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Design Principles for Civil Structures

Principles of SHM-based Structural Monitoring, Design and Maintenance

Design and Assessment

  1. Vistasp M. Karbhari

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470061626.shm107

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

How to Cite

Karbhari, V. M. 2009. Design Principles for Civil Structures. Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring. .

Author Information

  1. University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


Although the term structural health monitoring (SHM) has gained prominence recently, its basis and motivation can be traced to the very earliest endeavors of mankind to conceptualize, construct, worry about deterioration, and then attempt to repair (or otherwise prolong the life) of a structure. Thus, it represents an attempt at deriving knowledge about the actual condition of a structure, or system, with the aim of not just knowing that its performance may have deteriorated, but rather to be able to assess remaining performance levels and life. In the case of civil structures where the expected service life is high (30–75+ years), where structures are repeated but are often one of a kind, and which are expected to continue performing in harsh and changing outdoor environments with low levels of inspection and maintenance, the needs of an SHM system are somewhat different from those used in aircraft and with machinery. The design principles are intrinsically related to the specifics of the structure including configuration and necessity of considering an outdoor environment.


  • civil infrastructure;
  • bridges;
  • overload;
  • connections;
  • time-dependent deterioration;
  • traffic load