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RE: Building structures on roller foundationsw

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I was told (authoritively?) but did not see for myself,  of school buildings
on ball bearing "rollers" in Mexico.  This was when visiting after the '85
'quake.  Apparently there were also heavy draped cables to the sides which
provided the self centering action.  It does not seem to be a base isolating
system that has caught on though.  I have also seen diagrams of buildings on
a tray enclosed sand bed said to have ben used by an ancient civilisation.
Cannot readilt give refernces though.

We use mostly the NZ invented (Bill Robinson)lead rubber bearings.

Bruce Shephard
Principal Consultant (Seismic Risk)
Opus International Consultants Ltd
P O Box 12,003
Majestic Centre, 100 Willis Street, WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND
E-mail: bruce.shephard(--nospam--at)
Telephone: +64 4 4717597 Bus,
           +64 4 5863652 Res.
Facsimile: +64 4 4711397

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Drew A. Norman, S.E. [mailto:DNormanSE(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Wednesday, 11 November 1998 05:42
> To: SEAINT List
> Subject: Re: Building structures on roller foundationsw
> As my colleague Michael gently points out, buildings on rollers
> are an urban
> myth.  It may be that your professor is trying to get you to recognize the
> physical problem, which is that such a structure might simply
> roll away when
> the wind blew (in New York), or the earth moved (in California).  Michael
> steered you towards information on base isolation, but it is possible your
> professor wants a simple answer, e.g., there's no such thing and
> here's why.
> Is he an engineer?  We often have peculiar senses of humor.
> Drew Norman, S.E.
> Drew A. Norman and Associates