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Seismic Vulnerability of Equipment in Critical Facilities: Life-Safety and Operational Consequences

K.Porter, G.Johnson, M.Zadeh, C.Scawthorn, S.Eder

NCEER-93-0022 | 11/24/1993 | 380 pages

About the Report:

TOC: The table of contents is provided.

Keywords: Seismic Vulnerability Assessment, Critical Facilities, Equipment, Life Safety, High Rise Office Buildings, Telecommunications Facilities, Data Processing Centers, Hospitals, Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS), Fire Detection Systems, Emergency Power Supply Systems, Fire Suppression Systems, HVAC Systems, Air Conditioning, Chilled Water Systems, and Earthquake Engineering.

Abstract: This study is part of a multi-year program aimed toward reducing earthquake risk for critical facility equipment and components. The program goal is to determine which equipment components are critical to life safety and normal operations, and how equipment systems have performed in past earthquakes. This report represents the first program phase, in which equipment data were collected and reviewed in the context of four sample facility types and six equipment systems. In compiling equipment data, engineers reviewed example high-rise office buildings, telephone central offices, data processing centers, and hospitals to determine how each facility relies on various equipment systems and components for life safety and normal operations. For each major system (e.g. fire response, emergency power, uninterruptable power supply [UPS], HVAC, etc.), logic diagrams were developed. Several key equipment systems were also selected for a detailed investigation of their performance in past earthquakes, to document observed vulnerabilities of typical components and the demonstrated effects of those vulnerabilities on system functionality. Systems reviewed were UPS, standby and emergency power generation, fire detection and alarm, fire suppression, air conditioning, and power distribution. The findings of this report represent much of the basis for engineering and economic analysis to determine quantitatively the overall societal risk posed by seismically vulnerable equipment. They also form the basis for the development of empirical guidelines for the design of new equipment systems and the performance evaluation of existing systems.