Breaking News: Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong Frame® Special Moment Frame Testing Today

Today the NEES-Soft project has begun testing the steel Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong Frame® Special Moment Frame as a retrofit option for soft-story buildings at the NEES outdoor shake table facility at UC San Diego. The testing is focused on validating the FEMA P-807 design procedure, which attempts to create a least-cost retrofit solution by only retrofitting the garage areas of problem buildings.

NEES-Soft Building. Image credit: John W. van de Lindt.
NEES-Soft Building. Image credit: John W. van de Lindt.

Two small shakes have been run this morning on the buildings, with the expected result of zero damage. The final shake for today, though, will be a large shake (1.1 g design spectral acceleration in the short-period range). UCSD has a live video link setup at http://nees.ucsd.edu/video/. There are various camera views of the building and interior, including our frames, and should be up during the test. The update speed is not real time. We are told this last test for today will run around 1:00 pm PST, but there is always significant leeway on this.

Testing of the Simpson Strong-Tie Strong Frame Special Moment Frame.
Testing of the Simpson Strong-Tie Strong Frame Special Moment Frame. Image credit: UC San Diego video feed capture.

NEES-Soft is a project to develop and demonstrate methodologies to retrofit soft-story woof-frame buildings. The project is a collaboration of five universities and industry representatives, and will include numerical analyses and experimental testing. Full scale testing of a four-story, 1920’s-style wood building has begun at UC San Diego’s outdoor shake table facility. The testing is used to validate a FEMA P-807 design procedure, which attempts to recreate a least-cost retrofit solution by only retrofitting garage areas of the buildings.

– Paul

Paul McEntee

Author: Paul McEntee

A couple of years back we hosted a “Take your daughter or son to work day,” which was a great opportunity for our children to find out what their parents did. We had different activities for the kids to learn about careers and the importance of education in opening up career opportunities. People often ask me what I do for Simpson Strong-Tie and I sometimes laugh about how my son Ryan responded to a questionnaire he filled out that day:

Q.   What is your mom/dad's job?
A.   Goes and gets coffee and sits at his desk

Q.   What does your mom/dad actually do at work?
A.   Walks in the test lab and checks things

When I am not checking things in the lab or sitting at my desk drinking coffee, I manage Engineering Research and Development for Simpson Strong-Tie, focusing on new product development for connectors and lateral systems.

I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and I am a licensed Civil and Structural Engineer in California. Prior to joining Simpson Strong-Tie, I worked for 10 years as a consulting structural engineer designing commercial, industrial, multi-family, mixed-use and retail projects. I was fortunate in those years to work at a great engineering firm that did a lot of everything. This allowed me to gain experience designing with wood, structural steel, concrete, concrete block and cold-formed steel as well as working on many seismic retrofits of historic unreinforced masonry buildings.