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University of Nevada, Reno

Main Hospital in Santiago, Chile

The Main (Santiago) Hospital was visited on March 7, 2010. It was constructed in 1958 and became operational in the 1960s. The type of construction is reinforced concrete, moment frame, shear wall, nonductile, with undeformed reinforcing bars. The general damage level is medium, particularly at the fourth story (a possible soft story mechanism which may not be due to original construction/plans) where structural walls were added (and where excessive damage was observed), and the eighth story.

Below Ground Level: Mechanical Room

Figure 1: Leakage (valve) on one of the steam boiler units was observed.

Figure 2: These units had practically no positive anchorage; rebars were extended at the pedestal locations and bent towards the base plates to provide resistance against sliding [and uplift]. No damage was reported due to the earthquake.

Sub-base floor/space

Figure 3: No damage was observed/recorded to steam boilers. The anchorage is shown on the right.

Figure 4: Possibly a tunnel. Old medical records are kept/stored in [cells] below the sub-base on shelves with no anchorage at their feet or to the walls. Some of the files fell off the shelves during the earthquake.

At some locations, structural elements were broken/removed in order to make room for pipe runs (see Figure 5 below). Undeformed rebars were exposed. This is not damage due to the earthquake. A typical detail used for the hangers is also shown in the photos.

Figure 5: Broken/removed structural elements.

A steel angle was used to hold a pipe run in place by using the valve and hanger to form a fulcrum as shown in the photos above. This was not due to damage during the earthquake.

Ground Level: Electrical (Transformer) Room

Equipment generally dates back to the 1960s. The unit in the photos below sits on two 4x4s; the locations for anchorage exist but are not used.

Figure 6: This unit sits on two 4x4s; the locations for anchorage exist but are not used.

Generator Room (a separate structure/room outside)

Figure 7: The main generator, 4 ½" diameter anchor bolts - 2.5" embed (est.).

Main Building

Figure 8: Cafeteria ceiling tiles and light fixtures remained intact (mineral fiber).

First Floor

Photos of the CAT scan and gantry show no indication of distress or failure. The ceiling mount x-ray unit remained fully functional, and units were in break position; the systems remained fully operational following the earthquake.

Accelerations were probably low; there was no indication of movement of free-standing equipment at this first level.

Figure 9: No distress or failure of hospital equipment was observed.

Ceiling tiles were moved/repositioned to allow passage of electrical cables/ductwork, not by earthquake damage.

Figure 10: Moved/repositioned ceiling tiles.

Fourth Floor

Figure 11: Partition walls (made of red hollow clay brick) suffered significant/major cracks; therefore officials decided to demolish and build new partitions. Some of the reinforcing [undeformed] bars were left in place - 18 cm spacing.

Figure 12: A TV monitor arm remained intact (far left). According to an official, monitors did not fall off their support arms. In an adjacent room, a TV unit is still on the support arm and was anchored on a partition wall that suffered minor diagonal cracks near the anchorage. The impact/pounding between the TV unit on the support arm and the partition wall was apparent from the marks on the wall paint.

Eighth Floor

The eighth floor is essentially a penthouse, used as resting quarters/dorms/rooms for doctors.

Figure 13: Significant horizontal and vertical cracks are seen on the partition walls.

Figure 14: Damage to heating radiator anchorage/connections. This particular damage was recorded in one of the rooms that had the most significant damage to partition walls/deformations.

Figure 15: A vending machine moved approximately 2 in. during the earthquake.

Roof Level: Chillers, A/C units

Figure 16: Units might have slid on their support frame during the earthquake. Two of the legs (those in the middle on both sides) were bent towards the inside. While the unit on the west slid towards the north, the unit on the east side slid towards the south. No damage to the units was reported.

Other Areas of the Building

Figure 17: All of the ceiling tiles in the communication room fell to the floor during the earthquake but were replaced soon after.

Figure 18: In this section of the building, significant cracks in the floor slab (possibly near expansion joints) and the partition walls were observed. The two photos on the left show the west side of the building, and the two photos on the right show the east side.

Figure 19: Significant cracks on and along the walls aligned with the floor cracks.

Elevator/Mechanical Room

Figure 20: Control cabinet anchors failed during the earthquake, and the elevators were out-of-service until the anchorages were fixed [temporarily].

Figure 21: While the units were not anchored to the floor, a wire was used to hold them back against the wall.

Outside the Building: Staff Entrance

Figure 22: The damage at the fourth floor level suggests a possible soft story mechanism that might have been introduced by structural modifications (additions of walls at that level).

Report and photos submitted by Gokhan Pekcan.
Date: March 7, 2010