Advanced Seismic Expertise

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Advanced Seismic Expertise

Seismic compliance has been serious business in California for decades. Other seismically active states, such as Washington and Oregon, follow close behind, but did you know that Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kentucky, New York, and Illinois (among others) are adopting similar building code because of advanced risks in those states?

Construction professionals have only a handful of full-scale building seismic experiments to reference when working to improve earthquake-resistance performance through updated construction strategy and practice. None have evaluated the post-earthquake fire performance of the complete building system and only a select few (in Japan) have evaluated nonstructural component systems (NCSs) performance during earthquake simulation – until now.  NCSs comprise more than 80% of the total investment in building construction, so it’s easy to understand the majority of earthquake-induced losses and human casualties in buildings are directly attributed to NCSs.

This watershed project simulated earthquake  (plus post-earthquake fire) in a full scale five-story building and completely furnished a full set of NCSs, including a functioning passenger elevator, standard partition walls (along with new SureBoard shearwalls in certain locations), cladding and glazing systems, piping, HVAC, high-density storage components, assorted health care equipment, as well as passive and active fire systems. In addition, this project investigated the potential for protecting critical NCSs using, for example, damping and/or isolation methods of both specific equipment and of the entire building structure.   Finally, extensive seismic and video data from this unique experiment will soon inform earthquake modeling platforms.   Findings from these efforts will be translated to practice, industry advisories, and regulation, once the billions of data points are analyzed and reported.

Ycology is proud to have been selected as Stanley Black & Decker’s healthcare construction partner in California and on this project.  For more information on the UCSD NEES, please visit the Project Website.   If you have a special project in need of practical, real-world advice, please contact us via email.

The media reported extensively on the tests:

RELATED LINKS:

DesignSafe

Project website link

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