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Re: Seismic Design

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For me, the difference is that buildings in seismic
country have to be able to move.  Even if the building
is "governed" by wind.  The word "mechanism" seems
appropriate.

Many differences aren't all that hard to see.  No
mater how big the wind force in a non-seismic area,
you won't see dampers, base isolation sliders, cables
that attach overpass beams to piers so that the beams
won't fall off the piers.  In steel frames, you won't
see reduced beam section connections, gusset plate
geometry that lets the plate bend without tearing. 
You won't see any EBF (eccentrically braced frames)
that are meant to go plastic and move in fairly
predictable ways.  You won't see ductile concrete with
spirals with a 2" pitch, or heavy boundary elements on
concrete shear walls, all designed to let them move
and crack without coming down.  And this is just the
stuff you can see without a calculator which would
highlight things like connections and certain critical
structural components.

Inside buildings in seismic areas you see water
heaters, shelves, etc. strapped to walls, cupboard
doors with special latches.

My two cents.

MJ


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