Seismic Surgery Rewarded

by Rita Robison, Senior Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, 345 E. 47th St., New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 7, Pg. 46-47

Document Type: Feature article


By installing isolators in the columns and strengthening the frame, engineers upgraded an eight-story concrete office building in Seal Beach, Calif. so that it should continue to function in the event of a 7.0 Richter earthquake. The project is a 1991 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Merit Award winner. Isolating the building between the first and second floors was a world first; the usual location is at the foundation. The designers specified two types of isolators, with and without lead cores, and devised a method of relieving column loads with hydraulic jacks so that the isolators could be installed. They invented or adapted flexible connections for all utilities at the plane of isolation, and severed the concrete elevator core from its base so that it hangs from the upper structure, able to move horizontally.

Subject Headings: Base isolation | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Concrete frames | Commercial buildings | Concrete structures | Hydraulic design | Hydraulic loads

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