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Award Abstract #0936505

NEESR-CR: Full-Scale Structural and Nonstructural Building System Performance During Earthquakes

Div Of Civil, Mechanical, & Manufact Inn
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Initial Amendment Date: August 13, 2009
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Latest Amendment Date: August 18, 2012
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Award Number: 0936505
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Joy Pauschke
CMMI Div Of Civil, Mechanical, & Manufact Inn
ENG Directorate For Engineering
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Start Date: October 1, 2009
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End Date: September 30, 2014 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $1,296,250.00
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Investigator(s): Tara Hutchinson tara@ucsd.edu (Principal Investigator)
Joel Conte (Co-Principal Investigator)
Jose Restrepo (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of California-San Diego
Office of Contract & Grant Admin
La Jolla, CA 92093-0934 (858)534-4896
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Program Reference Code(s): 036E, 043E, 1057, 115E, 116E, 151E, 1576, 7218, 7974, 9102, 9178, 9231, 9251, CVIS
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Program Element Code(s): 7396


This award is an outcome of the NSF 09-524 program solicitation "George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Research (NEESR)" competition and includes the University of California, San Diego (lead institution), San Diego State University (subaward), and Howard University (subaward). This project will utilize the NEES equipment sites at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Additional core project team members include industry members leading code development activities and researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Intellectual Merit: Nonstructural components and systems (NCS) are those elements within a building that do not contribute to the building's load bearing system. NCSs are generally categorized as being either an architectural, mechanical, plumbing, or content item or system of items. Since the 19th century, NCSs have demonstrated their potential to create a dangerous environment for building occupants during earthquake shaking. Since these elements generally represent more than 80% of the total investment of a building, even minor damage can translate to significant financial losses. In fact, over the past three decades, the majority of earthquake-induced direct losses in buildings are directly attributed to NCS damage. Of the handful of full-scale building experiments conducted in the United States, none have specifically focused on evaluating the response of nonstructural component and systems (NCSs) during earthquake shaking. This project involves a landmark test of a full-scale, five-story building completely furnished with NCSs, including a functioning passenger elevator, partition walls, cladding and glazing systems, piping, HVAC, ceiling, sprinklers, and other building contents, as well as passive and active fire systems. The NEES-UCSD and NEES-UCLA equipment combine to realize this unique opportunity and hence advance understanding of the full-scale dynamic response and kinematic interaction of complex structural and nonstructural components and systems. While most NCSs in these experiments will be designed to the latest state of the art building code seismic provisions, non-seismic detailed designs widely used in low-seismic regions of the United States will also be included. Furthermore, this research will investigate the potential for protecting critical NCS systems using, for example, damping and/or isolation methods. Data from these unique experiments will be used to compare earthquake performance predictions determined using available commercial and research computational modeling platforms. Research at the system level that incorporates the structure and the NCSs and addresses issues such as detrimental kinematic and dynamic interaction between systems components is lacking. This research will enable, for the first time, tests of complex systems, which look closely at multidisciplinary issues, using facilities that are fully equipped to investigate, in a controlled environment, the effects of earthquakes on building-NCS system performance.

Broader Impacts: Outcomes from this research will have broad and immediate impacts on the performance-based design of NCSs, including NCS fire protection systems. This research will support doctoral students in the earthquake engineering area and master students in construction management and protective systems areas. The project has developed unique partnerships to attract a diverse student group to earthquake engineering via educational activities that engage faculty and students from Howard University, as well as high school students from the Construction Tech Academy (an engineering and construction magnet program in San Diego). Data from this research will be archived and made available to the public through the NEES data repository.


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Hutchinson, T.C., Restrepo, J., Conte, J., Meacham, B., Walsh, K., Marin, C., Bachman, R.E., Englekirk, R., Faghihi, M., Hoehler, M.. "Earthquake and fire testing of a 5-story building fully outfitted with nonstructural components and systems," Structural Engineer (SE), v.Sept, 2012, p. 24.


Espino, E.. "Case Study of Material Buffer Performance in a Construction Project", 10/01/2011-09/30/2012,  2012, "M.S. Thesis, San Diego State University".

Selva, F.. "Seismic performance of rooftop cooling towers in buildings", 10/01/2011-09/30/2012,  2012, "Masters thesis in earthquake engineering. University of Bologna".

Espino, E., Aranda, C., Walsh, K.D., Hutchinson, T., Restrepo, J., Hoehler, M., and Bachman, R.. "Relationship of Time Lag Buffer to Material Stockpile Buffer Levels", 10/01/2011-09/30/2012,  2012, "20th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, San Diego, CA July.".

Astroza, R. Ebrahimian, H., Conte, J.P., Hutchinson, T.C., and Restrepo, J.. "Dynamic characteristics of a 5-story reinforced concrete building tested on the NEES-UCSD shake table", 10/01/2011-09/30/2012,  2012, "7th International workshop on Advanced Smart Materials and Smart Structures Technology, Bangalore, India. July.".

Chen, M., Pantoli, E., Wang, X., Espino, E., Mintz, S., Conte, J., Hutchinson, T., Marin, C., Meacham, B., Restrepo, J., Walsh, K., Englekirk, R., Faghihi, M., and Hoehler, M.. "Design and construction of a full-scale 5-story base isolated building outfitted with nonstructural components for earthquake testing at the UCSD-NEES facility.", 10/01/2011-09/30/2012,  2012, "ASCE Structures Congress. Chicago, Illinois. March.".

Wang, X. and Hutchinson, T.. "hake table testing and numerical simulation of raised access floor-computer rack systems in a full-scale five-story building", 10/01/2011-09/30/2012,  2012, "ASCE Structures Congress. Chicago, Illinois. March.".


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