How to Build Earthquake-Resistant Housing

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As earthquakes hit strongly in places as divergent as California, Tennessee, New York, Japan and Brazil, more builders, architects and property owners look for ways to build earthquake-resistant housing. Many construction companies specialize in building these types of structures. While no design can totally prevent earthquake damage, certain building systems can lessen it. Read the tips below for advice on how to build earthquake-resistant housing.

  • Design ground beams for earthquake-resistant housing. Join steel beams together by the feet and allow them to go outside the line of the building to decrease the chance of the structure overturning.

  • Build floors with a light material similar to the roof. Use plywood, chipboard or plain timber with joists bolted firmly to the floor for earthquake-resistant housing.

  • Ensure that buildings resist sideways pressure. Build the roof with a lightweight material. Brace the building diagonally to resist sideways loads of debris.

  • Construct wood-frame housing. Although it's lightweight, wood provides a strong resistance to earthquakes. Tie wall wells to the house foundation when building and nail wood firmly to studs to increase the earthquake resistance of the structure. Use a shear wall construction with studs forming the wall's shell and horizontal joists making up the floors and rafters supporting the roof.

  • Establish a large panel system for residences. Set up concrete panels vertically and horizontally to surround the rooms in a apartment building. These panels uphold the building's structural integrity along with vertical and horizontal floor panels.

  • Use a modular building system. Stack ready-made boxes and connect them together. The walls that form resist shaking caused by earthquakes from both directions. Pipes as well as wall and floor finishes fit in an earthquake-resistant concrete box.

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