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.

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