To predict building damage, Kostas Keremidis of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub is modeling structures as ensembles of atoms.
To design buildings that can withstand the largest of storms, Kostas Keremidis, a PhD candidate at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, is using research at the smallest scale — that of the atom.
His approach, which derives partially from materials science, models a building as a collection of points that interact through forces like those found at the atomic scale.
“When you look at a building, it is actually a series of connections between columns, windows, doors, and so on,” says Keremidis. “Our new framework looks at how different building components connect together to form a building like atoms form a molecule — similar forces hold them together, both at the atomic and building scale.” The framework is called molecular dynamics-based structural modeling.
Eventually, Keremidis hopes it will provide developers and builders with a new way to readily predict building damage from disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes.