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Earthquake-Resistant Construction Techniques: Building for Safety and Stability

This blog outlines some earthquake-resistant construction techniques that you can use to make your home immune to earthquakes and prevent numerous casualties.

Earthquake Resistance Home Building Techniques

In the aftermath of earthquakes and other natural disasters, there is a great deal of destruction and chaos. Collapsing buildings and homes cause a lot of casualties. Making your home or building earthquake-proof is important, so make sure you know how.

Safe Practices For Earthquake Resistant Construction

Earthquake Resistance Home Building Methods

Building materials' resilience and strength are not the only factors that determine how well they can withstand an earthquake, but also how they are integrated into the structure. If a long, straight stone wall relies solely on friction and geometry to hold stones in place, it is almost certain that it will collapse in an earthquake. As a result of the wall's mass or inertia, its motion lags behind that of the earth during a quake. It can also cause the weight of the wall to shift so far out of the stable load line that it tilts over, not only dislodging stones from their resting position but also shifting the wall's weight out of the stable load line.

Following are some earthquake-resistant construction techniques you can use to build your home.

  • - Bands :

  • The horizontal band is a method of reinforcing masonry structures by providing bands with higher tensile strength. This is enabled in areas where two structural elements of a building meet, forming a connection that allows them to behave as a single unit.

    Horizontal bands are used here :

    • On the building's plinth level

    • At the lintel levels like doors and windows

    • At the roof levels

    Types Of Horizontal Bands :

    • Roof band

    • Lintel band

    • Gable band

    • Plinth band

  • - Waste Tire Pads :

  • This method is based on experimental studies on the development of low-cost seismic base isolation pads made from scrap automobile tyres. Seismic base isolation is a well-defined earthquake protection system that has been the subject of numerous studies. The majority of previous research has concentrated on improving the performance of base isolation systems. This study, on the other hand, aims to reduce the cost and weight of seismic base isolation pads by recycling otherwise useless material: scrap tyres. For the past 30 years, elastomer-based isolators have been extensively researched and used. For seismic base isolation, steel or fibre reinforcement inside the elastometer isolators provides high vertical stiffness, whereas rubber segments between reinforcement layers provide low horizontal stiffness.
  • - Haunches :

  • It is known that joints are the most vulnerable during an earthquake, and most structures fail due to joint failure. Thus, resistance can be achieved by increasing joint strength. Joint strength can be achieved simply by using high-strength or fibre-reinforced concrete. Or simply by increasing the section near the joints or providing haunches. This could be done as a bamboo knot. As a result, the joint becomes stiffer.
  • - Hollow Foundation :

  • Secondary and Love waves, as we all know, are the most destructive of all earthquake waves. Secondary waves cannot travel through water media. Thus, providing a hollow-type raft foundation completely filled with water can reduce some of the destructive effects of an earthquake. It could be filled with a viscous fluid and used as a damper to reduce the effects of earthquakes.
  • - Sliding Joint :

  • The sliding joint concept was founded on the assumption that the force transmitted to the superstructure will be limited to the force required to slide the joints and energy dissipated during frictional sliding will not be transmitted to the superstructure.

Seismic Reinforced Materials at Low Costs

Safe Construction Practices While Building a Home

It is possible to implement all of the methods mentioned thus far in safe construction practices for earthquakes without incurring additional costs, regardless of the specific construction materials used. Wood frame, adobe, rammed earth, and seismically active masonry construction may also incorporate low-cost, material-specific methods. By using the right brackets, hold-downs, and fasteners, wood frame construction can be seismically strengthened. Screws indeed appear to have greater holding power, but they tend to be more brittle and break under load than nails. A shear wall, brackets, and gussets are commonly used to reinforce beams, joints, corners, sill plates, and roof trusses in this type of construction.

The massive weight and brittle composition of adobe and rammed earth walls make them vulnerable to seismic failure, especially at corners and long walls, causing large pieces of the structure to fall. To reduce cracking and keep the pieces in place, you can incorporate reinforcement fibres, bars, rods, or mesh into the walls. The material can be reinforced internally with straw, vines, or synthetic yarns. Ropes, plants, vines, twines, or bamboo can be used to connect wooden bars and rods at intervals to foundations, wall caps, and each other. It is especially effective at corners to use mesh reinforcement, such as screens, chicken wire, and so on, to connect walls and distribute horizontal forces.

These are some safe construction practices to build an earthquake-resistant home. If you wish to learn more about earthquake-resistant construction techniques you can watch this interactive video. To get quality building materials and expert solutions, reach out to your nearest UltraTech Building Solutions store.