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Thought this would be of interest to listservice subscribers.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona 

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the California
Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) have announced a grant of
$5.2 million to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for a
three-year multi-university project to reduce damage and losses to
woodframe construction in future earthquakes.  The project concept
originated following the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, in which approximately
half of the property losses were incurred by damage to woodframe
construction.  Professor John Hall of Caltech will be the Project Manager;
the multi-university, consulting engineering, and other tasks in the
project are carried out under subcontract to California Universities for
Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREe).  The project's official title
is "Earthquake Hazard Reduction of Woodframe Construction."

Approved and funded under FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP),
which is administered by OES, the grant will fund laboratory testing and
analysis of woodframe buildings and studies of their damage in the
Northridge Earthquake.   Primary goals of the project include improving
building codes and standards, making insurance ratings and loss estimates
more accurate, and training building designers, building inspectors and
contractors.   Combined with non-federal matching funds, the total project
budget will be $6.9 million.

"We are pleased to announce this unique partnership among academic
institutions, professional engineering organizations and government," OES
Director Richard Andrews said. "This combined effort is necessary to fully
understand ways to achieve safer woodframe building performance during

"This project is a great example of drawing together a number of different
resources to find ways to build disaster-resistant communities.  Everyone
involved in this project shares the goal of reducing or eliminating
long-term risks to people and property from natural disasters," said
Christina Lopez, Federal Coordinating Officer for FEMA.

"In this project, we are concerned with the need to provide adequate
earthquake resistance in new construction and to reduce the risks
associated with existing structures, such as the thousands of
multi-residential wood buildings constructed over poorly braced parking
garages," Project Manager and Caltech Professor John Hall said.

"The woodframe building's earthquake problems have been overlooked and
under-researched," according to Robert Reitherman, Executive Director of
California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREe),
which will direct the project's multi-university tasks.  "Our goal is to
make the engineering more scientific and the construction more efficient."

Research will be conducted at laboratories or by faculty of several
universities in addition to Caltech.  CUREe's other member universities are
Stanford University, University of Southern California, and the University
of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles and San
Diego.   Consulting engineers will also be involved in studies of the
performance of wood buildings. The Structural Engineers Association of
California will advise the project, along with representatives of the
insurance, construction, and wood products industries; building officials;
Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center; and others.

The project has five elements:

1. Testing and Analysis:  Associate Project Manager Prof. Frieder Seible,
UCSD; Assistant Associate Project Manager Prof. Chia-Ming Uang, UCSD.

2. Field Investigations:  Associate Project Manager Prof. G. G. Schierle, USC.

3. Building Codes and Standards:  John Coil, Structural Engineer, Coil &
Welsh; Assistant Associate Project Manager Kelly Cobeen, GFDS Engineers;
Assistant Associate Project Manager James Russell, Codes Consultant.

4. Economic Aspects: L. Thomas Tobin, Tobin Associates.

5. Education and Outreach, Jill Andrews, Southern California Earthquake
Center (SCEC).

The Senior Advisor to the project and the representative of the CUREe Board
of Directors is Gregg Brandow, President, Brandow & Johnston Associates,
Structural Engineers.

Individuals who would like to be kept informed about the CUREe-Caltech
Woodframe Project, including receipt of a project newsletter and
announcements of Requests for Proposals that may be issued, should send the
following information to CUREe.


Mail, fax, or e-mail this information with a request to be put on the
Woodframe mailing list to:

        California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering
        1301 S. 46th Street
        Richmond, CA 94804
        fax:  510-231-5664
        e-mail:  curee(--nospam--at)


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