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News Release

This Hospital is Wired for Earthquake Safety

San Diego, Calif., April 5 --  At the UCSD-NEES site, earthquake and post-earthquake fire testing of a five-story building built at full-scale and completely furnished with nonstructural components and systems (NCSs) is underway. Unique to any building testing ever conducted, NCSs in the building include a functioning passenger elevator, partition walls, cladding systems, piping, HVAC, ceiling, sprinklers, building contents, as well as passive and active fire systems. A key objective of the test is to advance our understanding of the full-scale dynamic response and kinematic interaction of complex structural and nonstructural components and systems. Post-earthquake fire and life safety performance of both the structure and NCSs will be evaluated by conducting non-thermal and live fire testing. Data from this unique experiment will be used to compare with earthquake performance predictions using available commercial and research computational modeling platforms. Support for the project is provided by the National Science Foundation, the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, the California Seismic Safety Commission, the Charles Pankow Foundation, the UCLA-NEES equipment site, and a large consortium of industry sponsors.

Testing is planned for mid-April through May 2012. For additional information: bncs.ucsd.edu

UCSD-TV has a preview with “Protecting California’s Hospitals.” The video was produced with the help of the California Seismic Safety Commission. 

In this 12-minute documentary, you’ll get an inside look at the multitude of ways that engineers are planning to monitor the nonstructural systems of a prototypical hospital, including the first-time-ever seismic test of a working elevator and fire testing. Then, we’ll be back with a report on the results and what it means for California’s hospitals.

Media Contacts

Ioana Patringenaru
Jacobs School of Engineering