For safer buildings DOST turns over homemade structural integrity technology to Laguna LGUs photo Manila Bulletin
Science and Technology

For safer buildings: DOST turns over homemade structural integrity technology to Laguna LGUs

Nov 25, 2021, 6:13 AM
James Veloso

James Veloso

Writer/Columnist

The local governments of the cities of San Pedro and Cabuyao are the first LGUs in the Calabarzon region to receive the Universal Structural Health Evaluation and Recording System (USHER).

WITH the western portion of Laguna – the most populous section of the province – located on an active fault line, maintaining structural integrity of public and private buildings is more than ever essential.

Fortunately, a technology made by Filipino know-how that could accurately assess a building’s structural safety is now in Laguna province.

In a virtual ceremony last Wednesday (November 24), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Calabarzon regional office turned over a technology system that will ensure the structural integrity of public buildings to two local government units (LGUs) in the province.

photo Manila Bulletin

photo Manila Bulletin

Last November 17 and 19, officials of DOST Calabarzon visited these cities, inked a memorandum of agreement with them, and installed USHER in their areas.

The local governments of the cities of San Pedro and Cabuyao are the first LGUs in the Calabarzon region to receive the Universal Structural Health Evaluation and Recording System (USHER).

Structural monitoring

USHER is a research product commercialization project of the Mapua University and the DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).

It is a 24/7 system that provides advanced decision support tools to building managers and officials of local government units for structural health monitoring and management.

USHER is a weather and theft-proof system that remotely monitors the structural health of bridges and buildings, enabling officials to determine whether the structures need repairs or upgrades to withstand natural disasters.

In his keynote speech, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said the USHER system is in line with government efforts to ensure disaster resiliency and risk reduction.

“In order for us to become prepared and resilient to disasters, the Republic Act 10121, known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act was passed. And I can say that USHER is a great contribution to this because it becomes a tool for urban planners, structural engineers, and local government units who would want to plan ahead and be ready in the event that we are hit by an earthquake,” he said.

Local officials, on the other hand, thanked the DOST for their efforts in contributing to disaster risk reduction in their areas.

"Dahil ang West Valley Fault ay dumadaan sa lungsod ng Cabuyao, tungkulin po namin na masiguro na ang mga structure ng gobyerno ay ligtas. Kaya nagpapasalamat po ako [sa DOST]," Cabuyao City Mayor Mel Gecolea said.

Meanwhile, San Pedro City Mayor Lourdes Cataquiz praised the USHER system as an "innovative" tool to ensure the structural integrity of public facilities in the city during and after disasters.

"Taos-pusong pasasalamat po ang nais kong ipahatid to this very good initiative. This partnership with DOST - Calabarzon would really help the city government of San Pedro, especially during times of calamities," she said.

Tags: #OpinYonLaguna, #SanPedroLaguna, #CabuyaoLaguna, #DepartmentOfScienceandTechnology, #structuralintegrity, #USHERSystem


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