Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Soft-story glass-walled condos


As we are aware, the seismic capacity of a soft-story condo approaches that of old brick in Christchurch.  From the Chile earthquake, the condos permanently tilt (must be abandoned) at 30-40 cm/s.  But Chile didn't have glass-walled condos!  Perhaps they are too smart.

With gw condos, we no longer have a nice brick or concrete infill.  Now, all the lateral stiffness must rely on the spidery columns.  And guess what?  They are useless!  What is the seismic capacity of such a beast?  Let's say 20 cm/s.  I believe this was easily hit by the Virginia earthquake on soft ground, as we would experience near the lake.  I can now update my earthquake scenario, in that these things will lose all their glass.  As we know, nothing will bother bank towers, since they pour the money into those things.

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