Johns Hopkins researchers conduct earthquake shake table tests

A team led by Johns Hopkins researchers conducted final tests today to see how a Southern California earthquake could impact a two-story office building made of cold-formed steel.

Inside a lab at the University at Buffalo in New York, two massive shake tables reproduced the strongest seismic forces recorded during the catastrophic Northridge earthquake in 1994. Trials included four low-level tests, each lasting 90 seconds, and one "big test" that lasted about 30 seconds.

Researchers expect the tests should show how well buildings constructed of cold-formed steel will withstand earthquake forces. Results should lead to improved nationwide building codes that will guide the design of future cold-formed steel buildings and lead to lower construction costs.