skip navigation

NCEER Receives Award for Seismic Upgrade of Navy Building

BUFFALO, N.Y.,  February 19, 1998--A $1.4 million project sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Navy and carried out in part by the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER), headquartered at the University of Buffalo, recently received the 1997 "Build San Diego" Award from the Association of General Contractors (AGC).

The project which began in l995, involved the design and installation of new seismic protection technology in a building at the San Diego Naval Station to protect it from earthquake damage.

The project was directed by Tsu-Teh Soong, interim deputy director of NCEER and Samuel Capen Professor of Engineering Science at UB, with Andrei Reinhorn, professor of structural engineering, as co-investigator.

Winner in the AGC competition category of "Unique Small Project - Public Work," the project required the design, fabrication and installation of 64 seismic damper assemblies for the building, which applied seven years of NCEER-funded research conducted by earthquake engineers at UB, the University of Califomia at Berkeley and the University of Illinois.

Viscoelastic-damped Brace at the San Diego Naval Station

The viscoelastic dampers, which consist of a polymeric material sandwiched between two layers of steel, are connected at strategic locations within a building so that they extend and contract during ground motions, absorbing energy that would otherwise have to be absorbed by the structure.

The damper units were designed by NCEER and 3M Corp., another member of the project team. Other team members include

The general contractor for the project was Douglas E. Barnhart, Inc. of San Diego.

In 1995, Soong and Reinhorn received the annual Historic Engineering Achievements Award for their development of a computer-controlled active bracing system for earthquake resistant "smart buildings." They reside in Amherst.