Company History

Earthquake damage picture taken by HB-Risk team members Dustin Cook and Katie Fitzgerald during their post-earthquake reconnaissance the day of the 2014 South Napa earthquake in California (taken August 24, 2014).

Earthquake damage picture taken by HB-Risk team members Dustin Cook and Katie Fitzgerald during their post-earthquake reconnaissance the day of the 2014 South Napa earthquake in California (taken August 24, 2014).

Jack Baker and Curt Haselton have worked together for over a decade on research to support and advance our structural engineering profession.

These activities have included fundamental research projects, technology transfer projects with the Applied Technology Council (including ATC-58), and consulting projects to utilize research tools in the real world.

Preparations for testing a full-scale RC column specimen at the MAST lab in Minnesota.  HB-Risk Co-Founder Curt Haselton is Co-PI on this NSF-NEES project.

Preparations for testing a full-scale RC column specimen at the MAST lab in Minnesota. HB-Risk Co-Founder Curt Haselton is Co-PI on this NSF-NEES project.

Through this work, we observed that advanced design and assessment methods are often difficult to implement in practice. This difficulty often arises because research calculations and software cannot keep up with the rapid pace of work in a design office. Given our experience in performance-based engineering research and software development, we saw a chance to address this problem.

We created the Haselton Baker Risk Group in 2014 to produce software that meets the needs of cutting-edge engineering design professionals and enables engineers to quickly implement advanced design and assessment methods into their practice. When equipped with the tools to comprehensively assess performance of buildings, we believe that engineers will be able to design more resilient projects and communities.

Our Team

Curt Haselton, Ph.D., P.E. Co-Founder and CEO

Curt Haselton, Ph.D., P.E. Co-Founder and CEO

Curt is a leader in the field of structural earthquake engineering, with recent work focusing on building code development, building collapse safety assessments, and earthquake damage and loss estimation. In addition to his role as Co-Founder and CEO of HB Risk, he is a Professor and Department Chair in Civil Engineering at California State University, Chico . He received his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Stanford University in 2006. Among his awards, Curt received the 2013 Shah Family Innovation Prize from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute , honoring an individual under the age of 35 for creativity, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit in earthquake risk mitigation and management.

Jack Baker, Ph.D. Co-Founder

Jack Baker, Ph.D. Co-Founder

Jack is a leader in the field of structural reliability and earthquake loss estimation. In addition to his role as Co-Founder of HB Risk, he is an Associate Professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Stanford University in 2005, where he also earned M.S. degrees in Statistics and Structural Engineering. Among his awards, Jack received the Shah Family Innovation Prize in 2009 from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. He has industry experience in seismic hazard assessment, ground motion selection, probabilistic risk assessment, and modeling of catastrophe losses for insurance and reinsurance companies.

Careers

We are actively building our SP3 development team. If interested in working on this exciting project, and as part of a great team, please send a resume to support@hbrisk.com.

News

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Jun 17 2019

The SP3 team, in collaboration with CoreBrace, recently completed a Resilient Design Guide for BRBF Buildings. This guide provides recommendations for strength and stiffness design requirements, quantifies the effects of including a back-up frame, addresses how to control residual drifts in design, and also discusses non-structural component considerations during resilient design. The guide is now available from Brandt Saxey, S.E., LEED A.P. at CoreBrace.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Jun 04 2019

In recognition of the contributions and impacts of SP3, the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) awarded HBRG founders, Curt Haselton and Jack Baker, the 2019 Helmut Krawinkler Award. This award is given each year to honor and acknowledge individuals for outstanding leadership in implementing state-of-the-art research into practice. The award was presented by Ron Hamburger at this year's SEAONC Business Meeting and Award Ceremony held in San Francisco on June 4th. It was great that many key SP3 advisers and pioneering users were able to attend the meeting. Professor Helmut Krawinkler was both a mentor and friend to Jack and Curt, and the team is honored to have received such wonderful recognition for their work.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo May 02 2019

On May 2nd, the SP3 team and Simpson Strong-Tie® gave a joint webinar regarding seismic risk assessment and the resilient design and performance of steel frame buildings using the Yield-Link ® Connection. The webinar covered the fragilities of the connections themselves, the effects on drift and floor acceleration demands, and how to use FEMA P-58 and SP3 for resilient design of this structural system. The webinar is available here and the slides here.

