A building blackbox for urban disaster response and relief

Min Hsuan Tsai, Liang Y Liu, Feniosky Peña-Mora

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In the event of natural and man-made disasters in urban areas, buildings are always being considered as one of the critical physical infrastructures (CPIs). Information regarding the building such as floor plans, emergency exit routes and building condition is highly valuable and critical to the first responders and rescue teams. However, as the experience of the 9/11 terrorist attack shows, access to accurate building information on site was limited and inefficient due to inappropriate and ineffective documentation management. To improve accurate building information access, sharing and collaboration efforts, on-site preservation of building information and local communication networking frameworks with sufficiently robust and redundant systems are vital and necessary. This paper presents the conceptual design of a building blackbox system that is equipped with disaster-survivable protections, wireless communication capabilities and a digital building database to support the decision-making process during and after disastrous events. This blackbox system aims at building an infrastructure of two-way communication between the building systems and the emergency response team over the enhanced mobile ad hoc space for collaboration (MASC) platform, providing real-time and critical information regarding building structural health, environmental conditions and personnel information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputing in Civil Engineering - Proceedings of the 2007 ASCE International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2007
Event2007 ASCE International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: Jul 24 2007Jul 27 2007

Publication series

NameCongress on Computing in Civil Engineering, Proceedings


Other2007 ASCE International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'A building blackbox for urban disaster response and relief'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this