Earthquake Protection of Building Equipment and Systems

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Earthquake Protection of Building Equipment and Systems


The basis for this book is that nonstructural systems are no longer treated by the building

code as black-box components. Postearthquake active operation is required for designated

seismic systems. This functionality mandate cannot be satisfied with simple anchorage

calculations. A fundamental shift in code philosophy requires new perspectives from

the stakeholders involved in nonstructural earthquake protection. Implementation of protective
measures is a critical risk mitigation issue. The supplier can no longer ignore seismic
requirements, and the building professional can no longer treat nonstructural items
as black-box components.

Nonstructural systems are often referred to as secondary systems, with the primary
system being the building structure. While the label "secondary" is appropriate in this
context, nonstructural systems are far from secondary in importance. The value of nonstructural
systems expressed as a percentage of the total cost of a building, excluding the
price of the land, has dramatically increased over the past several decades. In acute healthcare
facilities and high-value industrial buildings, nonstructural systems can easily comprise
85% or more of the total cost (Charleson 2008). Protecting this investment from earthquake
damage is a reasonable goal and is likely a high priority for the building owner.


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