Lessons Learned from Performance of Nonstructural Components During the January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake - Case Studies of Six Instrumented Multistory Buildings

Document Type : Structural Earthquake Engineering


John A. Martin & Associates


As a part of a project sponsored by Strong Motion Instru- mentation Program of state of California [4], twenty extensively instrumented buildings were inspected, their damage state documented, and the level of forces and deformations that they experienced were compared to design code levels at the time of design as well as more modern code provisions. Among these twenty buildings, there were several buildings from which significant amount of information, including photos and valuable response characteristics were gathered in relation to performance of nonstructural systems and components. Six of these buildings, as follows, are selected for presentation in this paper.The Olive View Hospital Building in Sylmar,A 13 story office building in Sherman Oaks,A 10 story residential building in Burbank,A 6 story commercial building in Burbank,A 3 story department store in Century City,A 20 story hotel in north Hollywood.The imposed seismic demands and the extent of nonstructural damage in each building is compared and contrasted with force demands as interpreted by model codes and guidelines such as UBC-97, NEHRP-97, and FEMA-273 documents.