New Quakes

A report from the U.S. Geological Survey on the probability of earthquakes in 2016 has been getting some press. In one sense that’s surprising, because USGS documents tend to be a bit dry and technical for the average reader; on the other hand this one contains the fascinating information that the risk of human-induced earthquakes in some parts …

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Historic Structural Detail: Heavy Metal

This: is a box girder consisting of two I-beams and two plates, all riveted together. It’s at the next-to-top floor of an old mansion, where there is a small terrace at the front because the top floor is set back several feet. The girder is below the set-back facade; the steel beams supporting brick vaults …

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Failure Portrait: Crushing

Our daily work covers a number of structural materials – starting with steel, concrete, brick, and wood – and there’s a tendency to put structures in little mental boxes based on material. “Wood, therefore the loads are small” is bad logic, but it represents a lot of ordinary work. We most often see wood as floor …

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