| GEO World|
| CSU conducts groundbreaking earthquake test|
| Updated at: 1725 PST, Wednesday, July 15, 2009|
MIKI CITY: John van de Lindt has spent the last four years preparing for 40 seconds. The Colorado State University professor is leading a project to shake a seven-story, wood-frame building on the world largest earthquake table.
"You can build a six-story or even a seven-story possible wood structure in a high seismic zone and have it perform the way you want it," said van de Lindt in an interview provided by manufacturer Simpson Strong-Tie.
CSU used Simpson Strong-Tie connectors and anchors to reconfigure the structure of a wooden frame building in a way that it could withstand the power of a 7.5 earthquake.
Engineers constructed the building in Miki City, Japan at the E-Defense, a facility housing the largest earthquake table in the world. The building was placed on the table and shaken for a total of 40 seconds. Van de Lindt says the results were good.
"It's safe. It's cost-effective and frankly there is very little damage," van de Lindt said.
The CSU civil engineering professor says wooden-frame buildings can cost 30 percent less and be more environmentally friendly.
"This project as a whole has definitely spear-headed performance-based, seismic design for wood," van de Lindt said.
Steve Pryor is a structural engineer for Simpson Strong-Tie. He says the principals tested Tuesday can have worldwide impact.
"The results of this test are going to make wood-frame structures stronger and safer in large earthquakes," Pryor said in an interview provided by Simpson Strong-Tie. "You know in the last 15 years, 100,000 people have died just in building collapses from a few of the big earthquakes we've had."
The four-year project is running about $1.4 million to conduct the research. It is being funded by the National Science Foundation. Texas A & M, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Buffalo, and University of Delaware also collaborated on the project.
"Over time, as this enters into the building code, it'll lower insurance rates, it'll provide overall safety and performance during earthquakes," van de Lindt said.