Nonstructural Components and Systems
Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) that supply essential electrical and mechanical systems for critical building applications are multinational equipment suppliers. This necessitates that the OEM’s product development strategy considers earthquake demands from a global perspective. The goal is to develop a single product offer that simultaneously conforms with global seismic requirements. This paper outlines a systematic approach to mechanical and electrical equipment qualification that can be applied to satisfy the earthquake demands specified in country or region-specific building codes and seismic design standards. The process includes three steps: (1) global earthquake demands, (2) nonstructural product line capacity and (3) seismic conformance validation. The focus in this paper is on electrical equipment applications.
Step One is a global survey of countries that have well-defined building codes. Specifically, the survey needs to identify building codes that provide a design-level earthquake response spectrum provision and associated earthquake hazard maps. Hazard maps provide the ability to use geo-coding services to relate building construction site location to a required response spectrum. Building floor spectrum transformations are next used to modify the ground-level design spectrum to account for building amplification. The result is a set of country or region-specific earthquake floor spectra demands that are associated with geographic locations. For countries and regions that do not have well defined building construction requirements, global earthquake hazard data can be used (e.g. GSHAP, GEM, or USGS Global Hazard data).
Step Two involves equipment testing to establish a product line’s seismic withstand capacity. The goal is to test product samples that represent the least earthquake resistant product configurations while considering both structural design and active operation perspectives. Test programs are contrived such that testing a minimum number of test units results in qualifying the maximum number of product line configurations. Test programs need to consider all unique testing requirements that might be prescribed in codes and design standards identified in Step One. Testing is conducted to establish the product line’s maximum limit state for earthquake resistance.
Step Three is a validation process to ensure that equipment capacity exceeds the earthquake demand for a given equipment order. When the demand requirements and product line capacities are organized within a unified web tool, validation can proceed in real time using automated methods. Global equipment orders can be serviced by the generation of site-specific seismic conformance certificates tailored to address the applicable codes at the location of equipment installation.