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Simpson Strong-Tie News
Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie, the leader in engineered structural connectors and building solutions, has just released a greatly expanded version of its popular Literature Library Mobile App. Now, users can download all of the company's catalogs, fliers and technical bulletins to their mobile devices.
With this new and improved app, users can create a custom library of Simpson Strong-Tie® literature on their mobile device, bookmark the pages they use most, and pinch and zoom in on documents for close-up viewing. In addition, all downloads can be viewed on the go — without Wi-Fi or cellular connection.
Once the library is created, each catalog is fully searchable by keyword, including product name, number or description. Many catalogs include an interactive table of contents that let users go directly from the table to the product page with one tap. Users can also zoom in to view drawings and tables in detail.
Watch a video on the Simpson Strong-Tie website www.strongtie.com/litlibrary to learn more about the new features.
The free Simpson Strong-Tie Literature Library mobile app can be downloaded to an iPhone® and iPad® from the App Store™. It will be available soon for Android™ from Google Play™.
Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie announces it will make a $50,000 donation to assist in the relief response and recovery efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The storm, one of the most powerful in recorded history, affected 9.5 million people throughout the Philippine Islands, according to the U.N.
The company's donation was provided to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and will aid in providing food, shelter, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by the typhoon, including the worst-hit city of Tacloban in the Leyte province. The company will also match employees' personal contributions to the Red Cross.
"It is imperative that we support the relief and recovery efforts in the Philippines in the face of this unprecedented natural disaster. We hope our contribution can help Filipino communities start the recovery process," said Simpson Strong-Tie President Terry Kingsfather.
To make a contribution and aid in the Philippines typhoon recovery efforts through the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org, text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Disaster Relief Fund, or send a donation to your local Red Cross chapter.
Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie, the leader in engineered structural connectors and building solutions, has received an Architectural Products magazine Product Innovation Award for its Strong Frame® special moment frame. This cutting-edge lateral system solution is designed to help prevent structural damage in earthquakes. The awards honor innovation in building product design and span all products throughout the market sector.
The Strong Frame special moment frame features new patented Yield-Link™ structural fuse technology. During a seismic event, the beam-to-column links are engineered to bear the brunt of lateral forces, keeping the structural integrity of the beams and columns intact. With bolt-on/bolt off ability, the links are fully replaceable if damaged. This makes replacement easier and faster because the beam and columns can remain in the structure during repairs.
"We are truly honored to receive this innovation award. This recognition validates our belief that the Strong Frame® special moment frame is a cost-effective and time- and labor-savings solution for new construction and weak-story building retrofits," said Tim Ellis, Strong Frame product manager for Simpson Strong-Tie.
In announcing the awards, Jim Crockett, editorial director for Architectural Products magazine, said, "Building on the success of last year's program, our third edition of the awards proves commercial building manufacturers are committed to, and are working arduously toward, delivering more sustainable products, as well as products that deliver better performance, life and affordability."
The awards were announced in the November issue of Architectural Products magazine.
Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie sponsored the 30th annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project from October 6-12 in Oakland and San Jose, Calif. with a bronze level sponsorship. Additional locations for this year's project included Denver, Colo., New York, N.Y. and Union Beach, N.J. Since 1984, President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn have spent a week every year building homes with Habitat for Humanity.
Thirty Simpson Strong-Tie volunteers participated in the event at all locations, and the company provided a $35,000 donation for the Oakland and San Jose projects. On the October 7 Presidential Build Day in Oakland, Simpson Strong-Tie employees worked directly alongside the Carters and special guests Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
"Habitat for Humanity's mission to provide families with access to safe, affordable housing aligns very well with our company's commitment to provide products that help build safe, strong homes. We are extremely proud of our long-term relationship with Habitat and feel privileged to participate in the Carter Work Project," said Simpson Strong-Tie President Terry Kingsfather.
Simpson Strong-Tie began its collaboration with Habitat for Humanity in 2007 and has since donated more than $1.5 million in cash and products in addition to time, labor and technical expertise. For more information about the company's support of Habitat, visit www.strongtie.com/about/habitat-jrcwp08.html.
Pleasanton, Calif. – Do it Best Corp., the only U.S.-based full-line, full-service, member-owned distributor of lumber, hardware and building products in the home improvement industry, awarded Simpson Strong-Tie its 2013 Vendor of the Year Award in the Building Materials products category.
