ZFA Publications, Awards & Patents

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Earthquake Strengthening of Cripple Walls in Wood-Frame Dwellings

SEAOC 2016 Excellence in Engineering Award of Merit SEAONC 2016 Excellence in Engineering Award of Merit In response to the August 2014 earthquake in South Napa, California, FEMA reached out to ZFA and ATC to co-author a prescriptive guide for seismic preparedness. Homeowners and contractors can use the plan set to mitigate cripple wall vulnerabilities before an […]

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RAMMED Earth-Durability Review

While rammed earth is historically a very old building material, there has been a resurgence of this wall construction technique over the past 30 years in modern rural communities of California, particularly as a part of the sustainable construction movement. ZFA was involved in the development of early analysis and design techniques and contributed to […]

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Core Testing Requirements for Seismic Evaluation of Existing Structures

This journal article, co-authored by Mark Moore, SE, provides guidance and background information on concrete material testing requirements for the seismic assessment of existing buildings. The paper seeks to determine the right balance between scope of testing and providing sufficient reliability for engineers to perform an accurate analysis and develop an effective seismic retrofit design. […]

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Influence of Physical Modeling on Adoption of Rocking Foundations in Practice

Historically, structures have survived earthquakes through an inherent foundation rocking mechanism –uplift and/or sliding. Rocking structures can be self-centering and, more importantly, reduce the forces that the structure is subjected to during an earthquake. Simply put, foundation rocking is a form of base isolation that has proven to protect buildings from earthquakes. This paper, co-authored […]

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Acceptance Criteria and Product Evaluation Reports

Our industry needs third party regulation for new and innovative structural engineering products that are developed in between building code cycles. In this paper, which was originally presented at the 2011 SEAOC Convention, Mark Moore, Executive Principal and others suggest that we can expedite inclusion of new technology into the market place with independent third […]

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Update to ASCE/SEI 41 Concrete

Mark Moore, Executive Principal, was one of the primary authors who collaborated with others to write the update to the ASCE/SEI 41-06 concrete provisions. The national standard for the seismic retrofit of existing buildings was known to be too conservative in some areas and sorely required an update based on analytical and experimental data. These […]

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Seismic Design and Review of New Tall Buildings using Non-Prescriptive Seismic-Design Procedures

Requirements and Guidelines for the Seismic Design and Review of New Tall Buildings using Non-Prescriptive Seismic-Design Procedures was prepared by a specially convened volunteer task group of the SEAONC – Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, including ZFA’s Mark Moore, Executive Principal. The objective of the task group was to provide recommendations to the San […]

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Integrated Project Delivery

New technology, combined with a tougher economy, is yielding new project delivery models for today’s construction industry. One such model is Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). As most of you know, the traditional Design-Bid-Build (DBB) method that has been used for years requires an architectural consulting team to develop the project documents for the owner, after […]

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Looking back on 2010 was educational

Thousands of children and adults walked into brand new or beautifully renovated schools in 2010 that were structurally designed by ZFA. Enjoying ribbon-cutting ceremonies, squeals of delight, and smiling faces, ZFA celebrated the opening of more than 15 education projects blanketing Northern California. The cornerstone of ZFA’s 35-year practice, education facilities account for more than […]

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Resiliency is the key to recovery

The damage occurs in a matter of moments, but the recovery can take months, even years. This is the signature of most natural disasters. And, as structures succumb to the power of Mother Nature, the struggle ensues to restore safety and normalcy to our communities. Obviously, these kinds of disasters are something we can’t control, […]

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Rapid Deployment Structures

Haiti had not yet fully recovered from four 2008 storms when the 7.0 earthquake dealt the country another devastating blow, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless. In the hierarchy of needs following a disaster, basic shelter ranks near the top, following emergency medical care, water, and food. In response to that need, ZFA Structural […]

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Fire Engineering

As projects go, the challenges were not out of the ordinary. Winter was coming, so it was a race to beat the first snow in Colorado with foundation construction and then there were questions about meeting fire code. But what made this project enlightening and pleasantly surprising was the simple reminder that in the end, […]

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