First developed in the 1970s, seismic base isolation is a retrofitting technique that gives buildings the flexibility to stand up against the lateral forces of an earthquake.
When positioned against a load-bearing column of a building or bridge, base isolators act like large motor mounts, absorbing the impact of seismic events and thus lowering the seismic forces transmitted through the structure.
It’s a popular practice in several countries, including China, New Zealand and a number of South American nations. In Turkey — where earthquakes are common and often deadly — officials have undertaken a $13.6 billion project to build new hospitals using seismic base isolation.
In America, seismic retrofitting hasn’t been quite as popular. But it’s something building owners should consider, particularly in the Bay Area.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of seismic base isolation in the Bay Area and discuss how Sheedy Crane has been involved in some of the region’s most high-profile seismic retrofitting projects.
Why Should We Invest in Bay Area Seismic Retrofitting?
The key reason for investing in seismic retrofitting is safety. By making your building more durable in the face of earthquake damage, you’re keeping your employees, customers and visitors safer.
You’ll also be protecting the investment you’ve made in your building and business. The cost of making repairs following an earthquake is substantially greater than the cost of a Bay Area seismic retrofitting project.
And if earthquake damage renders your building uninhabitable, you’ll not only have to worry about the cost of repairs, you might find yourself searching for a temporary space and paying for those costs as well as any normal businesses expenses.
Bay Area Seismic Retrofitting from Sheedy Crane
Although we’ve made a name for ourselves as a leader in cranes and hauling, Sheedy Crane is also an expert provider of seismic retrofitting.
We have been instrumental parts of several key Bay Area seismic retrofit projects, including San Francisco’s City Hall, the largest building in the world ever upgraded with seismic base isolators. We also installed what were — at the time — the largest friction pendulum isolators on the Benicia-Martinez Bridge.
Some of our other projects include:
- Pasadena City Hall, Pasadena, CA. Completed in April 2007, this project involved the installation of 238 friction pendulum isolators, column loads up to 450 tons.
- Oakland City Hall, Oakland, CA. Completed in 1994, this project involved the installation of 113 isolators, column loads up to 1,900 tons.
- Veterans Administration Medical Center, Long Beach, CA. Completed in November 1994, it involved the installation of 113 isolators, column loads up to 1,900 tons
- UCLA’s Kerkhoff Hall, Los Angeles. This project, which concluded in December 1995, involved the installation of 128 isolators and 36 sliders, column loads up to 281 tons
- Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. This project was completed in May 2002, with the installation of 196 rubberized isolators. Column loads up to 600 tons
When you work with Sheedy, you’ll get:
- Complete column base isolator, slider, and flat-jack installation services
- Column isolation, temporary support, jacking system installation, and load transfer engineering
- Complete project management and engineering services performed directly by Sheedy Drayage Co. personnel
Contact us today to learn more about our Bay Area seismic retrofitting services.