The Earthquake Engineering Research Facility (EERF) is a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the study of the behaviour of structures under the influence of the forces involved in seismic events. There is a working lab space of 490 m2 along with a control room and work area consisting of 42 m2. There is a large conference room (30 m2) with video conferencing capability and an open office area of about 20 m2 on a mezzanine level. There is also an office area in the basement that occupies about 30 m2. The rest of the basement houses the hydraulic system used to power the equipment in the lab.
It has a high ceiling (approximately 15 m in height) and has a control room from which all of the equipment is visible. The area is totally open for ease of testing and moving of materials. It is equipped with a 20 ton overhead crane that can move in both the east-west and north-south direction.
There are two main pieces of equipment used to do this:
- The Linear Shake Table (LST): this device consists of a steel platform to which test articles are affixed and that is moved in one direction by use of an actuator. The motion of hte actuator is digitally controlled.
- The Multiple Axis Shake Table (MAST): this device consists of a steel table 4 m x 4 m to which test articles are affixed and that can be moved in six degrees of motion by use of seven independently-controlled actuators. The control system for this piece of equipment has two levels. The lower level control system is designed in house and controls the movement of each of the individual actuators. The higher level controller is a commercially produced piece of software from Spectral Dynamics called Jaguar and it controls the overall motion that dictates the positioning of all of the actuators.
There are no teaching lab activities in this lab as it is a research lab.
The EERF equipment also includes several digital systems for field vibration testing of structures. Those include accelerometers, computer hardware, and in-house developed computer software to analyze data in a very fast and reliable manner.