Do it Best awards Vendor of the Year in 22 product categories, along with three overall awards across all categories. "When we make our decision for Vendor of the Year, we base it on several variables. Sales growth, fill rate of purchase orders, customer service, product quality, communication of all changes in a timely manner, ease in working with the vendor, support of our markets, and the effective use of a vendor sales group in reaching out to our members. Simpson Strong-Tie is exceptional in all of these," noted Do it Best's Merchandise Manager, Building Materials Nick McDowell.
"This honor continues to solidify our strong relationship with Do it Best members. We work hard to provide excellent customer service and support and continue to earn their business each day," said Dave Balzhiser, Simpson Strong-Tie vice president of national accounts.
Do it Best Corp. serves 4,000 member-owned locations in the United States and 53 countries.
Pleasanton, Calif. – Hardcore Renos, a Canadian-based construction firm led by Anderson Hinds and Manny Neves, is building and filming the construction of a two-story home in Toronto, Canada. The project used Simpson Strong-Tie® anchors, connectors and fasteners to frame the home.
The Build A Home project is designed to provide viewers with step-by-step information on how to build a home using the best products. The Hardcore Renos team – known as Manny & Anderson – are documenting the build process through social media and by keeping a weekly video journal on their website.
Simpson Strong-Tie donated product used to anchor the foundation and frame the home. It also will supply hardware for the construction of two decks. Simpson Strong-Tie Titen HD® screw anchors, ITS I-joist hangers, HGUS hangers and the Quik Drive® auto-feed screw driving system and WSNTL framing screws were used for the project's construction.
"It's not everyday that a builder will not only take the time to teach people the best ways to build a home, but inspire them to tackle projects themselves by sharing trade tips," said Simpson Strong-Tie Canada Sales Manager David Wilson. "Hardcore Renos is showing people how our products can help keep a home safe and structurally sound."
For more information about the project, visit www.hardcorerenos.com.
Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie, the leader in engineered structural connectors and fasteners, is featured in three upcoming episodes of a special THIS OLD HOUSE television series that follows the rebuilding efforts of Jersey Shore homeowners after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. The series began Oct. 3 on PBS and is airing during the one-year anniversary month of the storm.
The eight-episode series focuses on three sets of homeowners who began rebuilding their New Jersey homes just months after Hurricane Sandy tore through the region in October 2012. Sandy left millions without power and hundreds of thousands of homes in ruins. THIS OLD HOUSE follows the homeowners on their path to recovery. The series highlights the lessons learned about both the pitfalls and best practices of coastal building.
Simpson Strong-Tie engineered structural connectors and fasteners were used in the homes to create a continuous load path, connecting the foundation, floors and roof. Homes built with metal connectors are more likely to withstand damage caused by high winds from storms and hurricanes.
Simpson Strong-Tie is featured in the following episodes:
Check listings for local air dates. The full episodes can be viewed online at http://video.pbs.org/program/old-house/, beginning the Sunday after each original air date.
To learn more about high wind-resistant construction, visit strongtie.com/highwind.
Pleasanton, Calif. – Our American Made Home is a residential project by husband and wife team Patrick and Renee Dubois. The Dubois' are building their dream home in New Castle, Calif., with as many American-made products as possible, including several donated Simpson Strong-Tie® engineered structural connectors.
The Dubois' were inspired by the Anders Lewendal project using all U.S.-made products to build a home in Bozeman, Mont. To help ensure a safe, strong structure, the Dubois' used Simpson Strong-Tie hangers, straps and seismic connectors to help create a continuous load path for their home. A continuous load path is a method of construction that ties together the structural frame of a home from the roof to the foundation.
"We feel it's very important to support companies who manufacture products in the USA. We have heard time and again how important this project is from our readers. We are fortunate to get support from Simpson Strong-Tie and hope that others will make the conscious decision to ask for them by name," noted Patrick Dubois.
"Simpson Strong-Tie is proud to support the Our American Made Home project. By using products made here in the U.S., the Dubois' are directly contributing to the American economy and workforce, while ensuring the construction of their home is safe and structurally sound using our products," said Simpson Strong-Tie President Terry Kingsfather.
Simpson Strong-Tie manufactures hundreds of thousands of structural connectors every year - all of which are made in the U.S. For more information about the project and the Simpson Strong-Tie products used throughout the home, visit www.ouramericanmadehome.com.
