The new two-story, 40,000-sf Vacaville Police Station was the first building in the United States to apply 2000 National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) procedures to the design of an essential facility. Miyamoto assessed their needs and determined that Fluid Viscous Dampers, a passive energy dissipation system that controls displacement of the structure during an earthquake, should be used. Located in a highly seismic area, the building is designed to ensure immediate occupancy after a 475-year return earthquake.
The combination of dampers and steel frames provided the structure with maximum earthquake resistance and minimum total cost. The use of 20 dampers rated at up to 100 tons of force in a structure of relatively small size is nearly twice the relative number of dampers normally used in previous design approaches. However, the use of this many dampers greatly reduced the amount of steel needed for the project, yielding the lowest total project cost.
2006 Best Use of New Technology in
Structural Engineers Association of Central California