The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) prepared a set of best practices guidelines for reducing the likelihood of progressive collapse of structures, and is participating in a series of technical workshops to spread the word. NIST’s report, Best Practices for Reducing the Potential for Progressive Collapse in Buildings, responds to one of the 30 recommendations for improvements to building codes, standards, and practices in the final report of NIST’s investigation into the World Trade Center disaster. Among the items featured in the document are an acceptable risk approach to progressive collapse, a review of design methods used to enhance a building’s resistance to progressive collapse, a look at progressive collapse provisions in building standards around the world, and case studies of progressive collapse events triggered by abnormal loading (where building integrity is compromised by unexpected hazards from explosions, aircraft or vehicle impacts, foundation failures, or construction errors).

NIST and the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has organized a series of workshops to address the topic. The remaining workshop dates and locations are Sept. 14 in New York; Sept. 28 in San Francisco; and Oct. 19 in Chicago (as part of the 2006 ASCE Annual Conference). All pre-registered attendees will receive a draft copy of the NIST document in advance of the workshop. To register online, select a date and location under &quotProgressive Collapse Workshops&quot at the SEI Web site (