Department of Veterans Affairs, Seismic Study

Providence, RI

AI performed a seismic evaluation and preliminary strengthening scheme with a cost estimate for the Providence VA Medical Center Building 1. A proper assessment of this hospital building required knowledge of the underlying soil profile at the facility. Existing geotechnical reports for the facility were reviewed. AI performed a building evaluation with a thorough review of record drawings provided by the VA to determine the extent and configuration of the structural system. AI also field-examined existing conditions and conducted a walk-through to examine and obtain photographic documentation of building framing, finishes, and layout. The seismic evaluation was performed using the ASCE 31-03 Standard document, which is the recognized national standard for seismic evaluation of existing. The building was evaluated for the Life Safety. AI created a three-dimensional finite-element analysis model for use in a linear dynamic time history analyses. These analyses assisted in determining the distribution of expected seismic force and displacement from earthquakes. This information was used to determine if in the event of an earthquake the safety of the building structure was reduced. The linear dynamic model was used to determine the buildings expected seismic performance from current code-level earthquake loads. AI performed a concept-level seismic upgrade design with recommendations for possible seismic improvements or mitigation measures to increase the seismic performance of the building to an immediate occupancy performance level. A cost-estimate was prepared to determine an overall rough order of magnitude construction cost for the building based on the seismic upgrade design.


  • Duration: 2013
  • Project Scope:
    • Seismic evaluation
    • Three dimensional finite-element analysis model
    • Linear dynamic time history analyses
    • Seismic upgrade design
    • Cost estimate