CAREER: Development of Seismic Isolation Systems for Nonstructural Walls in Buildings

Project: Research project

Project Details


PI: Ali M. Memari, The Pennsylvania State University

Proposal Number: 9983896

Proposal Title: Development of Seismic Isolation Systems for Nonstructural Walls in Buildings

Project Abstract

Seismic isolation systems are researched and developed for a select group of 'nonstructural' walls in buildings, and integrated educational activities that address the issue are created. Innovative alternative designs for curtain walls with architectural glass, veneer walls, cladding panels, and infill walls based on seismic isolation philosophy are developed in the research component of this project. In the teaching component, Architectural Engineering students are educated and trained in earthquake design of buildings with emphasis on nonstructural elements.

The seismic isolation approach for design of nonstructural wall systems is based on developing mechanisms that will minimize the unwanted interaction between the nonstructural component and the structural component in buildings to prevent damage to the vulnerable element. Full-scale specimens of alternative designs are tested under dynamic racking motion for concept verification. The findings of this project are integrated in a compact series of graduate level courses on earthquake design of buildings and building enclosures. In addition, experiments on instructional shaking tables are included in several courses as primary teaching component activities.

Several innovative seismic isolation concepts that can save millions of dollars by minimizing damage to nonstructural elements in future earthquakes are introduced to the building industry as a result of the research in this project. Moreover, as part of the outcome of the project's educational activities, Architectural Engineering students are trained with an in-depth capability for seismic design of nonstructural walls in an effort to fill the current void of professionals with sufficient knowledge to undertake the structural design of these systems.

Effective start/end date8/15/007/31/05


  • National Science Foundation: $321,750.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.