Seismic resistant structures become all the more important when dealing with expensive, sensitive scientific equipment. The Lawrence Berkeley Lab in California recently hired Porta-King to construct a modular office for their Cyclotron control room.
Seismic Activity on California’s Hayward Fault
The Lawrence Berkeley Cyclotron Lab is built on the Hayward Fault Line. This is the same fault line that caused an earthquake so strong it leveled much of the San Francisco Bay Area in 1906. In fact, the University of California Berkeley campus suffered several devastating earthquakes from a magnitude 3.0 to 4.0 in 2011.
To account for this environment, Porta-King equipped this Berkeley modular office with specially designed shear panels. These panels ensure that all structural components—or those components that support the modular office—are not damaged during a serious earthquake.
Protecting Personnel During Simulations & Experiments
Safe and dependable structures in Berkeley’s Cyclotron Lab were all the more important due to its unstable geographic location. However, Porta-King also worked with the UC Berkeley staff to ensure personnel would stay safe while carrying out experiments. In practice, the Cyclotron simulates a space environment by manipulating protons, ions, and other energy particles in the lab.
To accommodate Berkeley scientists during their experiments, Porta-King built this modular office on top of a concrete foundation that served as a barrier from any dangerous scientific reactions. These 4 foot by 4 foot concrete blocks shield employees from the various activity that takes place in the Cyclotron Lab.
Cyclotron Modular Office Expansion Coming Soon
As the need for space increases, Berkeley has seen fit to expand Porta-King’s original modular office. Luckily, modular structures are easy to redesign and expand while still maintaining their seismic-resistant capabilities.