Objectives | Competition Details | Ground Motions | Registration
This Seismic Design Competition for Undergraduates in Civil and Structural Engineering is being made possible through support from the
Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) and the volunteer efforts of the Student Leadership Council (SLC). PEER's mission is to
develop and disseminate performance-based earthquake engineering. Nine universities on the west coast are associated with PEER, they include: UC
Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, UC Irvine, UCSD, Caltech, Stanford, USC and University of Washington.
Graduate student representation and input is provided to PEER via the Student Leadership Council. This group consists of over
20 students at the PhD or Masters level, a majority of which conduct PEER research and volunteer to serve on the SLC.
SLC members have been working on the competition rules and debugging the technical issues for almost one year. To add to the
challenge, the SLC has assembled this competition despite being hundreds of miles apart. Patxi Uriz (Past SLC President, UCB), Lijuan Cheng
(Seismic Competition Chair, UCSD), Michael Gebman (Current SLC President), Dongdong Chang (UCD), Martin Walker (UCD) and Scott Brandenberg (UCD)
are to be thanked for taking an ambitious idea and making it into a reality.
Good luck to competing teams!
The objectives of this first Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition sponsored by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center
- To provide civil engineering undergraduate students an opportunity to do a hands on project and gain practical experience by designing and
fabricating a cost effective frame structure, which will withstand severe earthquake simulation.
- To build the awareness of the versatile activities at PEER among the civil engineering students and faculty at the core universities as well
as the general public in order to encourage national-wide participation.
- To increase the attentiveness of the value and benefit of the Student Leadership Council (SLC) representatives and officers among the core
universities for the recruitment and development of SLC, which is a key liaison between PEER students and the PEER center.
The competition will be held on Wednesday, May 12th, 2004 at PEER Headquarters, Richmond Field Station (RFS). Competition will be
held in conjunction with the PEER Annual NSF Site Visit.
1301 S. 46th Street
UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station
Richmond, California, 94804
Rules for the 2004 Seismic Design Competition: rules.pdf
Promotional Flyer for the Competition: flyer.pdf
To view PDF files you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available for free from this link.
Your team has been hired to design and construct a multi-story office building. To verify the design and construction concepts, a scaled model
must be constructed from balsa wood and will be tested under severe earthquake simulation. Structures shall be constructed at a scale of 12 ft
(floor height in actual building) = 2 in (floor height in model). A unidirectional earthquake shake table, with dimensions of 18 in by 18 in and
a capacity of 50 lb, will be used for structure testing. Structures should withstand ground motion simulation from the 1940 El Centro, 1994
Northridge and 1995 Kobe earthquakes.
Aftermath of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, (1/17/94) in Santa Monica, CA. First level was constructed of
unreinforced masonry in the 1930's. A second level, of wood frame construction, was added in 1988. This residence was demolished one week after
the earthquake, due to potential for collapse onto neighboring properties.
Seismic performance of the designated structure will be evaluated by monitoring the acceleration and the relative displacement, at the roof
level, of the structure during testing. A structure that has minimum acceleration and maximum displacement (at the roof level) will be assessed
to have the best seismic performance.
Structures will be tested with scaled earthquake ground motions, for the three seismic events previously mentioned. Ground motions will be
available online from this website: Ground Motions.
Model dimension details are as specified:
|Number of floors:||15 levels, including lobby level
|Building Plan Dimensions:||18 in x 18 in||Note: no level in the model can exceed this building
|Floor height:||2 in for levels 2 through 15
|Lobby level height (1st level):||4 in for first level
|Model height:||32 in
|Diaphragms (floors):||Actual floors need not be constructed, beam members are adequate
City redevelopment ordinances require your structure to meet the following requirements:
Setback of 15% of the first floor area is required for levels 6 to 12.
Setback of 25% of the first floor area is required for levels 13, 14 and 15.
Each structure will be scored on the following: seismic performance, economics, construction cost, architecture, and workmanship (see rules).
The ground motions can be downloaded as a .zip file:
The ground motions to be used for the competition will be scaled versions of the Kobe, El Centro, and Northridge earthquakes.
The zip file includes the ground motions for the three records in ASCII format, and the response spectra for 5% damping. If you have problems
downloading this data, please contact email@example.com.
One competing team from each PEER Core Institution or Affiliate Institution will be eligible for financial support from PEER. This support
will help cover expenses associated with transportation and model construction (please note that teams will need to do some fundraising or obtain
support from their university/department). Teams will need to save all receipts, as they will be required for reimbursement. Teams from
universities not associated or affiliated with PEER are welcome to compete, however, PEER will not be able to provide financial support.
- PEER Core Institutions:
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of California, Davis
- University of California, Irvine
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of California, San Diego
- California Institute of Technology
- Stanford University
- University of Southern California
- University of Washington
- PEER Affiliate Institutions:
- Oregon State University
- University of Hawaii
- California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
See Competition Rules for registration details. Teams need to be registered with the PEER SLC by March 1st, 2004. Registration can be
submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A list of competing teams will be posted here and updated as registrations are submitted.
For more information on the seismic competition, please e-mail email@example.com.