EERI Mar 05 2019

Reaching Resilience Faster by Working Together. HBRG exhibited at this year’s resilience focused EERI Meeting. It was great seeing many of you there!

NCSEA Jan 22 2019

Our CEO Curt Haselton gave a webinar "Resilient Design & Risk Assessment Using the Quantitative & Building Specific FEMA P-58 Analysis Method" for the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA). The idea of resilient design has become popular over the last several years, however the method of achieving resilient buildings has not yet been widely agreed upon. Resilient design requires a risk assessment that is building-specific and site-specific, and must address both the structural and non-structural components in a building. This webinar explored how resilient design may be achieved using the FEMA P-58 Methodology; the slides are available here.

SEAOC Nov 29 2018

Our CEO Curt Haselton presented on "Safe But Disposable Buildings" at the November SEAONC South Bay Dinner. The building code has developed over decades to provide life-safety in the event of an earthquake, and has done so with great success. Even so, this has not addressed the limitation of repair cost or time and subsequently, we have seen that direct and indirect costs following a seismic event can be devastating to individuals and communities. Rather than designing just for safety alone, the design can be done to also limit repair costs and repair times, and it is being seen that this can potentially be done with minimal additional upfront investment. The slides from this presentation are available here.

SEAOC 2018 Palm Desert Sep 13 2018

Our engineer Katherine Wade presented Expected Performance of New Code-Compliant Buildings in California at the 2018 SEAOC Conference. This presentation examined the wide range of seismic performance that the current building code provides and contrasted it with enhanced and resilient-designed buildings. The slides from this presentation are available here.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Aug 01 2018

In this webinar Dustin Cook, PhD student at UC Boulder, presented his work verifying loss results from FEMA P-58 and the SP3-RiskModel. This study examined predicted losses from the SP3-RiskModel, relative to other methods like HAZUS, and shows how the SP3-RiskModel analysis process is much more building-specific and site-specific as compared to most other risk assessment methods. Review the webinar here and slides here.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Jul 20 2018

The SP3-RiskModel was designed to enable advanced SP3 risk analysis for every project. To create this, the HBRG team spent three years of research and development to streamline the risk assessment process and enable full FEMA P-58/SP3 building-specific and site-specific risk assessments based on basic information about the site and building (minimum of five information items). This is enabled by a large number of SP3 Engines and SP3 Databases created as part of the SP3-RiskModel development. In this webinar, our CEO Curt Haselton led listeners through the SP3-RiskModel, providing an overview of what is happening under the hood throughout the analysis. Review the webinar here and slides here.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Jun 27 2018

HB-Risk partnered with the University of Colorado, Boulder to benchmark and validate seismic vulnerability curves developed using the FEMA P-58 methodology with the SP3-RiskModel, and automations through the Risk Model Databases and Engines (with more information on the Risk Model available here. The executive summary of the results of this project is available here.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Jun 26 2018

SP3-SiteHazards Version 1.2 was released with the following updates. Improved readability and estimated values for Liquefaction, Landslide, Tsunami Inundation Zone, and Alquist Priolo Fault Zone. Detailed soil boring data maps for nearby sites is now included, showing color-coded Vs30 values. The prior event Shake Maps now provide quantitative site-specific mapped shaking values for PGA, PGV, Sa (T = 0.3s) and Sa (T= 1.0s). Ground shaking hazards are now reported for Site Classes D, B/C, and your specified site class (based on Vs30). Maps have been updated to reflect refinements of the California Geological Survey Maps released in February 2018!

