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WE’LL HELP YOU WITH THE HEADACHE.
A new seismic-resistant, fibre-reinforced concrete developed at the
University of B.C. will see its first real-life application this fall as part of the
seismic retrofit of a Vancouver elementary school.
The material is engineered at the
molecular scale to be strong, malleable,
Researchers subjected the material,
called eco-friendly ductile cementitious
composite (EDCC), to earthquake simu-
lation tests using intensities as high as
the magnitude 9 earthquake that struck
Tohoku, Japan, in 2011.
“We sprayed a number of walls with
a 10-mm-thick layer of EDCC, which is
sufficient to reinforce most interior walls
against seismic shocks,” says Salman
Soleimani-Dashtaki, a PhD candidate
in the department of civil engineering
at UBC. “Then we subjected them to
Tohoku-level quakes and other types
and intensities of earthquakes – and we
couldn’t break them.”
EDCC has been added as an official
retrofit option in B.C.’s seismic retrofit
program, and the team will be working
with contractors in the next couple of
months to upgrade Dr. Annie B. Jamie-
son Elementary School in Vancouver.
“This UBC-developed technology has
far-reaching impact and could save the
lives of not only British Columbians,
but citizens throughout the world,” said
Advanced Education, Skills and Training
Minister Melanie Mark. “The earthquake-resistant concrete is a great example of
how applied research at our public universities is developing the next generation of agents of change. The innovation
and entrepreneurship being advanced at
all of our post-secondary institutions is
leading to cutting-edge technologies and
helping to create a dynamic, modern B.C.
economy that benefits all of us.”
EDCC combines cement with polymer-based fibres, fly ash and other industrial
additives, making it highly sustainable,
according to UBC civil engineering professor Nemy Banthia, who supervised
“By replacing nearly 70% of cement
with fly ash, an industrial byproduct, we
can reduce the amount of cement used,”
said Banthia. “This is quite an urgent
requirement as one tonne of cement
production releases almost a tonne of
Mixing the seismic-resistant concrete.
Soleimani-Dashtaki does a
close-up inspection of the EDCC-
reinforced wall after the tests.
The EDCC-reinforced wall after the