Pleasanton, Calif. – The Simpson Strong-Tie Structural Engineering Blog has won the top award for Best Corporate Blog in Hanley Wood's first annual Brand Builder Awards. The Brand Builder Awards recognize the most innovative and effective marketing campaigns throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry. The competition is designed to honor the organizations that have demonstrated superiority in their ability to develop, create, implement and execute marketing strategies and tactics that define excellence.
The Structural Engineering Blog was created to provide a forum for meaningful discussions and resources specifically for structural engineers. The blog includes weekly posts from Simpson Strong-Tie Engineering R&D Manager Paul McEntee on topics including what's going on in the industry, trends in design and materials, code updates and "sneak peeks" into Simpson Strong-Tie R&D and testing. Structural engineers can subscribe to email notifications at http://seblog.strongtie.com.
"We're very proud to be inaugural recipients of the Platinum Award for Best Corporate Blog," said McEntee. "We created the Structural Engineering Blog to enhance our interaction and engagement with structural engineers and winning this award reinforces our commitment to continue to find innovative ways to do that with others in the industry."
Simpson Strong-Tie was honored during a special awards dinner at the Hanley Wood Foundations conference on September 25 at the Spertus Center in Chicago, IL.
Pleasanton, Calif. – The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is being held October 3-13, 2013, in Irvine, Calif. Local Simpson Strong-Tie facilities are providing product donations to several collegiate teams competing in the decathlon to design, build and operate cost-effective solar-powered houses.
The Simpson Strong-Tie Riverside, Calif., facility is sponsoring the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) team's DALE (Dynamic Augmented Living Environment) design. Simpson Strong-Tie donated nearly $3,000 in product for the house, along with technical expertise and guidance. The Riverside facility also donated product to the USC School of Architecture team.
The Simpson Strong-Tie Columbus, Ohio, facility is sponsoring Team Kentuckiana, a collaboration between the University of Louisville, Ball State University and University of Kentucky. Simpson Strong-Tie has provided several holdowns, clip angles and screws for their Phoenix House project. More than $1,700 of product was donated.
In 2014, Solar Decathlon Europe will take place in Versailles, France. The event is a complementary competition to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon created by the Spanish and U.S. governments in 2007. Appalachian State University in North Carolina has teamed up with the Université d'Angers in France for this event. The Simpson Strong-Tie McKinney, Texas, location has donated Strong-Drive® structural wood screws and other connector and fastener products totaling more than $6,000 for the project. The company is also providing training sessions on proper use of its products, along with literature and technical guidance. The project will be constructed exclusively using Simpson Strong-Tie® fasteners and hangers.
Pleasanton, Calif. – As Colorado begins work on recovering from the catastrophic flooding last month that struck several counties, including Boulder, Larimer, Jefferson and Weld County, Simpson Strong-Tie announced it will make a $10,000 donation to assist in the relief response and recovery efforts throughout the area.
The donation was given to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and will aid in providing food, shelter, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by the floods. The company will also match employees' personal contributions to the Red Cross.
"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the people of Colorado working to recover from this natural disaster," said Simpson Strong-Tie President Terry Kingsfather. "We hope our support can help these communities quickly recover and begin the rebuilding process."
To make a contribution and aid in the Colorado flood recovery efforts through the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org, text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Disaster Relief Fund, or send a donation to your local Red Cross chapter.
Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie will collapse a deck, challenge expo attendees in a fastener contest, and highlight its innovative DeckTools® software and new construction products at the DeckExpo in Chicago, Oct 17-18, booth 2221.
Here are descriptions of some of the Simpson Strong-Tie products and demonstrations that will be showcased:
Deck Collapse Demonstration
Every year, people across the country are seriously injured or killed by unexpected deck failures. To help raise awareness about the importance of deck safety and code-compliant construction, Simpson Strong-Tie will demonstrate a live deck collapse both days at 1 p.m. DeckExpo attendees are invited to visit the Simpson Strong-Tie booth to witness the collapse. At the same time, they will learn about the common causes of deck failure and the critical connections on a safe, code-compliant deck.
DeckTools Software Demonstration
The immersive 3D DeckTools software is the only deck design tool created to be a sales tool first and foremost. DeckTools software enables the user to design decks in a photo-realistic, 3D environment. The design is rendered in real time, so it's easy to make changes and show upgrade options. The demo will show how to use the software's flexible estimating features to automatically price decks as well as how to create proposals with one click.
