A recent Engineering News-Record article features insights from Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) staff on base isolation as a method for reducing the effects of earthquakes. The article, “The 10 Largest Base-Isolated Buildings in the World,” highlights several experts in seismic engineering and design, including SGH Senior Principal Ronald Hamburger and Staff Consultant Ronald Mayes.
In the article, Hamburger discusses seismic protection methods in the United States and abroad. “The use of base isolation as seismic protection for buildings, bridges, and industrial facilities continues to grow, but has done so more robustly internationally than in the U.S.” He also notes that, “Of all the seismic protection technologies presently available, seismic isolation offers the most effective protection against damage or loss of function following strong shaking.”
The article also notes the efforts of the U.S. Resiliency Council (USRC) to create a building performance rating system that incorporates a structure’s safety, damage, and recovery during and following an earthquake. “The USRC will certify raters and review ratings after they are submitted, similar to the USGBC’s LEED ratings for sustainability,” explains Mayes, who is also Past Acting Executive Director and Co-founder of the USRC. “The rating is a different way of specifying what an owner’s performance expectations are for a building. I think it will become a powerful tool.” SGH is a founding member of USRC.