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Published on Mar 14, 2007
The voluntary seismic retrofit of this six-story concrete structure presented a number of challenges to Tipping Mar. The medical office building, which was located on a near-fault site, had to meet UC Berkeley's stringent seismic-safety codes. In addition, the solution had to preserve the building's office space on a limited budget.
The solution was an ingenious combination of two more common seismic design techniques, which was the use of reinforced-concrete wall construction combined with the recentering capability of un-bonded vertical post-tensioning. High-strength cables run through the cast-in-place concrete wall to minimize permanent residual deformation after earthquake disruptions.
This approach adhered to both architectural and economic demands of the design mandate. The solution reduced the intrusion of structural elements in the building's usable space while employing traditional methods of cost-effective concrete construction.