New hospital in San Francisco will rely on 'goo' to ride out following quake

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 1:28 AM

The CA Pacific Medical Center, set to open in two thousand-twentieth close City Hall, will have specially designed walls built to sway during a disastrous earthquake, allowing the facility to stay operational.

New hospital in San Francisco will rely on 'goo' to ride out following quake

The city’s newest hospital will have a unique protection against earthquakes love the one that devastated the city one hundred ten years ago today, or the temblors that rocked Ecuador and Japan in recent days: goo.

The CA Pacific Medical Center, set to open in two thousand-twentieth close City Hall, will have specially designed walls built to sway during a disastrous earthquake, allowing the facility to stay operational. The walls will be injected with shock-absorbing polyisobutylene, a compound developed in Japan and more commonly used to create soccer balls.

"One of the things we wanted to look was, would we burst them, would we crack them? And we couldn't crack them."

- Jay Love, Degenkolb Engineers

"As the one floor moves relative to the other floor in the earthquake, it'south pushing a vein through this viscous material, absorbing the energy of the earthquake," said Jay Love, of Degenkolb Engineers, the firm heading the $2 billion project.

The Grand San Francisco Earthquake and Fire struck on April eighteen, one thousand nine hundred six, killing more than 3.000 people and destroying more than eighty % of the City by the Bay. Even without events love Saturday’s earthquake that killed at least three hundred fifty in Ecuador, San Francisco residents are keenly alert that the following huge one could hit anytime. They can only hope new advances in structural engineering will assistance them survive.

Positioned at intervals throughout the exterior of the 274-bed hospital are one hundred twenty burgundy viscous wall dampers filled with the goo. The thick material was heated and then injected into the steel wall panels.

In the event of an earthquake, the facility will sway gently as the jolt is absorbed in the specially lined walls, declare experts. Engineers at the Univ of CA San Diego subjected the dampers to the equivalent of a 7.9 temblor -- the same size as the one thousand nine hundred six San Francisco earthquake.

"One of the things we wanted to look was, would we burst them, would we break them?” said Love. “And we couldn't break them."

The steel panels passed every test. And with the San Francisco Bay Area overdue for a major quake, seismologists declare advances that create tall buildings safer are critical.

"Anything that can get the energy that's generated from the earthquake and assistance it dissipate without it causing cracking is a excellent thing," said Jennifer Strauss, of UC Berkeley Seismology Lab.

The new medical center, located close the well-known San Andreas fault, is the first building in the U. S. to utilize this "gooey" technology. If they carry out as expected, viscous wall dampers could be the new way to construct tall buildings in earthquake zones.

Claudia Cowan currently serves as Fox News Channel'south (FNC) San Francisco-based correspondent. She joined the network in 1998.

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