Developer of Wire Reinforced 'Shock Absorber' Joint Discusses Its Use in High Seismic Areas

In a recent presentation to the Wire Reinforcement Institute's Executive Committee, Thomas D. Verti, president of Charles Pankow Builders, Ltd., discussed the strategic advantages of using "wire reinforcement" products for construction in high seismic areas, such as Southern California.

In his presentation, titled "Innovations in High-rise Concrete Construction," Mr. Verti provided several case studies demonstrating the use of the revolutionary Precast Hybrid Moment Resistant Frame (PHMRF) construction methodology. Pankow, one of the country's foremost innovators of concrete construction methodologies, spearheaded the development of the PHMRF from concept to code approval and industry application. The PHMRF, which incorporates strategic use of "wire reinforcement" products, is an innovative precast concrete frame system that uses post-tensioning cables and energy dissipating, mild reinforcing steel in the beam-column connections.

"The makeup of the joint causes it to work much like an automobile shock absorber to dampen seismic forces that occur in a major earthquake," described Mr. Verti. The featured project was the 40-story Paramount residential tower in San Francisco, California, the tallest precast concrete building in a high seismic zone. He also emphasized the importance of collaboration and partnering of all concrete and reinforcing-related companies, associations and institutes in order to constantly innovate and improve the process of design and construction.

Mr. Verti, who was the keynote speaker at WRI's Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, is a 34-year veteran in the field of concrete construction and is vice president of the American Concrete Institute (ACI). He will take on the position of ACI President in spring of 2006, and is an honorary member of the WRI. A PowerPoint copy of Mr. Verti's presentation is available on WRI's News page at

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