11R56. Seismic Isolation for Earthquake Resistant Structures. Advances in Earthquake Engineering. - P Komodromos (Dept of Civil and Env Eng, Intelligent Eng Syst Lab, MIT, Cambridge MA 02139). WIT Press, Southampton, UK. 2000. 201. pp. ISBN 1-85312-803-1. $122.00.

Reviewed by SF Stiemer (Civil Eng Dept, Univ of British Columbia, 2324 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 124, Canada).

This book can be used as a reference for the design of earthquake resistant structures and as textbook for short courses in undergraduate and professional training levels. It might not be suitable for graduate courses because this would require more comprehensive and in-depth work on theories and background information.

Basic theories and knowledge on base isolation are clearly presented almost in layman’s terms. This makes the method of base isolation approachable to undergraduate students and junior engineers and does not confine it to researchers and experts in this area. The book provides abundant design examples using popular design codes. It becomes a useful reference in practical design of base-isolated structures. However, it should be noted that the designs and many statements are based primarily on US practice, despite there also being advanced codes and practices available in other countries.

References to facts, such as historical records and costs of isolators, are not sufficiently documented. In particular, historical facts such as the first application of base isolation, are not yet clearly defined in the engineering community. Therefore, such facts should have been cited with their origins. Numerical values like costs of base isolators vary with time and manufacturers. The statements of references to such figures are often missing in the book. Some statements on applications and behaviors of seismic isolated structures are rather generalized. Many of the topics are still being debated in the engineering and research community.

The size and general layout of the book are good. However, the quality of photographs leaves something to be desired. In a technical reference book, single-spaced text is probably preferable to the double-spaced text as in this book. The chapter layout of the book is designed well. The subject index, however, is rather terse.

The book succeeds in presenting theories and knowledge according to the author’s stated aim. The main audience of this book will be senior undergraduate students, practicing engineers, and general researchers, as well as people in non-engineering fields, who would like to know some of the basics of seismic base isolation.

Seismic Isolation for Earthquake Resistant Structures is easy to read. Covering a relatively new area in earthquake engineering, many statements in this book should have been less generalized and should have provided accurate origin of reference to be objective. This book can be recommended only with hesitation as a library acquisition.