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RE: Building structures on roller foundationsw

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    I´ve seen pictures of the school buildings you mentioned, Bruce and they
existed.  What I can´t say for sure is how they behaved in 86.  As far as I
remember I was shown that picture by Dr. James Kelly from Berkeley.
    About the sand-bed, I think that it was used by the Chinese.
    By the way, Russians had some other kind of base isolation stuff that
consisted in mounting the building over egg-shaped balls that brought the
building back to its position after the ground shaked.
    Those were my 2 cents.  And now a question: I want to know the
tendencies in NZ about base isolated structures.  I mean there was developed
the most used BI system (lead-rubber), but all the time I hear about
buildings being isolated in Japan and the States and never in NZ.  The
question is: are you effectively isolating buildings?

Rodrigo Lema

-----Mensaje original-----
De: Bruce Shephard <bruce.shephard(--nospam--at)>
Para: seaint(--nospam--at) <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Fecha: martes 10 de noviembre de 1998 17:47
Asunto: RE: Building structures on roller foundationsw

>I was told (authoritively?) but did not see for myself,  of school
>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
>system that has caught on though.  I have also seen diagrams of buildings
>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
>> 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
>> 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