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Design Philosophy in Regions of Low-to-Moderate Seismicity

Dominic Kelly addressed development of a design philosophy in regions of low-to-moderate seismicity.

Dominic Kelly, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.

Mr. Dominic Kelly, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., gave a seminar entitled Design Philosophy in Regions of Low-to-Moderate Seismicity, at the University at Buffalo on Friday, April 6, 2001. This was the fourth seminar in a series sponsored by the MCEER Student Leadership Council, the University at Buffalo's EERI student chapter (UB-EERI), the Networking Program of MCEER and the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. Nearly 50 people attended and enjoyed the presentation and discussions.

After an introduction by Dr. Andrew S. Whittaker of UB, Mr. Kelly presented differences in intensity of ground shaking, in the amount of drift that buildings undergo, and in the inherent lateral strength of the gravity systems in regions with different levels of seismicity. Because of these differences, the design philosophy in regions of low-to-moderate seismicity should be different from those in regions of high seismicity. However, the current design philosophy in regions of low-to-moderate seismicity is not as well developed as it is in regions of high seismicity. He then discussed why and how current design and construction practices would likely lead to greater inconsistencies in the level of life-safety and property damage protection that various building types provide in low-to-moderate regions.

Finally, he presented how the design philosophy in regions of low-to-moderate seismicity should differ from that of regions in high seismicity. According to Mr. Kelly, differences should be considered in intensity of ground shaking for earthquakes of varying return periods, in the amount of building drift expected, and in the structural configurations and details. A brief discussion session followed, initiated by questions from various faculty members and students in attendance.

As with the previous three seminars, this one was broadcast successfully over the Internet and is accessible at http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/ . Professor Andrei Reinhorn and undergraduate student Jason Hanley, from Computer Science and Engineering, were responsible for the system implementation.


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