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Sydney Cayas

Mr. Ambrose


20, March 2017

Building Redesign

In redesigning a building for earthquake safety, the customer needs were an important

aspect to consider while collecting data. They needed a scale model to test a design in order to

show that the building is safe to recommend a final design. One of the perspective needs of a

current resident representative in a an interview statement said they needed to know if the

building can carry extra weight. The resident already knows there wasn't any damage but it

definitely wasn't safe to be in. Therefore, they want the new building to withstand weather

conditions and the shakiness. The owner of the building and land wants to tear it down and make

a new one offered to pay the residents to live somewhere while under construction. Also, the

engineering firm manager needs to know the cost per beam, stimulator specifics, and government

policies within the next six weeks or he looses his contract. Finally, the city government council

wants to know the building codes and number of residents so they can make the new building

earthquake resistant.

My team researched the qualities, expenses, impacts, and data. We concluded that the

design must take six weeks to make, be stable, and withstand dangerous conditions. It shouldn't

fall apart or be too expensive. If the building isn't safe, it can have short and long lasting impacts.

For example, a social short term impact of an earthquake can scare people, but a long lasting

impact includes injuries and families being destroyed. Also, the sales in earthquake insurance
and equipments will go up as a result of an economic impact. The possible gas and radiation

leaks, building damages, and water being contaminated from an earthquake is a huge

environmental impact.

As a team, we all took these problems into consideration while we redesigned a new

building. At first, we weren't going to use cross bracing, but we decided it will help keep it stable

while increasing the building's capacity. So we used the cross bracing by alternating on every

other level: front, back, left, and right diagonally. We also decided to use the tuned mass damper

because it prevents discomfort, damage, and structure failure. It also reduces amplitude of

mechanical vibrations which helps the building not shake as much. We also used a triangular top

so that snow or dirt will slide off the roof. We tested the taller tower with the excelorameter to

see how much it shakes. Then, we loaded washers on each level to give the to give the tower

weight. One trial was tested without the roof-load and the other trial was tested with the roof-


At first, our data for the seismic spectra graph was incorrect because we were rushing and

it appeared as a rigged circle. When we fixed our data, the line on the graph showed an increase

then decrease of the seismic spectra for baseline cases. All in all, our graph in the end turned out

accurate. By using a model building, we were able to test the design such as the frequency and

peak point which was an advantage. If something went wrong in the experiment, we were able to

fix the model. Some disadvantages of using a model is that the data isn't always accurate and it

would be a waste of materials. Testing an actual building will include many risks and it's very

time consuming. We decided to use cross bracing, triangular truss roof, and a tuned mass damper.

Some strengths in our design is that the cross bracing will keep the building stable, and the
triangular truss roof will keep the snow and dirt from staying up there. Our tuned mass damper is

a weakness in the design because when the building shakes, it sways back and forth vigorously.

The price limit is less than $700k, be 12 stories tall, and have three types of beams. We took this

into consideration as we built the model, and designed it according to the qualifications.

In this team activity, I helped attached the tuned mass damper inside the center of the

triangular truss roof. I also had to measure the width and height of the levels for the building and

helped glue the design together. We all worked well together because we listened to each others

ideas and solutions. By splitting up the work load among members, it helped us get the model

done faster and efficiently. When our team finished our parts in the design, we came together in

the end to attach it and test if it works. For a greater team unity and productivity, we should pay

attention to key points and identify the problems immediately if there is any. Our overall team

dynamic was positive because we were able to define roles and responsibilities while having

great communication skills with one another.