow Foundation. The list of CPF Initiatives is subject to change at any time. Great ideas and interesting individual research projects are always welcome.

  • High Strength Steel Reinforcing Bar 
    Current building codes in the US have not been updated for rebar strength since the late 1960’s based on research done in the 50’s and 60’s. These codes limit rebar strength primarily to 60ksi. US rebar mills are capable of producing suitable reinforcing bar up to 100ksi and, in many parts of the world, rebar strengths of 100ksi and above are used routinely. This issue goes well beyond just rebar costs and design issues but has a significant impact on quality, construction productivity and sustainability. This initiative will allow engineers to utilize advances in steel metallurgy comparable to new standards throughout the world.
  • Performance-Based Wind Engineering
    Significant advancements in Performance Based Seismic Engineering have transformed the standard of care for tall building design resulting in safer, more reliable, and more economical designs. Similar advancements and industry transformation are foreseen for wind engineering in the years ahead. Research and development of structural and cladding system performance and reliability through analytical studies and physical testing are areas ripe for advancement. Design and construction industry guidelines which recommend best practices will allow for improved safety and reliability with more economical and efficient designs.
  • Building Information Modeling – Contractual, Legal, and Insurance Framework
    In the near future, project teams will be designing, collaborating and building from a single, shared, cloud-based Building Information Model (BIM). These changes are much more than new technology. How will contractual liability, copyrights and insurability evolve to support this new way of working? Rather than have such issues evolve through trial and error with the courts determining how the standard of care will be defined, research, collaboration and thought-leadership can guide the way toward defining solutions, including new insurance processes and model contracts that balance the needs of all stakeholders.
  • Performance Based Fire Engineering
    Current prescriptive building code requirements for fire protection are out dated, restrictive, and result in inconsistent levels of protection. Performance Based Fire Engineering seeks to rigorously and quantifiably assess predicted fire loads and structural response as compared to the targeted protection times allowing safe occupant egress and overall structural frame stability. Through this scientific and engineering approach, more reliable and consistent levels of safety and performance as possible. Advancing this methodology through trial designs, physical testing and standards development will benefit public safety while delivering more economical and efficient building designs.
  • Water Resource Management
    The most precious resource on our planet continues to be poorly managed. In the built-environment, the archaic approach which allocates rain water, waste water, potable and non-potable water into different “silos” is wasteful and unnecessary. Harvesting, combining, treating and re-using water resources can result in significant reductions in the need for public infrastructure and centralized treatment. Research and development of systems, implementation, best practices, performance monitoring, and maintenance for water re-use strategies in buildings will facilitate improvements and greater efficiencies in managing all of our water resources.
  • Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Guide
    The use of Integrated Project Delivery continues to grow as a viable project delivery alternative. While such projects share many fundamental features, variations exist which have various aims and outcomes. Using the CPF sponsored Design Management Guide for the Design Build Environment as a template, CPF proposes to sponsor the development of an IPD Guide that will serve as a knowledge base written by practitioners for practitioners. The IPD Guide is intended to serve as a resource for owners, architects, engineers and contractors considering the use of IPD, to understand it’s basic principles and to select optional features which best address the needs of the project.
  • Integrating Carbon into Life Cycle Based (Structural) Design Decision-Making
    Improve guidance and data to assess and implement low carbon structures. Building industry professionals find the data and methods used to track carbon emissions (Life Cycle Assessment/LCA) inaccessible and/or difficult to implement. Carbon pricing programs can impact material costs. Integrating carbon assessment into cost analysis would enable teams to assess risk and design options.

Additional Information about Research Grants may be found at and clicking on the Research Grants tab.

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