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Contact: Mike Wolterbeek
awolterbeek@unr.edu
University of Nevada, Reno

Successful Seismic Test

Caption: It huffed and puffed, but the 82-ton-force, earthquake-simulation shake table could not knock down the straw house designed and built by University of Nevada, Reno alumna and civil engineer Darcey Donovan. The full-scale, 14-by-14-foot straw house, complete with gravel foundation and clay plaster walls, the way she builds them in Pakistan, was subjected to 200 percent more acceleration/shaking than was recorded at the 1994 Northridge, Calif. earthquake, the largest measured ground acceleration in the world. After a series of seven increasingly forceful tests, in the final powerful test the house shook and swayed violently, cracked at the seams and sent out a small cloud of dust and straw and remained standing.

Credit: Mike Wolterbeek, University of Nevada, Reno

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Related news release: Straw bale house survives violent shaking at earthquake lab


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