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Many building and non-building structures have a structural system selected solely on the basis of the architect’s or the Structural Engineer-of-Record’s (SER) personal preferences. Those preferences are determined by past experiences and hence a sense of “comfort” with a particular structural system. Unfamiliarity with other systems, their potential and limitations, also plays a role in SER’s preferences. One such system that is frequently overlooked by the SER community is precast concrete (PC). Not only can it meet the construction market’s ever-increasing demands for faster schedules, less expensive products, and reduced field labor, it can do so in a creative and innovative way.
At 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred near the east coast of Honshu, the main island of Japan. 1 This earthquake, known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, caused strong ground shaking throughout much of eastern Honshu and triggered tsunami waves that caused widespread damage at many locations along the northeast coast of Japan.
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