Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Environmental Engineering
Nimah Ismail - Howard University
For the past 20 years in Mexico, there have been quite a few earthquakes that have occurred and resulted in the destruction of massive amounts of buildings. Research on the structural stability of buildings in Mexico is really important for the safety of the residents. School buildings and hospitals are the main focus when it comes to getting adequate information for this project. The earthquake standards are easy to abide by when building new structures. However, for already existing structures it is a lot more difficult to fix the problem. The age of the building, the maintenance, and the past damage from seismic waves are all important factors that have to be considered. In addition, when these buildings were being created, a lot of times earthquakes were not being considered in the construction.
Given the difficulty in changing the earthquake standards for existing structures the present study seeks to use ambient vibrations to discover the seismic vulnerability of a structure. In the S.A.V.E.R (Structural Analysis of VulnerabilitiEs of buildings through wiReless sensor networks) Project, sensors are installed in buildings all around Puebla Mexico, including on the campus of UPAEP (The Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla). The use of WSN (Wireless Sensor Networks) has been extremely helpful when it comes to monitoring the health of a building. Compared to the conventional monitoring methods, WSN is more cost effective, wireless, and efficient when it comes to picking up the data. Since it is wireless, the data can be seen in real time and will eventually be able to be accessed by web and a mobile app on a cell phone. Using these sensors, ambient vibrations are picked up by the sensors that are strategically placed in different parts of the building. As the vibrations are picked up in real time, that data is used to analyze the vulnerability of a structure in the case that an earthquake would occur. This research was completed for a high school named Santa Ana in Puebla Mexico, an extension of UPEAP. Using the computer programs, Geopsy, Excel, and SAP2000 v. 14.1, the ambient vibrations data was analyzed. It was concluded that Santa Ana High School seismic vulnerability assessment showed results that the building is structurally sound and in the case of an earthquake it would more than likely survive and not collapse. Further research would include the seismic vulnerability assessment of other schools and hospitals in Mexico.
References: Ismael, Eduardo, J Alberto Herrera, Antonio Herrera, Danya I Mora, Arnold Castillo, and Miguel A Flores. Seismic Vulnerability Assessment Using Ambient Vibrations on Buildings in Central Mexico. Second European Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, 2014. Print.
Peralta, Laura M. Rodríguez, Eduardo Ismael Hernández, Sergio A. Cardeña Moreno, David Martínez Jiménez, and Axel E. Muñoz Guarneros. Towards to a Platform of Monitoring Based in WSN to Estimate the Structural Health of Buildings. Second European Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, 2014. Print.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): UPAEP Research Department
Faculty Advisor: Eduardo Ismael Hernández,