DSV Fastener Contest
To demonstrate how easy it is to use DSV deck screws, DeckExpo attendees will be invited to compete against one another to see who can install the most DSV screws the fastest. The low-torque threads on the DSV decking screw allow up to 35% more screws to be driven on a single battery charge. The contestants will also experience firsthand how the high-low tip provides fast starts as well as how easy it is to countersink the screw. The DSV is commonly used with preservative-treated decking.
CPTZ Post Base – Available Now
The new CPTZ post base incorporates a knife plate with a standoff base for a clean, concealed look. It features a 1" standoff height above concrete, which is required by code when supporting decks exposed to weather or water splash. The standoff height also reduces the potential for decay at post or column ends. The CPTZ installs with 1/2" diameter galvanized pins (supplied).
For more information about these and other deck products, visit our Deck Center web page at www.strongtie.com/deckcenter.
Pleasanton, Calif. – The third annual Buildings At Risk | Earthquake Loss Reduction Summit hosted by the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) and Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) will be held on October 8 and October 15, 2013 in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Simpson Strong-Tie is a Platinum Sponsor of the Summit and will provide local support from its Stockton and Riverside, Calif., locations.
The purpose of the Buildings At Risk Summit is to reach out to all stakeholders (building owners and managers, public officials and policy-makers, home and business owners, architects and engineers, building officials, insurance companies and others) to provide awareness of seismic risk and how to mitigate that risk through identifying and strengthening "buildings at risk," including light-frame weak-story buildings, older residential buildings, non-ductile concrete buildings, and URM buildings.
"The Summit has grown since 2011, providing a necessary forum for members of the local community to come together and discuss identification, strengthening and associated policy efforts for vulnerable buildings to reduce injury, damage and even death in the event of an earthquake," said Jeff Ellis, S.E., past Summit Steering Committee Chairman and Director of Codes & Standards for Simpson Strong-Tie. "With our commitment to helping build safer and stronger structures, Simpson Strong-Tie strongly supports these collaborative education and planning efforts, and is proud to continue our ongoing sponsorship of the Buildings At Risk Summit."
Financial, political and industry leaders will speak at the Summit, including Mark Ghilarducci, Cal OES Director and Homeland Security Advisor to Gov. Brown, Tom LaBonge, LA City Councilman, Naomi Kelly, SF City & County Administrator, Dr. Lucy Jones, National Earthquake Expert, and Glenn Pomeroy, California Earthquake Authority CEO.
The Summit will be held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in L.A. on October 8 and at the Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco on October 15. For more information and to register, visit http://www.seaosc.org/events_bar_registration.cfm.
Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie introduces the Strong-Wall® SB shearwall, a prefabricated wood shearwall offering enhanced design flexibility and greater lateral-force resistance for a broad range of applications, including narrow and tall wall spaces. In areas susceptible to seismic activity or high winds, the SB wood shearwall provides structural support comparable to that of narrow steel shearwalls. The wall is designed for residential, multifamily, and light-frame commercial construction, including garage portals and other large openings.
The SB shearwall is field-trimmable for custom applications and rake walls, and is designed to easily fasten to headers with convenient drill zones and a chase for wiring. The wall is code listed to the 2012 International Building Code® (ICC-ES ESR-2652) and the City of Los Angeles building code (RR25730). The SB shearwall is available in dimensions ranging from 12"x7' to 24"x20' for standard, portal, two-story stacked, balloon-framing and rake-wall applications.
The Strong-Wall SB shearwall is available nationwide. For more information, download the Strong-Wall® SB shearwall catalog.
Note: The Strong-Wall® SB shearwall is previously known as the TJ® Shear Brace. Simpson Strong-Tie acquired the product line from Weyerhaeuser earlier this year.
Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie has recently added many free web and mobile apps and online calculators, giving customers quick access to product information and tools that result in time and cost savings. The company's latest technology offering is available at www.strongtie.com/software.
Recent updates and additions include:
Updated Holdown Selector Web App
Holdown connectors are typically used to anchor shearwall segments against overturning. The Holdown Selector web app is a quick and easy tool that selects the most cost-effective holdown connector based on the type of installation, demand load and the wood species of the post. The Holdown Selector specifies the Simpson Strong-Tie® connector needed to complete a project based on the installation method and demand load that is inputted. The updated app now includes an expandable list of holdown options, SCL column support, and rim joist models. Access the Holdown Selector app at www.strongtie.com/apps/holdown.
