A state-of-the-art seismic monitoring system comprising 36 accelerometers and a data-logger with real-time capability was recently installed at Building 54 on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Cambridge, MA, campus. The system is designed to record translational, torsional, and rocking motions, and to facilitate the computation of drift between select pairs of floors. The cast-in-place, reinforced concrete building is rectangular in plan but has vertical irregularities. Heavy equipment is installed asymmetrically on the roof. Spectral analyses and system identification performed on five sets of low-amplitude ambient data reveal distinct and repeatable fundamental translational frequencies in the structural NS and EW directions (0.75 Hz and 0.68 Hz, respectively), a torsional frequency of 1.49 Hz, a rocking frequency of 0.75 Hz, and very low damping. Such results from low-amplitude data serve as a baseline against which to compare the behavior and performance of the building during stronger shaking caused by future earthquakes in the region.

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