Nonstructural Loss Estimation: The UC Berkeley Case Study, PEER Report 2002-01


Compared to structural systems, there is little basic research on the performance of nonstructural systems and building contents, and little empirical data on damage to specific systems, from past earthquakes. This report describes approaches to nonstructural hazards mitigation at the University of California, Berkeley, and focuses on design and cost estimates for anchoring the contents of laboratories. Research equipment is grouped into five categories: (1) tanks and cylinders, (2) unique equipment and experimental setups, (3) heavy equipment, (4) storage elements, and (5) benchtop items. Illustrative anchorage details are based on a combination of commonly available products and engineered standard details. The details serve as a basis for estimating the cost of installation in five prototypical university laboratories including two from biological science, and one laboratory each from computer science, chemistry, and physics. The direct costs for anchoring the contents in these laboratories ranged from $10 to $16 per square foot. Additional anchoring for ceiling systems, and mechanical, electrical, and fire suppression systems could add $1 to $6 per square foot, depending on existing building conditions. To answer whether or not the anchoring of laboratory contents is a worthwhile expenditure will depend on the impact of such anchoring on building downtime together with dollar losses avoided.

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Mary C. Comerio
John C. Stallmeyer
Publication date: 
April 1, 2002
Publication type: 
Technical Report
Comerio, M. C., & Stallmeyer, J. C. (2002). Nonstructural Loss Estimation: The UC Berkeley Case Study, PEER Report 2002-01. Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA.