5 Ways to Build an Earthquake-Resistant Structure

5 Ways to Build an Earthquake-Resistant Structure

Damage brought upon by natural disasters is common. It can cause massive impacts on infrastructure; therefore, it’s best to prepare beforehand. One of the things you should consider in constructing a building is its resistance to such undesirable events.   Countries located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, like the Philippines, are prone to earthquakes. This is why buildings, especially those located near fault lines, should consider constructing more earthquake-resistant structures. 

However, it takes careful planning to achieve this. Not to mention, several resources are required to implement it properly. To guide you, here are five things you should consider in building an earthquake-resistant structure.  

1. Invest in a good foundation.  
Earthquakes are caused by movements of the plates beneath the Earth’s surface. Buildings become hazards during earthquakes due to its tendency to crumble after a few massive tremors. Needless to say, a good foundation can go a long way.   Avoid building on loose or soft ground to maintain a structure that limits excessive stress and movement. During earthquakes, it should have a good shock absorber. This feature is illustrated in skyscrapers. With a system of ball bearings and padded cylinders, skyscrapers can stand on its own. At the same time, this system also functions as a shock absorber – a technology that should also be considered in developing earthquake-resistant structures.

2. Be weight-conscious.  
More weight in the building should imply a stronger foundation. This means that you need to consider the load of a building in your design. Additional structures and partition in a building cause extra weight. This is common in high structures that are already at risk of earthquakes. One way to work around this is by putting more rooms on lower floors than the upper ones.   The added weight of these inside structures, combined with the sway from earthquake shocks, can tantamount to the building’s resistance. During earthquakes, the bonding of the stirrups to the concrete weakens, making it more prone to crumbling. This was the case in Oakland Freeway, where its round concrete columns collapsed after its main reinforcing bars bent outwards. To mitigate these risks, they now use massive belts around them to reinforce them. 

 Aside from this, iron bars could also be used to fortify walls and basement – structures that are prone to crumbling first. Additionally, you could also look into insulated panels for walls and roofs. Polyurethane (PU) is a type of insulated panels. They are lightweight yet adorable materials that can strengthen your building’s overall structure. It has the highest thermal insulating factor.

3. Choose quality building materials.  
Earthquake-resistant structures entail innovation. This is why it is vital to use only trusted and proven materials. Some of the essentials you need to cover include structural steel beams, poles, and concrete joints. 

Buildings made out of concrete and wood offer different resilience to earthquakes. For concrete buildings, it is recommended use concrete slabs or steel. The same method can also be applied in brick structures. On the other hand, wood structures should be bolted down at their foundations.  

The materials’ durability and strength are crucial factors in building construction. It will determine the structure’s overall integrity and quality. it is important to choose one that will meet safety standards.

4. Work with engineered designs.  
When it comes to designing earthquake-proof structures, priority must be given to its ductility – the ability of a building to sway or bend without collapsing.   Safety professionals recommend distributing the mass and strength in a structure to improve ductility. Another aspect to consider is redundancy – ensuring that there are backup strategies in case of emergencies. It can be more expensive to do this, but it increases the chances of your building to withstand more vibrations.    A building’s location is also crucial. Choose sites away from volcanoes or fault lines that are more at risk during earthquakes. You may refer to hazard maps to guide you in this decision. 

5. Closely coordinate with professionals.  
An earthquake-resistant structure came from years of research. Several decades ago, this idea might even seem impossible. However, with the rigor of research, we have been able to pinpoint best case practices that are now employed in earthquake-resistant buildings.

This design is studied and further evaluated by people who work on the ground – safety professionals and engineers who take these things seriously. Closely monitor with local professionals like roofing contractors in the Philippines to make sure you are guided well in the process. After all, they are familiar with the area, and they are equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to do it. 

Union Galvasteel Corporation (UGC) is one of the leading companies in the Philippines when it comes to quality construction products and services and is well known in working with different industries like PHINMA/Union Cement, a pioneer in the Philippine Cement Industry.

Aside from offering a variety of building components, they also help their customers with budget preparation, project scheduling, and project completion. Working with a professional like UGC increases your chances of building earthquake-resistant structures.   For more information, visit their website at https://www.ugc.ph/.

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