The Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Southern Laboratory of NCREE

Following the Chi-Chi earthquake in 1999 in Taiwan, much attention has been raised on the near-fault effects of ground motion, which is one of the threats from earthquakes that people in Taiwan have to face. However, the existing test facilities of NCREE in Taipei are not quite appropriate for the study of near-fault effects. Therefore, NCREE was determined to establish a new laboratory, which will be located at the Gueiren Campus of the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Tainan City in southern Taiwan. Major test facilities in the Southern Laboratory of NCREE include a high performance 8 m × 8 m six degree-of-freedom seismic simulation testing system, which will be capable of simulating near-fault motions, a reaction wall and strong floor system, and a biaxial dynamic testing system.

To announce the commencement of construction of the Southern Laboratory of NCREE and pray for success, a groundbreaking ceremony was held on January 6, 2015. The ceremony was hosted by the Vice Premier of the Executive Yuan, San-Cheng Chang, and co-hosted by the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Science and Technology, Chung-Liang Chien, the Mayor of Tainan City, Ching-Te Lai, the President and Executive Vice President of NCKU, Hwung-Hweng Hwung and Huey-Jen Su (who is now the President of NCKU), the President and Vice President of NARLabs, Ching-Hua Lo and Tung-Yang Chen (who is now the Executive Vice President of NCKU), and the Director and Deputy Director of NCREE, Kuo-Chun Chang and Chien-Chz Hsu. In addition, important guests from the government, academia, and industry totaling more than 100 participated in this special event.

The construction and equipment cost of the Southern Laboratory of NCREE is estimated to be about 1.3 billion NTD, and it is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016 and to commence a trial run in 2017. It will feature a seismic simulation testing system with higher performance than the existing one at the NCREE laboratory in Taipei, which can be employed to assess the seismic capacity of buildings and to verify the capability of seismic resistant techniques. In the future, NCREE can provide better seismic experimental services, which are beneficial for improving public safety during earthquake disasters, to government agencies, academia, and the industry.

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