The thing about natural disasters is that they are not only sudden but can also be very treacherously powerful that make them one of the biggest threats to countries all over the world.
While experts have already learned how to predict some of these disasters like tornadoes, blizzards, and hurricanes, there are still others that can strike with no warning at all. One of these is none other than earthquakes.
Different magnitudes of earthquakes can happen any time throughout the year anywhere with little to no indications at all. Earthquakes can have significant impact not only on small remote places and rural areas but even large and highly urbanized cities.
Professionals have found out that specific areas in the United States are at higher risk of earthquakes. Technically, however, they can happen in any place in the most unexpected times. In countries that brim with permanent concrete, glass, and steel structures, earthquakes probably pose the biggest and most serious threat of a widespread destruction.
This is the reason why the government and other private organizations are now working hand in hand with architects and engineers to determine building characteristics that can have a direct impact on the behavior of a building during vibrations and shakes. This made them come up with the idea of an earthquake ready building.
The Importance of Earthquake Ready Building
An earthquake is defined as the ground’s rapid shaking that is the result of a shift of tectonic and rock plates under the ground. Even though the ground may seem solid, there is a deep upper crust in the earth and longer periods of time can lead to pressure building up between fissures and plates. Once the pressure gives, the violent shaking as well as seismic vibrations will reverberate up towards the surface that will instantly affect miles of land. Following the initial quake, there are aftershocks that can take place that will result in further and more serious damages.
Earthquakes can happen almost anywhere all over the world. In the United States, in particular, the high risk places include Oregon, California, Alaska, Washington, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, South Carolina, New England, and Kentucky. These places are held to stricter and higher building standards. The buildings might need to endure radical foundation and movement shifts to reduce the damage and ensure the protection of the people around and inside them. If a building collapses or fractures, no amount of emergency will keep the people safe from harm.
Earthquake Ready Building Defined
An earthquake ready building has been designed for protecting buildings from earthquakes to greater or some extent. Although no structure is completely immune from earthquake damages, the primary goal of an earthquake ready building is to establish structures that can fare much better during a seismic activity compared to their traditional counterparts. Based on building codes, an earthquake ready building is meant to endure the biggest earthquake of a specific probability that will likely happen at the location. It means that loss of life will be minimized through prevention of the collapse of buildings during rare earthquakes and loss of functionality is going to the limited for those that are more frequent.
The design of an earthquake ready building considers several characteristics that affect the integrity of the structure namely strength and stiffness, redundancy, regularity, load paths, and foundations.