San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) January 28, 2014
Sitting virtually astride California's infamous San Andreas Fault – the tectonic boundary between two massive geologic plates, the North American and the Pacific – San Francisco is no stranger to earthquakes. The City by The Bay and its surrounding communities were struck twice during the last century. The first one, in 1906, nearly destroyed the city altogether. During the second major quake, which took place in 1989, San Francisco fared better – but the region still suffered major damage, and recovery took months. Preparing for earthquakes is certainly important – because while the “Big One” (known in geologic terms as a “megathrust” quake) may not happen for another eighty years, it could very well happen tomorrow. With this in mind, when San Francisco General Hospital began planning a new addition utilizing the latest in advanced earthquake-resistant techniques, they chose to use the expertise of the NECA-IBEW team for the job.
The new earthquake-proof addition to San Francisco General Hospital is scheduled to open its doors in June 2015. The new building not only uses the latest concepts in earthquake-proof building design, but is also seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification as a “green,” energy-efficient facility. The building is a world-class example of what can be achieved as architects and engineers have been rethinking the possibilities in advanced earthquake-resistant techniques.
This new hospital’s earthquake-proof design and the role of NECA and the IBEW in its construction are the subject of the most recent video documentary from ElectricTV.net. The video presentation features the contributions made from both the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). In describing the new building’s design, Thom Thorsen of IBEW Local 6 says, “This building...moves after an earthquake.”
How does an entire building move? According to general contractor, an array of 115 “base isolators” - a collection of structural elements that enable a building to move separately from its foundation – will allow the entire building to move two-and-a-half feet in any direction during an earthquake, by employing a system of ball bearings.
Although this is a truly advanced earthquake-resistant design, the concept is far from new. Los Angeles' famous City Hall, built in 1928, has an isolated base and the earliest such design was incorporated into the tomb of King Cyrus the Great of Persia, which was constructed some 2500 years ago (and is still standing in Parsagad, Iran).
Of course, this type of innovation and design comes with a cost. The building's final price tag is projected to be around $1 billion dollars. But it's an investment in earthquake safety that will easily pay for itself in terms of lives saved and property and infrastructure preserved.
You can learn more about San Francisco's new General Hospital and the contributions of IBEW and NECA by viewing the new video online.
ABOUT ETV: Produced by the IBEW and NECA, ElectricTV.net regularly presents short Internet videos that promote the contributions of these labor organizations and help to raise public awareness of the latest training and technologies that benefit society.