Seismic Base Isolation Design for the San Bernardino County Medical Center Replacement Project

by Saif M. Hussain, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Santa Monica, United States,
Jefferson W. Asher, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Santa Monica, United States,
Robert D. Ewing, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Santa Monica, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation


The SBCMC Replacement Project, located in Colton, California, consists of six separate building structures containing a total of approximately 86,000 m2 (920,000 ft2) of floor space for hospital and support services. Five of the six buildings will be base isolated. Each of the five base isolated buildings is of different size and configuration, ranging from a six story, 33,000 m2 (360,000 ft2) curved front Nursing Tower to a single storied, 2,200 m2 (20,000 ft2) rectangular shaped Central Plant building. The building structures will be framed with structural steel, utilizing concentric braced frames as the lateral force resisting system. The design ground motion for the site, which is 3 km and 15 km from the San Jacinto and San Andreas faults respectively, is very severe. A feasibility study indicated significant potential benefits of seismic base isolation for the project in terms of overall costs and expected structural performance. Certain features of the process of implementing base isolation for this very large and complex project including feasibility studies, development of design criteria, complexities of the bidding and procurement processes, special structural and non structural detailing are briefly described in this paper. The project schedule calls for approval of final construction documents by January 1994 and for construction to start in the summer of 1994.

Subject Headings: Base isolation | Seismic tests | Health care facilities | Steel structures | Earthquake resistant structures | Structural analysis | Load and resistance factor design | Steel frames | California | United States

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