Your Structure Can Stand Up to Earthquakes and Tremors If You Build It Right
Undoubtedly, the construction industry has seen lots of advancement over the years. Engineers have been up to the task of ensuring that buildings evolve to meet your needs. These needs include safety, suitability for occupancy, energy efficiency and cost minimization, among others. However, some of your requirements can bundle all these needs into one. For instance, living in a highly seismic zone means that you want a structure that can meet the above requirements while standing up to the dangers of an earthquake. So how do you achieve that? Here are the clever ways of making sure that your building can resist seismic tremors:
Have a Flexible Footing
The footing or foundation is a crucial component of any building. It's the building's primary support structure holding up the weight of all the components. When an earthquake strikes, it affects the foundation first because of the direct contact between the footing and the soil structure.
Can you use the foundation to counter an earthquake? Go for a flexible foundation raised above the ground for optimal results. The building lies on top of special tensile pads that isolate the foundation. In case of an earthquake, the footing moves slights to absorb the shock while the rest of the structures stands steady.
Use Seismic Invisibility Cloaks
Seismic invisibility cloaks are a relatively new and innovative way of making your structure quake-proof. In this method, engineers and builders divert and reroute the shocks directed from an earthquake towards the building. They do this by creating concentric concrete and placing plastic rings a few feet below the building's foundation. When an earthquake strikes, the waves must move through the dense rings before hitting the foundation. Consequently, these waves dissipate into the deep plates below the grounds as the rings channel them away from your foundation.
Continuous Load Paths
You can also tap into your structure's load paths to keep the earthquake effects at bay. Engineers interconnect the non-structural and structural components of the building to dissipate the forces of inertia caused by the building. The effect is a reduction of the impact of the earthquake's forces because the building's components move simultaneously. On the downside, this is a reactive strategy to reduce the earthquake's impact rather than averting it. It also requires precision when interconnecting the components because any lines of weakness will make the structure collapse.
Earthquakes may be infrequent compared to other natural calamities, but building structures capable of withstanding them is the secret to ultimate safety. For more tips, contact a local consulting engineer.