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7 Amazing Tips to Build Earthquake-Resistant Structure

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Massive earthquakes have repeatedly shaken towns and cities, leaving a trail of death and destruction. Given that most deaths in an earthquake occur due to building damage or collapse rather than the actual seismic event, it raises an important question. Is it possible to construct earthquake-proof structures? The reply to this question is not that straightforward.

It’s a fact that advanced engineering techniques have enabled the creation of sound structures that can ensure a modest to strong earthquake. However, even the best engineering structures will suffer some amount of damage to a powerful earthquake. However, regardless of the strength of the quake, the aim should always be to build sturdy structures that can resist earthquake-induced damages as much as possible.

On that note, here’s shedding some light on seven useful tips to build earthquake-resistant structures.

Take Measures to Enhance the Stability of the Soil.

When it comes to building an earthquake-resistant structure, the location is the essential factor to consider. The soil of the area has to be stable, without any risk of mudslides or rockslides. Areas that are near hillsides, river beds, or marshlands are best if avoided. 

You can talk to a soil specialist or soil engineer about this matter. These experts might be able to give you a proper analysis of the soil in the area. You can also take his advice on the need to build special foundations or slopes.

Pay Importance to the Strength of the Foundation.

The stability of a structure mainly comes from the foundation on which it gets built. A house will face severe damages if its foundations are not strong enough to endure the earthquake. Thus a strong foundation is one of the foremost things to pay attention to in earthquake-resistant buildings.

A stable foundation can withstand under the blows of even the severe tremors. Making the structure durable both vertically and laterally is crucial. The safety professionals lay more emphasis on lateral stiffness of the structures as they can manage the vertical movement of the earthquakes on their own. However, earthquakes can induce any directional forces causing the structure to collapse if not constructed well. 

Maintain Regular Geometry in the Structure.

Perpendicular walls are used in most constructions because of the stability it brings to the entire structure. Symmetrical and regular designs are the best options in places where the risks of earthquakes are high. The walls need to be symmetrically proportioned and perpendicularly spliced for maximum earthquake resistance.

It does not mean that your building should look like a well-made shoebox. The architect and the engineers involved in the project will use their professional knowledge to create a structure whose design, shape and style keep the building safe, but doesn’t affect its beauty.

Ensure Continuity throughout the Structure

It feels strange to think that a flight of over one meter should not come with supports. It feels equally odd to consider that thin girders and four columns can create a light foundation and be enough for a structure. Testing the laws of gravity and physics is never a good idea when building an earthquake-proof structure.

There should be continuity at all levels and every aspect of the construction. It is best to avoid too much chaos in the structure, such as excessive overhanging or dimensional changes, to construct a safe building.

Reinforce the Structures Using Cross-Braces

Cross bracing is a type of reinforcement used in construction that involves placing braces from the left corner of the ceiling to the right corner of the floor, and then, the same in converse. It creates an X-like brace to push the ceiling and floor against one another, and thus, increase the stability of the structure. 

This technique is used in areas that are highly susceptible to seismic activities. By making the floor and the ceiling support one another, the structure is made stable enough to keep standing in case of an earthquake.

Construct a Flexible yet Rigid Structure

The materials have to be monolithically bonded and spliced to each other, such as flaps and load walls, columns and girders, and enclosures and slabs. They must be cast all together when they get cast using concrete. Similar steel bits should be utilized for joining when it comes to the awning.

The structure has to be rigid and stiff enough to not break down in case of a seismic movement. Simultaneously, it has to be flexible enough to make sure it doesn’t stretch or collapse when an earthquake hits.

Use the Finest Quality of Building Material

There can be no compromise with the quality of materials. Everything used in the construction should be of uniformly high-quality. Construction is not something that focuses on a single piece. If you pay attention to particular building material, while the other is bought for a cheaper quality, you affect the building’s structural integrity. 

There has to be total integration among the materials to make the structure earthquake-resistant, and that is only possible when you use equally good quality materials. Building materials should absorb and dissipate the earthquake energy.

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