Commission Grantee UC San Diego
UC San Diego Uses Largest Outdoor Shake Table to Test Steel Frame Construction
Earthquakes cause shaking motions than can, if intense enough and of sufficient duration, damage buildings and other structures. But buildings and earthquakes have a complicated interaction, and understanding how different structures will respond to different kinds of earthquakes requires testing. And if the building is large enough a big shake table to test it is required.
The largest outdoor shake table in the world is in San Diego. Operated by the UCSD school of Engineering, it is big enough to support a six-story building and shake it with the same force as the Northridge Earthquake, burn part of it, and then shake it again.
This kind of research supported by the California Seismic Safety Commission insures that the buildings we construct will be safe to occupy, saving lives and property in the event of an earthquake (demonstrated here http://cfs-research.ucsd.edu/index.html in numerous videos).