Nevada earthquake lab has new $4 million research project
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- The University of Nevada's world-renowned earthquake laboratory has launched a nearly $4 million research project aimed at making nonstructural parts of buildings more earthquake proof.
Engineers at the school's Large-Scale Structures Lab in Reno cranked up three 50-ton capacity shake tables on Monday to simulate a quake as part of the project funded by the National Science Foundation.
Engineering College dean Manos Maragakis says nonstructural items like water pipes, partition walls and ceiling tiles are not critical to structural integrity. But he tells the Reno Gazette-Journal the parts account for about 85 percent of a typical building's value.
About a dozen engineers and professors from Japan observed Monday's test. They say simulations can be run on computers, but they don't provide as realistic information as Nevada's lab tests.