Safety

San Francisco hospital rebuilt to withstand major earthquake

Hospital Safety Insider, August 28, 2014

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The new trauma center at San Francisco General Hospital—scheduled to open in December 2015—will be the first in the city to have what is being called a base-isolated foundation, capable of withstanding a monster 8.0-magnitude earthquake, according to a report in The Examiner.

Instead of being on a foundation placed directly into the ground, the hospital will sit in a bathtub-type foundation that is 40 feet deep on one end and 25 feet deep on the other. Rolling disks between the building and foundation will allow it to glide 30 inches in any direction during an earthquake, the report said.

In addition, the glass in the building is designed to slide in its tracks, minimizing the amount that could break in an earthquake. Underground emergency water tanks store 50,000 gallons of water and have the capacity to hold an additional 50,000 gallons of wastewater. Emergency generators will also supply about 50 percent of power to the building, including for its critical systems and trauma services, the report said.

The facility is located about 6 miles from the San Andreas fault and experts predict there is a 62 percent probability a magnitude-6.7 earthquake or greater will hit the Bay Area by 2032, the report said.

 



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