No, The Skyslide Won't Break During An Earthquake
The skyslide hangs off the 70th floor of the U.S. Bank Tower. So, surely, the thing must have been engineered to handle the lines of people who are waiting to tumble down the slide, but how will it do in an earthquake?
According to its builders, the slide will do just fine. No, it's not going to fall off its hinges. And no, it's not going to shatter. That's because the slide is built to be a "machine as much as a structure," structural engineer Michael Ludvik told The Architect's Newspaper. Ludvik owns the firm that was responsible for designing the slide.
First of all, most of the glass is tempered and laminated with a "structural interlayer," which is the same thing they use to hurricane-proof windows in Miami. Also, parts of the slide are pieced together with ball joints that allow the slide to move independently of the tower. These ball joints are so durable, in fact, that they can support the weight of a New York subway train.
Ludvik added that, "There is a system of pins which allow the glass to pivot and to be undamaged by the building's inelastic seismic movements, plus a 2.4 g-force seismic acceleration capacity." This is a little too jargon-y for this layman writer, but all those technical-sounding words make me feel much safer.
It should also be noted that, after constructing the slide, Ludvik's team "tested the pants off of absolutely everything." They even enlisted the help of Nastran, a stress analysis software used by NASA, to make sure that everything was failsafe.
So no, you won't be in danger if a big quake hits as you're going down the slide. Though it would still "be scary as hell," said Ludvik. The more pressing danger, apparently, is breaking your ankle on the landing.
[h/t: Curbed LA]