NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 4, 2009) – This summer in Japan, LP Building Products will take part in the world's largest shake table test ever attempted to demonstrate the importance of earthquake-resistant construction around the world. The Network for Earthquake Engineering and Simulation (NEES) will test a seven-story, 23-unit condominium tower weighing nearly a million pounds that utilizes LP SolidStart I-Joists and LP SolidStart Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) as the main structural components of the tower floors. The test is intended to help researchers find new design methods for buildings in urban, earthquake-prone areas.
In June, the tower will be lifted onto the world's largest shake table at the Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center in Miki City, Japan. The project, known as the NEESWood Capstone Tests, will simulate a series of earthquakes similar to the 1994 Northridge, Calif., earthquake that killed 72 people and did an estimated $20 billion in damage.
"The outcome of the tests could lead to taller wood-frame buildings in active seismic zones," said John van de Lindt, a Colorado State University civil engineering professor who serves as the principal investigator for the project.
LP will take part in the tests along with Simpson Strong-Tie Company, which makes anchors and tie-downs, and builder Maui Homes, who will construct the condominium tower. The NEESWood Capstone Tests are the result of a collaboration of five universities, including Colorado State University, Texas A&M University, SUNY-Buffalo, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Delaware, and a four-year $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
LP SolidStart I-Joists are available in a range of strength classes, depths and lengths, and are more consistent and dimensionally stable than sawn lumber, making it possible to engineer the structural components of floors with fewer pieces, while saving on overall installation and material costs. LP SolidStart LVL is manufactured from ultrasonically graded veneer to provide a uniform product for maximum strength and dimensional stability, and is available in a range of grades and sizes that provide design flexibility not found with traditional sawn lumber.