7 tips to build houses that can withstand an earthquake

Earthquakes can be devastating and can cause a lot of harm to the ecosystem. Houses are destroyed and lives are lost.  To minimize losses, we have adopted construction methods that help survive such disasters. There are a few changes we have to make in the construction plans and how they are implemented. Quite a few things need to be considered while implementing this plan, right from the materials used, to the foundation of the building.

Here are 7 tips that you need to consider while building a house that can withstand an earthquake –

  • Location is an important factor that you need to consider while building your house. Everything from the soil quality to the intensity of the earthquake in that area needs to be tested while you are in the phase of structural design by performing a Seismic performance assessment.
  • The soil should be stable and the area should not have a risk of landslides or rockslides. There are six different types of soil and rock types based on geotechnical parameters to withstand an earthquake: Type A (igneous rock), Type B (volcanic rock), Type C (sandstone) Type D (mud). Type E (artificial fill), Type F, soils requiring site-specific evaluations. All these types of soils require different means of construction in order to withstand earthquakes.
  • Another solution is to adopt base isolation techniques. This involves floating a building above its foundation on a system of bearings, springs or padded cylinders. Engineers use a variety of bearing pad designs, but they often choose lead-rubber bearings, which contain a solid lead core wrapped in alternating layers of rubber and steel.
  • The correct building materials need to be used in such cases. Materials that can withstand bends and movement should be selected. To make your construction resistant from lateral forces of the earthquake is to tie the walls, floor, roof, and foundations into a sturdy box that holds them together. An unreinforced construction is the most dangerous form of building from earthquake point of view. Stability and flexibility are very important virtues when it comes to constructing homes that withstand earthquakes.
  • Majority of constructions consist of perpendicular walls and this is done for a reason. Structurally, this style is the best. In areas where there are risks, regular and symmetrical designs are highly preferred. The walls should be spliced perpendicularly and proportioned symmetrically.
  • It is not advised to have another structure on top of an already existing structure in an earthquake-prone area. Since the building has a foundation for only one structure. Piling on one more structure is a hazard and in case of an earthquake, it will definitely get damaged.
  • The materials used in the construction should be uniform and of the highest quality so that there is no compromise whatsoever. Since construction does not happen with a single piece, all the materials should have uniformity. It is the total integration, which proves to make the building earthquake proof. The materials used should have the capacity of absorbing energy from the earthquake and then again dissipate the same as required.

These are a few things you can do to avoid earthquakes from harming your house. There is never a guarantee on how nature will come to us, we have to be ready for the worst.

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