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Jun 25 2018

HB-Risk exhibited at the 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering in Los Angeles, June 25th- 29th and presented at several sessions.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Jun 21 2018

HB-Risk announced the release of the new SP3-RiskModel software. This new software enables SP3 technology to be leveraged for every project, rather than only large and special projects. To accomplish this, the SP3-RiskModel provides extensive automation of the steps of the FEMA P-58 analysis process, to quickly produce a high-fidelity building- and site-specific seismic risk assessment. The SP3-RiskModel can be run with minimal inventory-type information (building location, type, etc.) and the analysis can refined using an extensive list of secondary modifiers when more information is available. This software is tailored for preliminary resilient design, advanced due-diligence assessments, and insurance risk applications. The early-adopter group of companies is forming now. These companies will get first access to the software, and the ability to guide further feature development. More information on the SP3-RiskModel can be found here.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Jun 07 2018

HB-Risk hosted another online webinar in our SP3 How-To Webinar Series. This webinar outlined the process for using SP3-Design to complete a building-specific risk evaluation for a Wood Light Frame (WLF) building. This process takes advantage of the new SP3 Structural Response Prediction Engine, which predicts nonlinear structural responses of the building without needing to create a structural model. This webinar was not recorded but will be offered again in the future.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Apr 25 2018

HB-Risk debuted a new SP3 How-to Webinar Series with the SP3-Design Primer webinar. This webinar walked through the important steps in an SP3 assessment; with emphasis was on how to use SP3-Design most efficiently, understanding how inputs affect the analysis, and how to examine results. This webinar was not recorded but will be offered again in the future.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Apr 18 2018

HB-Risk exhibited at the Structures Congress in Fort Worth, April 18th – 25th. Haselton Baker Risk Group research engineers co-authored the paper, which was presented at the conference by Dr. David (Jared) DeBock, CSU Chico and Michael Valley, Magnusson Klemencic Associates. This study evaluated ASCE/SEI 7 design requirements for seismic-induced torsion in buildings, using collapse resistance as the primary metrics.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Apr 12 2018

The HB-Risk research engineers exhibited for the first time at NASCC: The Steel Conference in Baltimore, April 11th – 18th and presented at two workshops.

Quantify the Performance of Structural Steel Moment Frames Using Seismic Loss Assessment Tools

Seismically resilient building design may be achieved through damage prevention or directing damage into replaceable fuse components, allowing energy dissipation and rapid repair. While many structural steel systems do the former, other new technologies do the latter. One example is the Simpson Strong-Tie Strong Frame® Special Moment Frame with their Yield-Link® structural fuse technology. This session examined the performance of various types of steel frames, including a focus on the Simpson Strong-Tie Strong Frame® SMF.

Guidelines for Resilient Design on CoreBrace Buckling Restrained Brace Frames (BRBFs)

BRBF buildings are popular in seismic regions due to their ductility and energy dissipation. We look forward to an age where we ask more of our buildings: total building resilience. Resilience not only includes safety, but also limits damage, repair cost and business disruption. To achieve resilient performance, peak drift, peak floor acceleration, and residual drift must be controlled. In this session they examined the design of resilient BRBF buildings.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Apr 11 2018

HB-Risk announced the new SP3-SiteHazards tool. This tool was created following SP3 client requests and can be used to create a convenient PDF report that documents the hazard and site-stability information for a project site. This tool compiles data from hundreds of sources to provide mapping of hazards from ground shaking, liquefaction, landslide, tsunami, Alquist Priolo Zones, prior event ShakeMaps, and soil type mapping information for the site. The data sets are extensive and include data for most seismic regions across the United States. This tool was designed for use by providers of quality due-diligence seismic risk assessments but can be used for any application where site-stability information is needed. Early-adopter clients are already using this new SP3-SiteHazards tool in their projects and we look forward to seeing the impact that this tool can have in our industry.

Seismic Performance Prediction Program Logo Mar 12 2018

Structure Magazine published an article by Mr. Ronald Hamburger and Haselton Baker Risk Group Founders Dr. Curt Haselton and Dr. Jack Baker. This article, “Resilient Design and Risk Assessment using FEMA P-58 Analysis”, presents the FEMA P-58 Method, highlights some of the recent updates to the Method, and presents case studies detailing how the Method is being used now to design resilient buildings. You can read the article here.