The Ultimate Building Inspection

Why wait for an earthquake to test building guidelines, construction techniques and retrofit technology when you can simulate earthquakes on an enormous shake table so MASSIVE NASA could launch a space ship from it?

Don’t be fooled, this is no launch pad:

Src: NEES @ UC San Diego

Src: NEES @ UC San Diego

You are looking at the USA’s largest shake table (specs). With a 400 ton payload this 7.6 by 12.2 meter table can move at a peak acceleration of 1.2 g and a peak velocity of 1.8 m/s.

This week Colorado State University engineering professor John van de Lindt and the Network Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) consortium are gearing up to shake a 4 story, 44,000 square foot wood-frame building retrofitted to FEMA P807 guidelines to the ground. The building has already survived 3 tests, one at 1.1 g. Professor Lindt and company have been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the USA to test cross laminated timber and fluid damper retrofits- think pogo sticks or car shocks for buildings. Tune in and watch 1.24 million NSF dollars collapse on August 17th at Lindt’s YouTube Channel.

For a really spectacular video about a even bigger wood-frame shake table test at the world’s largest shake table facility in Japan see this video by Simpson Strong Tie.

“Earthquake’s don’t kill people. Building’s do.”


3 comment(s) on “The Ultimate Building Inspection

  1. Watch it live!:

    I just got this update from John van de Lindt:

    “Dear Colleagues and Friends,

    On behalf of the NEES-Soft project team I am pleased to let you know that the first four phases with four different retrofits have all been completed successfully, with testing over the last month at the [email protected] site. An update is attached for those of you that are interested in the details.

    The building has been restored to its un-retrofitted soft-story state and the last test will be a collapse test on Saturday morning as explained in the attached file. It will be shown live on-line in HD at:

    All test videos are available on my Youtube channel at:

    Please let me know if you plan to attend the shake in person on Saturday morning. Hope to see you here.

    Best regards,

    John W. van de Lindt, Ph.D.
    George T. Abell Professor in Infrastructure
    Colorado State University
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, CO 80523-1372; USA”


  2. And down she went!:

    — Branden

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