Summary of the Project
The Pathways Project is an innovative partnership between San Jose State University and the University of California at Berkeley. Through this partnership, we will design, analyze and test six full-scale assemblies of various building facade systems to determine the expected response from lateral building movement of the building floors.
We are explicitly addressing Research Items 18 and 21 from the Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) during their development of recent NEHRP specifications. Both of these items discuss performance of non-structural elements in buildings during earthquakes. This project addresses critical needs for the earthquake engineering community in providing quantified values for the force-displacement relationships of non-structural building components systems including facades, plumbing and stairways. The data obtained from the project will allow building engineers to model performance of these systems in both existing and future building designs. Improved computer modeling tools will also be produced in the use of existing commercial software to simulate the response of these systems to seismic excitation. We propose to evaluate the use of damage-sensor systems for plumbing systems on experimental assemblies with the goal of advancing structural health monitoring. Included in the performance of non-structural components will be a case study of the deconstruction of the precast concrete cladding components for both re-use and recycling of materials. A repair cost analysis of a prototype nine-story steel frame building will be made to develop a relationship between damage cost of non-structural components and peak drift a building experiences during an earthquake.
We are combining this with a cyberinfrastructure component that will allow practicing design engineers to incorporate NEES Repository test data directly into their engineering calculations with a user-friendly interface. This new link to the repository will allow design professionals to use the latest in engineering research in the design of new buildings and the evaluation of existing ones.
The work developed will be valuable knowledge beyond the world of earthquake engineering. Performance of non-structural elements is critical in many types of extreme loading. Recently, blast-resistant design of buildings has become a common design concern and in particular, is mandated for buildings that house federal employees and work. Wind loading does not result in severe deformation, but damage thresholds, fragility curves and repair costs should be relevant to wind design.
The project's primary funding is from the National Science Foundation through Grant No. 619157. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The project research team is deeply appreciative of the grant's support.