BUFFALO, N.Y. – On Friday, researchers from The Johns
Hopkins University will conduct tests to see how a Southern
California earthquake could impact a two-story office building.
Two shake tables at the University at Buffalo’s Structural
Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory will mimic the
strongest seismic forces recorded during the catastrophic
Northridge earthquake in 1994.
A description of the project and short video are available here:
Johns Hopkins’ researchers chose to work in Buffalo
because UB has the only earthquake simulation lab in the U.S. that
is capable of performing this test. Several local contractors,
including Mader Construction Co. of Elma and ALP Steel of Buffalo,
have worked on the project.
Members of the news media are invited to observe, photograph and
film the test. See important safety rules below.
When: Friday, Aug. 16. From 8-10:30 a.m., researchers
will give pre-test tours of the building and answer questions about
the test. At 10:30 a.m., visitors, including news media, will be
asked to move to a safe viewing area. Shaking begins at 11
a.m. Trials will include four low-level tests, each lasting 90
seconds, and one “big test” that replicates the
Northridge quake. This test will last about 30 seconds.
Where: The earthquake testing lab is located at Ketter
Hall (building No. 36 on this map: http://www.buffalo.edu/buildings/maps/NorthCampus.pdf),
on UB’s North Campus.
Who: Available for interviews: the project’s lead
investigator, Benjamin Schafer, professor and chair of the
Department of Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins’ Whiting
School of Engineering; and Johns Hopkins’ doctoral student
Kara Peterman, who supervised construction of the test
Why: The test building was built with cold-formed steel,
which is made of recycled steel. The test should show how well such
buildings will withstand earthquake forces.
Important safety rules: Visitors must wear sturdy
closed-toe shoes (preferably boots) and long pants. No
exceptions will be made for high heels, ballet flats, sandals and
similar footwear. Hard hats, which will be provided at the lab,
must be worn at all times.
Press arrangements onsite: Charles Anzalone from the UB Office
of Communications at 440-8824.