Redesigned Coil Strap Calculator Web Apps
Simpson Strong-Tie coil straps are designed to transfer tension loads for a wide range of applications. The redesigned Coil Strap Designer specifies the most effective coil strap for a given demand load and determines the number of nails required for a particular application. The Coil Strap Cut Length Calculator determines the cut length of a coil strap and the total amount of coil strap needed for the construction project. The Coil Strap Length Calculator provides the end length, clear span, cut length, total number of nails and total linear feet of strap required to complete a project. To use the coil strap calculators, visit www.strongtie.com/apps/coilstrap.
New Slope and Skew Online Calculator
Determining the slope and skew angles related to hip and valley beams can be a challenge made even more difficult when the roof slopes on each side of the hip or valley are different. The new online Simpson Strong-Tie Slope and Skew Calculator makes it easy by performing all of the necessary calculations for each hanger condition in the roof. Simply enter the roof pitches and press the "calculate" button, and the app will supply the direction and precise angles for the framing members as well as the connectors. To access the calculator, go to www.strongtie.com/apps/slopeskew.
Updated Dealer Locator Mobile App
Designed to save customers time and money, the Dealer Locator mobile app helps find the location of the closest Simpson Strong-Tie dealer based on the user's location. The app is available for the U.S. and now Canadian customers and includes such information as the distance from your location and directions to the dealer, the Simpson Strong-Tie product lines offered and the dealer's website, phone number and other relevant contact information.
The updated version of the app adds the ability to search by city and state, along with zip code. The Dealer Locator is a native app for iPhone® and iPad®. Other mobile users can use the mobile-optimized Dealer Locator at www.strongtie.com/dealers. More information is available at www.strongtie.com/apps/dl.
To view all Simpson Strong-Tie software and apps, visit www.strongtie.com/software.
Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie donated product and provided technical expertise for the CFS-NEES project, a series of earthquake tests for cold-formed steel-framed buildings. As part of the final phase of a three-year, National Science Foundation-funded research project led by Johns Hopkins University, the purpose of the tests is to better understand the overall system performance of cold-formed steel-framed buildings and to develop performance-based design methodology for seismic resistance.
As a manufacturer of lateral systems for seismic resistance, Simpson Strong-Tie served on the project's advisory board and donated connectors and fasteners for the two-story cold-formed steel building. Using the shake table at the University of Buffalo's Earthquake Engineering Research Center in New York, the structure has been subjected to simulated earthquakes that range in magnitude of 44% to 100% of the 1994 6.7-magnitude Northridge, California, earthquake.
"Ultimately, these tests are designed to help make cold-formed steel construction more economical, while reducing the likelihood of structural collapse in regions with seismic activity. Our commitment at Simpson Strong-Tie is to use research and testing to develop products that help people build safer, stronger structures. Collaborating on this project was a way for us to demonstrate that commitment and help support practical and cost-effective building solutions," said Randy Daudet, Simpson Strong-Tie cold-formed steel product manager and member of the project's advisory committee.
All phases of the testing have been completed, with the final test completed on August 16 simulating 100% of the Northridge earthquake. For more information about the project, visit the project website at http://www.ce.jhu.edu/cfsnees/index.php or blog at http://cfsnees.blogspot.com.
The project is a six-university, multi-industry collaboration led by Professor Ben Schafer with the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins from a National Science Foundation award for the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Research (NEESR) competition. The title of the project is, "NEES-CR: Enabling Performance-Based Seismic Design of Multi-Story Cold-Formed Steel Structures." The analysis and testing for the project began in late 2010 at Johns Hopkins and University of North Texas, with the focus now at the University of Buffalo where the final phase of testing is taking place. Additional university collaborators include Bucknell University, McGill University, and Virginia Tech.
Phoenix, Ariz. – On August 6, Simpson Strong-Tie Sales Representative Jorge Ruiz delivered a speech introducing President Barack Obama as part of the President's "A Better Bargain for the Middle Class" tour that focused on rebuilding the economy after the recession. The White House selected Ruiz as a member of the Arizona community to introduce the President at the event held at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix.
Ruiz was chosen by White House Senior Advance Lead Tim Hartz who was part of a group scouting Phoenix venues for the tour, including the Simpson Strong-Tie facility located in Chandler, Ariz. The facility was recommended by Erickson Construction, a long-time Simpson Strong-Tie customer.
Although the White House chose the high school to host the President, the impression Ruiz made on the White House team when he gave the tour of the Chandler facility was enough for an invitation to introduce the President.
