New Technology Makes Buildings Earthquake Proof

6 September 2009 (Last Updated September 6th, 2009 18:30)

A new earthquake-resistant structural system has been successfully tested in Japan that will help a multistorey building survive a violent earthquake. The system will also help the building return to standing up straight on its foundation afterwards, with damage confined to a few easily

A new earthquake-resistant structural system has been successfully tested in Japan that will help a multistorey building survive a violent earthquake.

The system will also help the building return to standing up straight on its foundation afterwards, with damage confined to a few easily replaceable parts, according to an Australian report.

The technology, developed by a team of researchers at Stanford University and the University of Illinois, US, survived simulated earthquakes in excess of magnitude 7 during the test.

Four major tests were conducted at the Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center in Miki City, Japan by the team.

A three-quarter-size model of a standard modern three-storey office building with a footprint of 120ft by 180ft has been used for testing the new system with a massive vibrating shake table measuring over 3,000ft² shaking the 26ft-tall model.

Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering Greg Deierlein, who led the team, said the new structural system has the potential to make buildings far more damage resistant and easier to repair.