Lessons Learned from 3-Dimensional Shake Table
Testing of a Full-Scale Seismically- Isolated Building

NHERI Lehigh Seminar Series
October 29, 2018 | 4pm - 5pm EST


Keri L. Ryan, PhD Associate Professor
University of Nevada, Reno

Through a Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) and Japan’s National Institute of Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, a full-scale shaking table test of a 5-story base-isolated was carried out at Japan’s Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center (E-Defense) in 2011. The building was tested with two different isolation systems (triple pendulum bearings and a hybrid system of lead-rubber bearings and low-friction rolling cross-linear bearings) and in the fixed-base configuration. The tested building had a realistic floor system, nonstructural components (suspended ceilings, sprinkler piping and interior walls), and furnishings, and was subjected to strong earthquake shaking.

The tests served as a full-scale proof of the concept of seismic isolation to protect the building from damage in very strong earthquake shaking; for instance, displacement demands across the isolation system were more than twice what has been observed in any previous earthquake event. However, the nonstructural components and furnishings were not completely protected from damage, and the tests showed that these items were sensitive to the vertical component of ground shaking, which is unaffected by the seismic isolation system. While the overall performance of the isolation systems was very impressive when considered against other available options for seismic protection, the tests highlight the challenge of designing a building to remain immediately operational following a large earthquake. This presentation will summarize the test program, present the major findings, and discuss future directions in research and design practice.

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