Earthquake Resistance Techniques

explanatory Essay
1535 words
1535 words

Earthquake Resistance Techniques


“Earthquakes don’t have the ability to kill or cause harm, however buildings do.” This is a famous quote that tries to emphasize on the need for earthquake precautions and measures especially in buildings. Earthquakes, just like other natural calamities, cannot be prevented, though it is possible to minimize their impacts and effects. Like other natural calamities, earthquakes have the ability to cause harm and damage to both life and property. Two basic types of seismic waves are responsible for causing earthquakes (Chang, & Soong, 1992). These two waves are distinguished by the speeds at which each of them travels through the earth. Primary or push waves travel faster and they are longitudinal in nature. These waves have the ability to pass through liquids too. The slower waves are referred to as secondary or shake waves. These waves travel like light waves, though they cannot travel in liquids.

Seismic waves that cause earthquakes hazards become more destructive when they travel through the ground and reach its surface where there are structures and buildings .When these waves reach such places, the cause strong ground motion which make the buildings and structures to shake and move at very high speeds. Most of the buildings and structures cannot be able to withstand the ground motions and as a result, buildings and bridges collapse, fires, flash floods and hued destructive ocean waves are experienced, and in some instances, landslides are experienced. Densely populated areas may experience serious injuries and deaths as a result of earthquakes. In order to take precautions especially in buildings, several earthquake resistant techniques must be put in place. This study anal...

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... in Context. Retrieved on 20 Nov. 2013.

Pastia,C. (2005), Passive and Semi-Active Control Systems: Theoretical,Numerical and Experimental aspects. Tech.Report,JRC Special. Retrieved on 20 Nov. 2013 from

Shao, D., Pall, A., and Soli, B. (2006) Friction Dampers for seismic upgrade of a 14-story patient tower with a 36-foot tall soft story. U. S. National Conf. on Earthquake Engineering, EERI, Oakland, Calif., (90). Retrieved on 20 Nov. 2013.from

Spencer, B. F., Jr., Johnson, E. A., and Ramallo, J. C. (2000) Smart isolation for seismic control. Retrieved on 20 Nov. 2013 from

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that earthquakes cannot be prevented, though it is possible to minimize their impacts and effects. primary and push waves travel faster and are longitudinal in nature.
  • Analyzes energy dissipation devices, active control devices and base isolation as earthquake resistant methods for buildings.
  • Explains the four types of seismic dampers used in energy dissipation devices.
  • Explains that a viscous damper operates in the same way as an automobile shock absorber. innovative measures are constantly being put in place to make the energy dissipation devices even better.
  • Explains the concept of a base isolation structure propped up by bearing pads, placed between structures, buildings, and building foundations.
  • Explains that a proper choice of base isolators minimizes the energy produced by the ground as it reaches the building. base isolation introduces an element of flexibility in earthquake resistance.
  • Explains that most base isolators resemble rubber pads though they exist in various types and forms. the lead rubber bearings are made up of layers of rubber sandwiched with steel layers.
  • Explains that not all buildings are suitable for base isolation. inertia forces are the primary forces that cause damage to buildings during an earthquake. isolated buildings reduce earthquakes to as little as 0.25 of the acceleration.
  • Explains that base isolation is the best and the most powerful tool when dealing with earthquake resistance.
  • Explains active control devices, such as base isolators and energy dissipaters, are passive devices used in earthquake resistance. they work by an outside force source.
  • Explains that kajima corporation in japan is responsible for the innovation of dynamic intelligent buildings, an innovation that makes use of the active control devices concept.
  • Explains that a vigorous control system is made up of three elements: sensors, computer hardware, software, actuators, and external source of energy.
  • Explains that base isolation is the best earthquake resistance technique. it is used in nuclear plants because it simplifies design and costs of the plants.
  • Explains that the us has 45 buildings that have fitted base isolators, and structures with expensive or critical contents have also been built. this technology is being applied in schools, hospitals, public houses in developing countries.
  • Cites chang, c., & soong, t.t. (1992). seismic response of full-scale structure with added viscoelastic dampers.
  • Cites pastia, c., pall, a. and soli, b.
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