Thursday, August 27, 2009

Retrofit Tests for Older California Buildings

A three-story structure shook as it was jolted by a strong simulated earthquake, but it didn’t collapse – just what UC San Diego structural engineers had hoped for. As part of a retrofit project, the engineers subjected the 1920s era reinforced concrete structure to a series of simulated earthquakes, measuring up to a 7.5 magnitude. The building suffered some damage but was still standing after all of the tests, a sign that the engineer’s retrofit model worked.

As part of the $1.24 million research project sponsored by the National Science Foundation under the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) program, the masonry-infilled, reinforced concrete frame representing structures built in California in the 1920s was tested at the NEES -UCSD Englekirk Structural Engineering Center, home of the world’s largest outdoor shake table.

The ultimate goal of this project is to provide methods to assess and improve the seismic performance of these older buildings by developing reliable analytical models and effective retrofit techniques.
Read the full story here:
Watch a video of a related test below: