Buildings that Use Base Isolation Technology
Q: How many structures in the United States currently use base isolation technologies?
A: According to the NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings and Other Structures, Part 2: Commentary (FEMA 450-2/2003 edition), "The potential advantages of seismic isolation and the recent advancements in isolation-system products already have led to the design and construction of over 200 seismically isolated buildings and bridges in the United States."
The 5 structures listed below employ base isolation technologies, either as the original construction or a retrofit.
- Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake City
- Standing in an earthquake zone where seismic monitoring stations record more than 700 earthquakes each year, the historic Utah State Capitol has undergone a complete preservation and base isolation retrofit. The capitol is a monumental, four-story, reinforced concrete building with granite cladding and a large copper-clad concrete dome. The base isolation system consists of 265 isolators, each weighing 5,000 pounds.
- Utah State Capitol Seismic Retrofit and Restoration
- Foothill Communities Law & Justice Center, County of San Bernardino, California
- This 4-story structure situated 12 miles from the San Andreas fault in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, was the first building in the U.S. to have an innovative earthquake-resistant design to withstand a magnitude 8.3 earthquake. It has a full basement and a sub-basement for its base isolation system, consisting of 98 isolators of multi-layered natural rubber bearings reinforced with steel plates.
- Los Angeles County Fire Command & Control Facility, California
- The same high-damping rubber system used for the Foothill Center was also adopted for the Fire Department Command and Control Facility (FCCF) of Los Angeles County, completed in 1990.
- Los Angeles County Emergency Operations Center, California
- The EOC is a 2-story steel braced frame structure isolated using 28 high-damping natural rubber bearings provided by the Bridgestone Engineered Products Company.
- Caltrans Traffic Management Center, Kearney Mesa, California
- The Caltrans new, 2-story 40,000 sq. ft steel frame building uses 40 high-damping rubber bearings provided by the Bridgestone Industrial Rubber Products, (USA), Inc.
- Caltrans Traffic Management Center
- Pasadena City Hall, Pasadena California
- Seismic retrofit of the building included the installation of structural base isolators that now allow the building to withstand future earthquake activity. New building infrastructure was installed due to severe demands placed on the building over the past 79 years resulting from the piecemeal addition of heating, air conditioning, and technology systems.
- Pasadena City Hall Seismic Retrofit