"When I got the call, I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I knew I wanted to mention, above all else, my family's immigrant status, my company and my country. I knew I would be doing a disservice if I didn't mention those things," said Ruiz.
Ruiz's description of Simpson Strong-Tie was directly related to Obama's housing recovery message. "We help build the American Dream. We manufacture connectors that help people do that in a cost-effective way," he said. "We fought through those tough years [of the economic recession], and finally, the housing market is coming back. My company is hiring again."
Since their low point in April 2009, housing starts have steadily increased each year. In his speech, Obama stated he is committed to restoring security to America's homeowners, and the housing system needs to be reformed in order to avoid a future financial crisis.
"We couldn't be more proud that Jorge was chosen to represent his fellow Arizonians as well as all of us at Simpson Strong-Tie," said Terry Kingsfather, president of Simpson Strong-Tie. "It was an honor and a historic moment that we'll always remember."
Editor's Note: Prior to the final earthquake test and collapse of the building, a media event with key spokespeople will begin at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 17 at the University of San Diego. To RSVP, contact Kate Jeracki with Colorado State University at 970-980-3678.
Live video feed at http://nees.ucsd.edu/video
Previous test video at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf4RMlUGIqLW7rvpUn-up9Q
Pleasanton, Calif. – As part of the NEES-Soft project led by Colorado State University, Simpson Strong-Tie and other industry collaborators successfully completed earthquake testing of a Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong Frame® special moment frame seismic retrofit of a four-story building during several days of testing from July 24 to August 5 at the University of California San Diego.
The testing was intended to validate the FEMA P-807 guidelines that address seismic retrofit requirements for weak-story, wood-frame buildings in seismically active regions of the United States. The test set up featured a full-scale, four-story wood-frame building with a soft (weak) first story. Simpson Strong-Tie Strong Frame special moment frames were used to retrofit just the first story of the building (the garage area) to see if a lower-cost alternative could minimize building damage during an earthquake. Using the university's outdoor shake table, the building was subjected to four earthquakes that ranged in magnitude from approximately 3.5 to 6.5.
"After two small shakes and two significantly larger shakes, the building is damaged, but still structurally safe enough for occupancy," said John van de Lindt, principal investigator on the test and civil engineering professor at Colorado State University. "Earthquakes are particularly damaging to buildings with open spaces at street level and they are prone to collapse at that structurally weak and soft first level even in moderate earthquakes."
Last April, the City of San Francisco implemented a mandatory soft-story retrofit ordinance requiring evaluation and retrofit for multi-unit soft-story buildings, which includes the option to retrofit using the FEMA P-807 approach. The Simpson Strong-Tie Strong Frame special moment frame was tested based on a retrofit designed in accordance with FEMA P-807. The special moment frame was the only proprietary solution tested for FEMA P-807 in the NEES-Soft project.
"The building tested is like many multi-family buildings in San Francisco built in the mid 1900s," explained Steve Pryor, project collaborator and International Director of Building Systems for Simpson Strong-Tie. "If not retrofitted, these buildings pose a serious life-safety risk."
The Strong Frame special moment Frame has patented Yield-Link™ structural fuse technology that is designed to bear the brunt of lateral forces during a seismic event. It is an ideal retrofit solution because it can be installed in existing buildings. The frame's structural fuses or "links" can also be easily replaced after a seismic event (rather than the entire frame), which is a significant cost savings for building owners.
After the first test series, the upper stories of the building showed negligible damage, due to the Strong Frame fuses in the ground floor frames absorbing the earthquake energy within the frame and keeping the structural integrity of the beams and columns intact. The structural fuses were not replaced between tests, demonstrating their ability to continue to perform during aftershocks.
"The Strong Frame special moment frame performed exactly as we expected," said Pryor. "We believe this testing demonstrates to building owners that there's a practical and cost-effective retrofit solution that not only will meet the City of San Francisco's ordinance, but will also set precedence for other cities with seismic risk."
The NEES-Soft project is a five-university, multi-industry collaboration led by Colorado State University's van de Lindt in conjunction with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cal-Poly Pomona, Western Michigan University, and Clemson University. Industry partner Simpson Strong-Tie is a major collaborator on the tests. Van de Lindt, the George T. Abell Professor in Infrastructure in the CSU College of Engineering, obtained the $1.24 million grant from the National Science Foundation for the research, with additional support provided by the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory. The testing is being performed on the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation shake table at the NSF shared use facility at the University of California San Diego.