Concepcion Temple

USRC Statement

The Concepcion Temple is it the first building rated by the USRC that uses a base isolation foundation system and it achieved the USRC's highest Platinum Earthquake Rating. The USRC is incredibly proud that four of its Founding Members collaborated on the design and construction of this temple, including two of the project’s structural engineering firms, Degenkolb Engineers and SIRVE; Earthquake Protection Systems, the isolator supplier; and Taylor Devices, supplier of the buildings viscous dampers.

USRC's First Rated Building Outside the US

Base Isolated Building was engineered for long term resilience
Concepcion, Chile
Building Owner:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
USRC Rating:
USRC Platinum Rating
Engineer of Record:
BHB, Degenkolb and SIRVE
Facility Type:
New Design
Structure Type:
Base Isolated Concrete Shear Wall
Structure Material:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Protecting our Investment

Religious buildings are often intricately designed both inside and out. The Concepcion Chile Temple is no exception. The beauty of the building is evident from its exterior stonework to its steeple and cupola to its elegant stairways and rooms. The Church elected to use a base isolated foundation system to protect this beauty and to prevent expensive damage from any future earthquakes. Two of the project’s structural engineering firms, SIRVE and Degenkolb, are members of the US Resiliency Council.

The Concepcion Chile Temple is the first building rated by the USRC that uses a base isolated foundation system, allowing it to achieve USRC’s highest Platinum Earthquake Rating in one of the world’s highest seismic areas.  The Temple is designed to provide Immediate Occupancy performance following the ASCE 7-10 Maximum Considered Earthquake ground motion.  Even larger ground motions can be accommodated without reaching the limits of the base isolation system. The base isolation system concentrates nearly all of the building displacement during an earthquake at the below-grade isolation plane, allowing the building to move 30” relative to the soil with negligible seismic drift up the height of the concrete shear wall building. This serves to protect delicate architectural finishes from damage during significant earthquake shaking.

The base-isolation system consists of Triple Pendulum friction isolators supplied by Earthquake Protection Systems and Fluid Viscous Dampers provided by Taylor Devices, both also Founding Members of the USRC.

Comments From the Owner

“The choice of a base isolated structural system will significantly lower the drifts and accelerations that the building will experience above the isolators. This will reduce the loads on the structural walls and protect the fine finishes from damage caused by building movement. The additional cost of the base isolated foundation system is expected to be recovered by significantly reduced damage in any future earthquakes.”

Brent Maxfield, Structural Engineer

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Contact :

Gordon Wray, PE, SE
Degenkolb Engineers

Ignacio Vial

Brent Maxfield
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Civil/Structural Engineer