The Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center suffered significant structural damage to its Hospital Tower as a result of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Following completion of a FEMA-sponsored detailed assessment of the damage, a plan was developed for the reconstruction of a state-of-the-art replacement building.
The project consisted of phased construction of a new hospital (northern wing, central wing, and southwestern wing), a new central plant, and a new Orthopedic Hospital Institute. This included the phased demolition of all existing structures with the exception of the Merle Norman Pavilion (located in the southeastern corner of the site) and some of the subterranean parking level of the office building at the northwestern corner of the site.
During the design Converse prepared a geological map and three-dimensional fault source model, characterizing soil conditions in the upper 100 feet beneath the site. This involved drilling borings from approximately 50 to 101 feet below existing ground surface to gather samples and determine the subsurface conditions as the site.
We also performed an extensive geologic and seismic hazards investigation, including a review of maps and reports for the region; preparation of a geologic map and a a three-dimensional fault source model; characterization of soil conditions in the upper 100 feet beneath the site; performing a probabilistic seismic hazard analysis, and estimating elastic response spectra and secondary effects of seismicity.
A detailed Fault Hazard Investigation was conducted to evaluate the reported fault trace of the South Branch of the Santa Monica fault. The investigation included a surface seismic refraction and reflection survey, drilling of borings and the collection of continuous core samples, and construction of four groundwater monitoring wells. The site is not within a currently designated Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone. However, the hospital is close to several fault zones.
A series of comprehensive reports was used in the design of the new medical center. During construction we provided geotechnical observation and testing to ensure compliance with the contract documents.
For more information about this project, contact Mark Schluter, Senior Geologist, at 626-930-1200 or mschluter @converseconsultants.com
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