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Award Abstract #1138673

RAPID: Investigation on the Performance of Buildings with Structural Walls in the Tohoku, Japan, Earthquake of 2011

Div Of Civil, Mechanical, & Manufact Inn
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Initial Amendment Date: August 1, 2011
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Latest Amendment Date: August 1, 2011
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Award Number: 1138673
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Kishor Mehta
CMMI Div Of Civil, Mechanical, & Manufact Inn
ENG Directorate For Engineering
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Start Date: August 15, 2011
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End Date: July 31, 2013 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $49,000.00
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Investigator(s): Santiago Pujol spujol@purdue.edu (Principal Investigator)
Mete Sozen (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Purdue University
Young Hall
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2114 (765)494-1055
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NSF Program(s): Structural and Architectural E,
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Program Reference Code(s): 036E, 039E, 040E, 1576, 1637, 5921, 5978, 7298, 7914, 8016, 9102
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Program Element Code(s): 1637, 7298


The objective of this Rapid Research Response (RAPID) award is to investigate the performance of buildings with structural walls in the Tohoku, Japan, earthquake of 2011. The goals of this investigation are (1) to collect quantitative data on the seismic performance of buildings with dominant structural walls in the Tohoku region, (2) to compare it with similar information obtained in Chile, (3) to identify the causes of successes and failures observed in the two locations, (4) to test the ability of state-of-the-art simulation tools to reproduce what occurred in the field, and (5) to summarize the findings in brief statements and/or algorithms that can be used to design safer structures. Building standards in Chile, Japan, and the US are comparable. Nevertheless, the Maule, Chile, Earthquake of 2010 caused severe structural failures that demonstrated that there are critical missing links in our technology related to earthquake resistance of mid- to high-rise buildings with structural reinforced concrete walls. In Concepción, Chile, where the peak ground acceleration did not exceed 0.4g, nearly 7 percent of the buildings with more than 10 stories were evacuated and scheduled for demolition. In contrast, the intensity of the ground motion caused by the earthquake of 2011 in the Japanese region of Tohoku was as large or larger than in Concepción (with peak ground accelerations exceeding 2g), but the frequency of building damage was lower.

The knowledge to be generated by this investigation will contribute to the safety of urban populations in seismic regions. The investigation will lead to elimination of massive economic and human losses in future earthquakes. In addition, the necessary fieldwork will involve the participation of students in a rich educational and cultural activity. The findings of the investigation will be made available to the public through NEEShub.org, an easily and universally accessible NSF-funded web site dedicated to improving engineering knowhow.


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