Seismic Waves is a newsletter published by the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). "What images come to mind when you think of buildings damaged by earthquakes? Chances are, you see building exteriors with cracked or crumbled walls and collapsed floors or roofs. Perhaps because of the power required to produce it and the fears that it inspires, structural damage has long attracted the attention of photographers, the public, and earthquake engineers. Structural components--foundations, columns, beams, floors, load-bearing walls--are, after all, the elements that can hold buildings up or bring them crashing down. Damage to other, nonstructural parts of buildings, including their contents, has garnered much less attention. The University at Buffalo (UB), part of the State University of New York, has taken a significant step toward changing that, however. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF, a NEHRP agency), the university has developed a first-of-its-kind seismic testing system, the Nonstructural Component Simulator (NCS), to make available state-of-the-art testing capabilities for nonstructural components and equipment."
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program: http://www.nehrp.gov
Seismic Waves (September 2007)