Friday, February 5, 2016

Earthquakes and block walls

This is from an Oklahoma school.  The whole school is crumbling from a succession of small earthquakes, probably at a PGV of 1 cm/s.  OK also has serious foundation problems from years of drought.  They have the notorious shrinking/swelling clay, and they just construct with slab on grade.

Nevertheless, every school I've ever seen has these block walls.  Why don't they construct them like a new Walmart, with a steel frame?  The Pickering nuclear station is lousy with them.  We called them 'handyman' walls, unengineered because nobody thought it was important.  They have a seismic capacity of 5 cm/s if they are undamaged.


Anonymous said...

Are steel frame single story buildings just about the safest structures in a quake

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are that a stupa (ie multi-star point) foundation of interlocking stone with circular building would do best for passive tech, but haven't had a chance to experiment..

Harold Asmis said...

A classic walmart steel frame, steel roof is the best. But you would have to watch the contents, most stores and malls are lousy at this.