Model hospital tested during fake quake
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April 19, 2012
Structural engineers at the University of California San Diego shook an 80-foot-high model hospital as part of a $5 million experiment on Tuesday, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Scientists, engineer and earthquake safety experts built a model hospital, complete with elevators, stairs, overhead lights, medical equipment, ceiling tiles, computer monitors, a surgery suite, an intensive care unit, heating, air conditioning, functional sprinklers, computer servers, laboratory equipment, working oxygen lines, and electrical wiring so it could be tested on a large shake table to simulate an earthquake. The model hospital is equipped with sensors and cameras to assess damage.
Part of the experiment was to test the ability of base isolators to minimize shaking, especially on higher floors. Next week, they will test the hospital without base isolators, which proved on Tuesday's test to work quite well, minimizing damage to medical equipment, lines, and limit falling debris.