Shear-wall Retrofit

by Mark Jokerst, Forell-Elsesser Engineers, Inc., San Francisco, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 2, Pg. 36-39

Document Type: Feature article


With the effects of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake still lingering and another quake looming sometime in the future, engineers faced with retrofitting the Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s headquarters in San Francisco used a dual wall-frame system to seismically strengthen the buildings and protect their historic terra-cotta facades. When the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay area in 1989, it caused significant disruption and some damage to the pre-1950s' vintage buildings within the Market Street headquarters complex of the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in San Francisco. Damage included in-plane shear fracture of the masonry infill systems, damage due to pounding at building separations, loss of the complex's cooling tower on the 14th floor, cracking and near-collapse of interior hollow clay-tile partitions, and other damage to interior contents. Considering the high probability of another catastrophic earthquake in the near future and the significance of the Market Street complex to PG&E's operations, a seismic-retrofit program for the older structures was an urgent necessity.

Subject Headings: Earthquakes | Streets | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Rehabilitation | Cracking | Business management

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