Development of a Performance-Based Seismic Design Philosophy for Mid-Rise Woodframe Construction

Task 4c: Benchmark Shake Table Testing of a Full-Scale Two-Story Townhouse Woodframe Building

3D Rendering of NEESwood house

The NEESWood project objective is to develop a performance-based design philosophy that will provide a sound engineering basis for the economical design of low and mid-rise woodframe construction in seismic regions.

  • Evaluate seismic response of full-scale woodframe building
  • Evaluate effects of interior and exterior wall finish materials
  • Evaluate engineered and conventional detailing
  • Evaluate effects of passive seismic protection systems
  • Generate landmark experimental data to be used by all project participants

Please, visit the NEESwood project website for more information.

Test Structure

  • 2-story townhouse building with an integrated two-car garage
  • Production house in either the 80ís or 90ís, located in either Northern or Southern California
  • Engineered construction designed according to UBC-1988

Experiment Setup

  • Using twin shake tables at University at Buffalo
  • Link structure connects both shake tables

Experiment Updates

NOTE: Only the latest update is listed below. To see the complete list of updates, please, click here.
  • September 04, 2006The NEESWood Benchmark Test Phase 4 was successfully completed with a bi-axial level 2 (53% Canoga Park records from the 1994 Northridge earthquake) seismic test. The start of the last major construction phase of the project, leading to the final test phase, commenced during the first week of September with repairs to some damaged gypsum boards from the Phase 4 tests. Commencing in the 3^rd week of September, B&L Wholesale Supply Inc will be installing the windows and doors and Buffalo Plastering Inc will be applying the exterior stucco finish to the test structure. The final test phase is scheduled to start on Monday November 6. A final media event with a tri-axial level 5 test is planned for Tuesday November 14 with the test structure completely furnished.

View Video Archive

Testing Phases

Phase 1

Evaluate seismic response of engineered wood construction. (May 1 - June 23, 2006)

Phase 2

Evaluate effects of passive energy dissipation system. (June 12 - 30, 2006)

Phase 3

Evaluate effect of interior wall finishes applied to perimeter structural walls only. (July 10 - August 25, 2006)

Phase 4

Evaluate effect of interior wall finishes applied to perimeter structural and interior partition walls. (August 7 - October 13, 2006)

Phase 5

Evaluate effect of exterior wall finishes. (September 4 - November 17, 2006)


This project is supported by the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation program of the National Science Foundation under award number CMS-0529903.

SEESL - Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory
212 Ketter Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
phone. +1(716)645-3019       fax. +1(716)645-3733