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

Experiment Updates:

  • 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.
  • June 19, 2006: In preparation for Test Phase 2 of the NEESWood Benchmark Study, the installation of the pre-fabricated walls containing the viscous dampers from Taylor Devices Inc. commenced under the supervision of Professor Michael Symans from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who is leading this phase of the project. As seen in the photo, the walls are in place and the re-sheathing of the walls with OSB commenced.
  • May 17, 2006: The installation of the Gambale USA concrete roof tiles on the NEESWood Benchmark Test Structure has been completed. The initial construction phase, in preparation for the Phase-1 testing planned for June 5-9, is now complete, During the next two weeks, the installation of the 244 sensors to be used to monitor the seismic response of the test structure, will be completed.
  • May 10, 2006: The framing phase of the Benchmark Test Structure of the NEESWood two-story townhouse was completed Thursday May 4th. The installation of the Gambale USA concrete roof tiles commenced Tuesday May 9th. During the weeks of May 15th and 22nd the townhouse will be instrumented with 250 sensors in preparation for the initial series of tests scheduled to commence in June.
    Time Lapse Videos of the house construction (with Audio!): NOTE: To download these videos plase Right click on download link and select "Save Target As" (if you are using IE) or "Save Link As" (Firefox, Netscape)

  • May 1, 2006: The "framing" construction phase of the Benchmark Test Structure of the NEESWood Project commenced, Monday, May 1st at 8:00 EST with the assembly of the pre-fabricated wall and truss wood-frame sections from Niagara Truss.
  • April 28, 2006: With the pouring of the concrete foundation for the Benchmark Test Structure of the NEESWood Project now complete, the UB-NEES facility took delivery of the pre-fabricated wall and truss wood-frame sections from Niagara Truss in preparation for the construction phase, of the project, commencing Monday, May 1st.
  • April 17, 2006: The foundation construction for the benchmark test structure commenced. The anchor bolts have been grouted in place on the two linked shake tables and the plywood base has been installed.
  • April 13, 2006: Following months of detailed test planning, in collaboration with Colorado State, and preliminary project activities the UB-NEES site commenced with initial experiments using the twin 6-DOF shake tables. The initial test activities included joining the two 6-DOF shake tables with a connecting platform establishing a “single” shake table measuring 54 ft. x 23 ft. which will support and shake the full scale two-story wood frame townhouse for the NEESWood project. Initial tests include synchronization and tuning of the twin shake tables without and with ~35-tons of ballast (simulating the weight of the townhouse). The synchronized system is capable of 3-DOF linear motions and limited transverse rotations

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