MAST Laboratory - University of Minnesota

Structural Design & Analysis


Minneapolis, MN


University of Minnesota

General Contractor:

Knutson Construction

The Multi-Axial Subassembly Testing (MAST) Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility for testing full-scale building structures under the extreme loads caused by earthquakes. ESI provided structural engineering services for the 9′-6″ deep concrete strong floor, and the two 42 ft x 42 ft x 35 ft high strong walls configured in an L shape. Our scope of work included planning, layout, design calculations, contract documents, specifications and on-site observation of construction. Strong floor load capacity is 1,500 kips vertical and strong wall load capacities are 880 kips horizontal on each wall.

The design features steel bedplates over the 35 ft x 35 ft area of the strong floor, secured by the array of more than 400 vertical tie rods. ESI's special fixture designs allowed the location of the through holes in both the strong wall and strong floor to be easily established and maintained by the contractor throughout the concrete placement.

ESI also carried out the finite element analysis of the massive 47-ton crosshead weldment that is used to apply loads to the top of the test structure.

Browse the project photo gallery below!