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  • JRH Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc.

Designing Resilience: NEESWood Capstone a Decade Later

In 2009, Simpson Strong-Tie participated in an unprecedented research event to highlight the importance of earthquake-resistant wood construction.

The event, the world’s largest earthquake test, was a collaborative Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation project. It teamed academics, engineers, and industry researchers from around the world to subject a structure to what engineers refer to as the “maximum considered event” (MCE), a large, rare earthquake projected to occur, on average, approximately every 2500 years.

The test featured a full-scale, seven-story wood-framed condominium tower. The 40′ by 60′ tower included 23 one- and two-bedroom living units and two ground-level retail shops. It was built on the “E-Defense” (Earth-Defense) shake table in Miki City, Japan.

The tower, which weighed nearly 800,000 lb., was engineered with Simpson Strong-Tie solutions. The first floor was outfitted with steel special moment frames using Yield-Link® technology, and running along the height of the building above the steel frame were 63 Strong-Rod® anchor tiedown system (ATS) continuous rods securing the shearwalls. Throughout the building, our connectors secured the critical components of the seven-story structure.

The building was subjected to five tests — all modeled on the 1994 Northridge earthquake ground motions recorded at Canoga Park. Read more...

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