CEFAS College Seismic Retrofit

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CEFAS College (Colegio CEFAS) is a K-12 learning facility located in San Salvador, El Salvador. Within its walls is a robust culture with a dedicated staff focused on instilling high spiritual and academic standards, and ensuring students enter the world as responsible and proud citizens.
The country of El Salvador typically experiences seismic activity that can range from a 4.0 to strengths of more than 7.0, leading to damage that can span a radius of over 100 kilometers (62 miles).
As part of the school’s seismic improvement initiative, six Cast Connex® Scorpion Yielding Connectors™ (2-SYC-150 and 4-SYC-100) were strategically located within the existing structure to be concealed within walls of the building.
The Scorpion Yielding Connector (SYC) is a standardized Cast Connex product that offers superior seismic performance that mitigates soft storey response and results in better collapse resistance.
Each SYC consists of specially designed cast steel and fabricated elements which transmit forces between connected components. They boast a high elastic stiffness that remain flexible during ordinary building service loading.
In the case of the CEFAS College retrofit, the SYC is an ideal choice as this system adds both strength and stiffness to this seismically deficient reinforced concrete frame and un-reinforced masonry walls. The use of braces equipped with SYCs adds energy dissipation to this structure, while controlling drift and limiting damage to existing structural and non-structural elements.
Overall, the SYC proved to be an easy to install solution (braces can be field-bolted and installed in segments), that was both economical and provided enhanced performance for this important building.

Owner: CEFAS College
Structural Engineer: Narvaez Hinds
Steel Fabricator: George Third & Son