Nonbuilding Structures and Nonstructural Components

Single Abstract

343081 - Seismically-Resilient Stair Systems for Buildings

Friday, April 20
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: 201C

There is an increasing understanding that structures and communities need to be resilient. For structures in seismically active areas, resiliency is often assumed to be synonymous with earthquake resistance. It is well understood that building codes have been written in an attempt to safeguard lives by limiting collapse risk but not necessarily to protect the structure from sustaining considerable damage during an earthquake or ensuring safe egress for the inhabitants. Safe egress in and out of buildings is a matter of life safety and is essential before, during, and after a seismic event. Stairs are a key factor in safe egress and based on several earthquake evaluations and testing reports, it is clear that there are significant vulnerabilities in these areas. Published test reports revealed that “safe egress from the building was compromised even when the associated drift demands were much lower than the design performance target of the building.

The ability of a building - and the stairs within - to accommodate movement is a critical component of its overall resilience and is required to ensure safe egress for occupants and ingress for emergency personnel. This paper presents engineered solutions for seismically resilient stairs that have been developed and tested over the last few years. Full-scale shake table testing of several different stair configurations has been conducted and shown to perform well. The paper will discuss the results from testing as well as the types of building movement that can be expected and the relevant design considerations and solutions that may be integrated to limit damage and provide safe egress after significant events.

Cameron Black

Seismic Isolation Engineering, Inc.

Dr. Black obtained his Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley and has over twelve years of professional consulting experience with Seismic Isolation Engineering, Inc. specializing in advanced earthquake mitigation techniques. His expertise includes an in-depth knowledge of dynamics,structural analysis, modelling and design with emphasis on seismic isolation and energy dissipation devices, seismically resilient stairs and buckling-restrained braces. Dr. Black has over 45 publications and as a recognized leader in advanced protective systems technology, he is the chair of the Structural Engineers Association of California’s Protective Systems Subcommittee and recently a member of ASCE 7-16 Technical Committee 12, updating Chapter 18 Seismic Design Requirements for Structures with Damping of ASCE 7. In 2016, Dr. Black lead a large-scale shake table testing program to investigate the performance of stairs in seismic events.


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Robert Belvin

Senior Product Development Engineer
Construction Specialties


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Kevin Smith

Engineering Manager
Construction Specialties

Kevin Smith, PE, CWI, Engineering Manager, Construction Specialties, Inc. holds a bachelors degree in civil engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a masters degree in civil engineering from Kansas State University. He is licensed in 5 states including California and has been working in the engineering profession for 15 years. Part of that time was spent engineering structural steel connections and another part spent designing and engineering expansion joint cover solutions. In his current role, Kevin manages an engineering team that is dedicated to designing, developing, and supporting projects needing expansion joint cover solutions to accommodate all types of movement (thermal, settlement, wind sway and seismic) and manages the new product development of new solutions. He also establishes and oversees the testing and verification of the larger seismic products. Mr. Smith has been a pivotal element to providing solutions for projects like Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Apple Campus, Wilshire Grand, Salesforce Tower, Transbay Terminal, Loma Linda Hospital, Stanford Hospital, and the Los Angeles Stadium.


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Ian Aiken

Seismic Isolation Engineering, Inc.

Ian Aiken is a Principal with Seismic Isolation Engineering, Inc., in Berkeley, California, and has nearly 30 years of experience in earthquake, structural and civil engineering. His particular areas of expertise are seismic isolation and passive energy dissipation for seismic structural control, and the use of nonlinear analysis methods for structural analysis. He has published more than 100 technical papers, reports and articles.
Dr. Aiken has been a consultant on more than 60 seismic isolation and energy dissipation projects, including many notable building, bridge and
industrial structures worldwide. Dr. Aiken has been a Director of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, and a member of state and national committees on isolation and energy dissipation, including FEMA-BSSC for the NEHRP national provisions, SEAOC, AASHTO and ASCE committees.


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343081 - Seismically-Resilient Stair Systems for Buildings

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