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Starbucks Headquarters

Structural investigation, risk assessment, computer analysis, and repair recommendations for historic nine-story building and garage damaged by 2001 Nisqually earthquake. 2,000,000 sf.

The Starbucks Center in the SODO district of Seattle was damaged by the 2001 Nisqually earthquake. The historic 9-story mixed-use building on 17 acres of urban industrial land was built by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1912 to lure the Sears Company to Washington. It houses more than 50 tenants, including the Starbucks Corporate Headquarters and the oldest continuously operating Sears store. To assist the building owner in filing an insurance claim, Weidlinger Associates observed and documented the earthquake damage. The majority of damage was sustained by the building's facade and masonry infill walls. The steel bracing and welded connections in the clock tower and lower parts of the building were also badly damaged, and structural slabs in the garage were cracked around the columns.

Weidlinger performed computer analyses to determine the extent of the earthquake damage and made repair recommendations to ensure life-safety protection for the building's occupants in the case of future earthquakes. The work was complicated by the numerous modifications, additions, and upgrades the building had undergone over the course of nearly a century. The building still contains the original heavy timber construction, as well as concrete slabs and columns with eccentric steel bracing and a reinforced-concrete flat-slab parking garage.

Completion Date: 2003
Location: Seattle, Washington
Owner or Client: Nitze-Stagen
Prime Consultant(s): WAI Prime; KCE Matrix

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