SUMMARY: Base isolation is a well known technology that has been proven to reduce structural response to horizontal ground accelerations. However, vertical response still remains a topic of concern for base-isolated buildings, perhaps more so than in fixed-base buildings as isolation is often used when high performance is required. To investigate the effects of vertical response on building contents and nonstructural components, a series of full-scale shaking table tests were conducted at the E-Defense facility in Japan. A four-story base-isolated reinforced concrete building was outfitted as a medical facility with a wide variety of contents, and the behavior of the contents was observed. The rubber base isolation system was found to significantly amplify vertical accelerations in some cases. However, the damage caused by the vertical ground motions was not detrimental when peak vertical floor accelerations remained below 2g with three exceptions: (1) small items placed on shelves slid or toppled; (2) objects jumped when placed on nonrigid furniture, which tended to increase the response; and (3) equipment with vertical eccentricities rocked and jumped. In these tests, all equipment and nonstructural components remained functional after shaking.
- Base isolation
- Medical facility
- Shaking table test
- Vertical motion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)