Seismic Waves: Bringing Down the House: NEESwood Project Shakes Full-Scale Wood Townhouse in Northridge Simulation   [open pdf - 140KB]

Seismic Waves is a newsletter published by the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). "Glass shattered and the walls shook. In an unprecedented recreation of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, NEES[Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation]wood, a multi-year research project [...] funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), created a risky, very successful public test of the largest wood structure to undergo seismic testing in the world. If you live anywhere in the United States, there's a very good chance, about 80 to 90 percent, that your home is constructed with wood-frame. For the NEESwood test conducted on November 14, 2006, researchers built a three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,800-square foot wood-frame townhouse on the twin shake tables at the University at Buffalo's Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory, one of the NSF's George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) equipment sites. The townhouse was completely furnished, down to the car in the garage, two water heaters (one anchored, according to earthquake protection measures, and one not anchored), and dishes on the dining room table. During the test, 250 sensors inside the townhouse gathered information about the behavior of each component of the building during the simulated earthquake. A dozen video cameras recorded the shaking as it occurred. According to Dr. John van de Lindt, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Colorado State University and Principal Investigator for the project, the test has already begun to generate useful data on how to construct wood-frame homes and make buildings safer for occupants during earthquakes. 'The results from this benchmark study will probably change the way we model wood-frame structures. That's a huge advance because without those modeling tools, we would not be able to achieve our greatest objective, which is constructing mid-rise (up to six-story) wood-frame structures that perform better during earthquakes and provide an economical and sustainable construction solution.'"

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program: http://www.nehrp.gov
Media Type:
Seismic Waves (January 2007)
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