Top Innovations in Construction for Earthquake Preparedness

Natural disasters are a fact of life. Unfortunately, they are becoming more common. Instead of hoping for the best, it’s in everyone’s best interests to be proactive. That’s why many construction companies are using the latest technological breakthroughs in their projects. Thanks to these advances, many buildings can withstand the destruction caused by earthquakes. Here are the top innovations in construction for earthquake preparedness.


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Putting In Plate Shear Walls

This practice was the first notable innovation in earthquake preparedness. Plate shear wall systems rose to prominence in the 1970s.


When an earthquake hits the ground, the impact reverberates up the wall. These shocks can knock down walls, destroy electricity, or cause the building to collapse. Plate shear wall systems absorb seismic activity. Shears bend under the pressure instead of buckling.


Going with plate shears is more cost-effective than concrete shears. They offer comparable results at a fraction of the cost. Plus, these shears don’t have to be cured. This perk will save your company time and money without putting the public at risk.


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The Development of Lead-Rubber Bearings

Buildings need a little leeway during a natural disaster. Otherwise, they would crumble upon impact. Much like our joints need cartilage when we are running, buildings need a form of seismic control. This innovation in the construction industry is known as lead-rubber bearings.


When constructing a building into the ground, the foundation needs a reflective buffer. The lead-rubber bearings absorb seismic shocks from the ground and deflect them. By doing this, the lead-rubber bearings stop the building from caving in. Having lead-rubber bearings can be a matter of life or death, especially for the structural integrity of very tall buildings.



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Installing Mass Dampers

This innovation is physics at its finest. Mass dampers are large metal pendulums. The pendulums are attached to cables adhered to the top of a tall building. Setting up the oscillators in this manner causes a counterweight effect throughout the building.


When a building gets rocked one way, the internal compass in the middle will help keep the building centered. It’s like swiveling your hips around your body. The pendulum is the spine of the building while the exterior of the building acts as the hips. You don’t fall over when you oscillate your hips because your spine keeps you in balance. That is the job of the mass damper.


Sometimes a pendulum can be too much for a building. Perhaps the building itself is far too large to realistically house a pendulum? In these cases, you can opt for a tuned mass damper.


Tuned mass dampers have an added control system. Using an electromagnet, you can limit the pendulum’s activity. This sort of mechanism is used in the world’s second largest building, Shanghai Tower.


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