login-icon Login

Ready to Shake at the NHERI TallWood

Innotech Windows + Doors is getting ready to participate in the world’s largest full-scale seismic resiliency test taking place at the NHERI @ UCSD facility.

In 2020, Innotech joined the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) TallWood Project at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Funded primarily by the National Science Foundation and US Forest Service, the NHERI TallWood Project is an international and interdisciplinary research project to study the seismic resiliency of tall wood buildings that incorporates high-performance structural and non-structural systems.

Designed to support the development of building future seismic resilient cities, the 10-storey NHERI TallWood Project will first validate that the performance of mass timber structures meets the design specifications and then quantify the performance of select non-structural components, including windows and doors. The non-structural components will be reviewed in the context of overall safety, functional recovery and other resiliency objectives.

Seismic resiliency is partly defined as the ability of a building to quickly recover its function after an earthquake. Windows and doors have an important role in seismic resiliency as they contribute greatly to the safety and function of a building. A total failure of the windows and doors would not only make the building unsafe during an earthquake, but it would also make the building unusable until the windows and doors were replaced.

Innotech  is built on a passion for performance and is no stranger to vigorous performance testing. Over the last two decades, Innotech has continually refined its high-performance windows and doors to exceed increasingly high code-based and voluntary building standards, including thermal, air, water, acoustical, structural and overall durability.

“Performance is multi-dimensional. It’s also continuously evolving,” says Troy Imbery, President of Innotech Windows + Doors. “Our primary geographic market is a high-seismic region. The opportunity to learn how our products perform during and after a major earthquake is not only the right thing to do, but also falls in-line with our commitment to manufacturer long-lasting products.”

The durability of building products and the overall building is an important measure of sustainability. “A true measure of durability is not simply whether a home or building still exists in 20, 40 or even 80 years,” continues Imbery. “Durability is whether the home or building successfully maintains the level of performance it was designed to achieve at the time that it was built.”

Innotech manufactured windows and doors for twelve of the openings in the NHERI TallWood Project. The twelve windows and doors include different product designs, including size and combination units, with a range of coupling, glazing and installation options. The objective is not only to learn how the overall window or door performs during a simulated earthquake, but also to investigate whether various fenestration components and details impact performance.

The first shake of the NHERI TallWood Project is tentatively scheduled to take place in April and will begin a four-week testing program. For more information on the NHERI TallWood Project, visit http://nheritallwood.mines.edu/ or watch the live feed https://nheri.ucsd.edu/live-cams/.


LEVER Architecture – NHERI Project, Part 2
Coughlin Porter Lundeen – Exploring Mass Timber: A Global Research Project with the NHERI TallWood Project
Woodworking Network – ‘Earthquake’ to hit 10-story mass timber structure this summer

Architectural rendering courtesy of LEVER Architecture.