This Small Grant for Exploratory Research (SGER) proposal is requesting funding to support the development of collaborative linkages with the E-Defense large shake table facility being constructed in Japan. The SGER grant also will support the development of a full proposal to NSF through the NEESR (Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation / Research Phase) program. The dual objectives of this larger proposal will be (1) to partially tie the large shake table facility in Japan into the NEES grid, and (2) address the seismic performance of woodframe structures in the overall NEES framework. Wood structures are the most common structures in the United States, comprising more than 80% of the building inventory. They further represent the largest segment of the inventory at regions of the highest seismic risk. Wood will remain a widely used building material for low-rise structures, in both dimension lumber form and new wood-based materials. The performance of woodframe structures in the Northridge earthquake further underscored the need for improved methods for (a) assessing the vulnerability of the existing building stock, and (b) design of new structures to better withstand earthquakes with acceptably small amounts of damage to both structural and nonstructural elements.

The funds requested for this SGER grant will primarily be used to (1) travel to Japan to further develop collaborative testing plans, (2) travel to 2-3 NEES facility sites (and possibly the University of British Columbia, Canada) to identify suitable assembly testing facilities, (3) travel to Washington, DC to meet with the cognizant NSF personnel. A small amount of support costs also will be requested. If possible, and if deemed to be appropriate, the PI.s will schedule their visit to Japan to coincide with the .2003 Pan-Pacific Symposium for Earthquake Engineering Collaboration. being held by Japan.s National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) Sept. 30 - Oct. 3.

It is anticipated that 2-3 additional researchers from the US as well as collaborating researchers from New Zealand (Bruce Deam, University of Canterbury), Canada (Frank Lam, University of British Columbia), Italy (Ario Ceccotti, University of Florence), will join this project and be part of the larger proposal to NSF. The lead investigators from Japan will be Dr. Chikahiro Minowa (NIED) and Professor Isao Sakamoto (University of Tokyo). Although the project will involve five countries the NEESR proposal will be written so that the US-Japan collaboration is self-contained. It is anticipated that the collaborating researchers will apply for funding from their countries. Thus, the success of the US-Japanese collaboration will not be dependent on their ability to secure funding to support their activities. The international collaborative effort will be led by the PI.s of this proposal (van de Lindt and Rosowsky).

The intellectual merit of the proposed SGER project is in the development of a collaborative research program between NEES and E-Defense in Japan. The broad objective of this collaboration, which will be fully developed in the anticipated NEESR proposal at the end of this year, is the development of system-level performance information necessary to more fully develop performance-based seismic design procedures for woodframe structures. The proposed SGER project will have a broader impact on both the scientific community and society at large. The earthquake engineering community will benefit from having the E-Defense shake table tied into the NEES grid. This linkage will provide six-DOF system level knowledge for researchers, thus allowing critical understanding of the relationship between assembly damage and damage at the system level. The broader impact for society will be the development of more effective seismic design codes and a building inventory that is less susceptible to earthquake damage under moderate events.

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Michigan Technological University
United States
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