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FEMA E-74 Chapter 2. Behavior of Nonstructural Components

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Chapter 2. Behavior of Nonstructural Components

Effective seismic risk reduction strategies for nonstructural component damage begins by clearly understanding the scope and nature of nonstructural components in buildings, their behavior in earthquakes, and the consequences of damage. This chapter will address the following key questions:

  • What are nonstructural components?
  • What are the primary causes of damage to nonstructural components during earthquakes?
  • What is the significance of nonstructural component damage?
  • Which nonstructural components are most vulnerable in an earthquake?
  • What are the consequences of damage to nonstructural components?

General Interest Sidebar

A picture is worth a thousand words. The Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center in Japan has posted video footage of shake table testing of nonstructural components during a simulated earthquake. Two of these video clips speak volumes about the hazards of nonstructural components during an earthquake. The video clips focus on the behavior of furniture, contents, and some architectural components.

Screenshot of a video showing shaking table test on room contents
Figure 2-1 Result of shaking table test on room contents (from January 2008 test)

Select one of the following videos:

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Last Updated: 
04/17/2013 - 13:02