Seismic Surgery

by C. Terry Dooley, (F.ASCE), Senior Vice Pres.; Morley Construction Co., Santa Monica, CA,
Rita Robison, Senior Editor; Civil Engineering, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 9, Pg. 72-75

Document Type: Feature article


The authors describe the installation of seismic isolators in the columns of an eight-story concrete building in Seal Beach, Calif., which serves as Information Systems Center for Rockwell International Corp. Along with strengthening the existing frame, the isolators are designed to allow the building to survive an expected major earthquake with no downtime for the systems, contents and occupants of the building, located just 0.7 mi from the Newport-Inglewood fault. A shock of Richter magnitude 7.0 is considered credible there. Structural damage must be limited, and minor in nature. The elevators must resume operation promptly. Among the constraints engineers faced were requirements to complete the project without disrupting round-the-clock operations by 600 employees and their computers, limit utility changeover work during all space shuttle flights, and abide by security access restrictions affecting all subcontractors and suppliers. Work began in November 1989, and is expected to be complete in early 1991.

Subject Headings: Building design | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Base isolation | Information systems | Mid-rise buildings | Concrete columns | Concrete structures

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