Six-story, steel-frame building put to earthquake test in San Diego

Photo Credit: UCSD

SAN DIEGO (AP) — California researchers plan to rock and rattle a six-story steel-frame building on the world’s largest shake table to see if the structure can withstand the force equal to a 6.7-magnitude earthquake.

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, hope the experiment Wednesday will help them determine whether steel frames are a better option than wood frames for tall buildings in earthquake-prone areas.

The construction industry is interested in building tall, steel-frame residential buildings because they are cheaper, faster and more durable than wood-frame buildings.

Wood frames are also known to collapse as well as catch fire during major earthquakes.

The six-story building was built in a week and will undergo a simulation of the Northridge quake, which caused significant damage to the Los Angeles area in 1994.


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