Monday, July 20, 2009

earthquake dinner plate

A test on the worlds largest shake table revealed that this building could structurally withstand a magnitude 7.5 earthquake. The Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Center subjected the seven-storey wood frame structure to forces equal to the 7.5 quake in order to test a pre-engineered nail-distribution plan and tie-down system. The system withstood the forces applied to it, and remained structuraly stable; only minor surface damage experienced.
The image that intrigues me the most is the interior view of the ground floor framing. The simple wood framing method gives way to structural piers - groups of wood studs. Seven (7) 2x8 wood studs are shown. If the studs are attached correctly in one direction, the structure might provide a high level of load bearing capacity, but would also move freely in a lateral direction. This may enable the entire structure above to sway horizontally during an earthquake event, but would not collapse. Seen on Inhabitat.

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