Do You Need A Seismic Upgrade?
Bella Wang
York House School
Floor Location : J 056 D

The Cascadia subduction zone stretches from northern Vancouver Island in Canada to Northern California in the United States. This fault has been quite inactive recently, as there have not been many widely felt earthquakes. Scientists have made predictions about when a big quake could happen, but are unsure of an exact date. Therefore, seismic upgrades are necessary for buildings in this area and should be done constantly in large cities such as Vancouver. Many schools are in need of seismic upgrades, yet due to the large sum of money required for this, it will take a long time before every upgrade is complete. York House Junior School houses children in a building that is almost a hundred years old. There were major renovations completed in 1994. Building codes have changed quite a bit in the past 26 years, especially when it comes to seismic upgrades. The purpose of this project is to investigate the safety of the York House School Building in comparison to current building codes and seismic upgrades. Interviews have been conducted with the York House Director of the Junior School and Director of Facilities, as well as the a principal at Shaughnessy Elementary and Kerrisdale Elementary. When comparing these two recently seismically upgraded schools to York House, a few differences were noted. A small change that could potentially increase safety is the securing of shelves, lockers and hanging objects to walls. An experiment was conducted through the creation of a shake table that mimicked the movement of surface waves with a coded rotating servo to test the reliability of three types of bolting: no bolting, securing with two L brackets, and securing using four L brackets. Another difference noticed was the use of shear walls instead of cross-bracing. However, cross-bracing is used to add strength to buildings and is more resistant to tension. So, the same shake table was used to test the stability of the current York House building by adding cross braces to a model structure.