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Brick Seismic Testing

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Published on Mar 12, 2012

This video is a result of a study, funded by the National Science Foundation and helps improve our understanding of the performance of masonry veneer in severe earthquakes. To replicate the ground motion recorded at the Tarzana seismographic station during the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the University of California at San Diego tested the full scale brick veneer/concrete masonry building shown here. The building was square in plan and constructed in accordance with the 2008 Building Code Requirements and Specifications for Masonry Structures. The testing mimicked the design earthquake force for a Seismic Design Category E building the highest Category for most structures other than hospitals and other essential buildings.

The findings show that this type of building can resist earthquakes above the Maximum Considered Earthquake without collapse. Because the test proves that brick is actually carrying a portion of its own load, the requirements in the prevailing building code are actually more stringent than necessary.

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