Do You Know Whether Your Home Is Earthquake-proof Or Storm-resistant?

Do You Know Whether Your Home Is Earthquake-proof Or Storm-resistant?

Amphan has opened our eyes to something that we might not have given that much importance to. The cyclone ripped off Bengal and left behind a trail of huge damage, some even irreparable ones and many mental scars that will be hard to forget. It has made us realize that natural calamities can blow away the roof over us and the floor underneath our feet. A strong earthquake can split the roads wide open; so imagine what it can do to our buildings? A house is one of the most important investments that you make in your life. You depend on the ‘virat’ compressive strength of your building to protect you and loved ones residing inside. You hope that your home will sturdy and strong and can protect you from anything and everything. This brings us to the most crucial question- Is your home safe from an earthquake? Or is it earthquake-resistant? What will happen if an earthquake of strong magnitude hits your building? Your home is the one and the only thing that will embrace you tightly with warmth and a feeling of security during adverse natural times.

Your house should be such that in each and every step, it will address the questions of constructions, planning, and designing! More than 54% of the Indian landmass is prone to earthquakes. Most residential projects that have been built in the last 5-6 years will be resistant to mild earthquakes registering at around 4 on the Richter scale. However, very few would be able to remain standing during a massive quake registering at say 9. From the foundation to the façade; every element of the building should be made keeping in mind the safety and security of its residents. The reason for this high amount of exposure is the increasing intensity at which the Indian pelagic plate is driving into mainland Asia. The United Nations and World Bank estimate that by 2050, more than 200 million Indian homes would have experiences earthquakes and storms.

Façade Design plays a pivotal role in withstanding and surviving earthquakes and other natural calamities. Readers, please note we will mostly discuss about one natural calamity in this blog and that is an earthquake. The Facade System should be designed for the worst-case scenario of wind pattern and wind velocity arriving at the maximum possible forces. The project designers and engineers should not only adhere to the standard safety protocols but also take their benchmark a few notches higher to make sure structural strength and stability. Over the years, increasing concerns about earthquake resistance have led scientists and engineers to invest R&D resources and considerable funding into methods to make modern buildings earthquake-proof. Earthquake-proof buildings have a deep strong base and are lighter in loads than traditional constructions. Special beaming and bracing make them resistant to the kinds of sideways movements that are experienced in the event of an earthquake.

Further, the facade system should be designed to put under a Mock Performance Test that is independent and done in a third-party testing laboratory.

Is your house earthquake-resistant?

The majority of the structures in India are not earthquake resistant and hence the risk is often associated with the strength of the home, style of construction, and its location. It is needless to mention that old and taller structures are at a higher risk. An easy way to know if your house is earthquake resistant is to call an engineer and get checked if the foundations of your home are weak and if the walls are crippled. Earthquake-resistant structures often have bolts in the foundation and an inspection by the engineer will help you know if your house is safe and earthquake resistant. If your house is not earthquake resistant, then you must take steps to ensure that you consult a structural engineer to know ways to reinforce the strength of the foundation and masonry of your home.

Some of the latest concepts being used to render buildings more earthquake-resistant in many cities are:

1. Base Isolation System:
Here the foundation of the building is separated from the actual structure using rubber bearings that act as seismic isolators during a quake. During a shake, only the foundation will slide, but the actual construction will stay intact. The rubber bearings also act as shake absorbers and cut down the intensity of the impact.


2. Dampers:
The concept is quite similar to the big shock absorbers used in vehicles. Their job is to dissipate the total energy across the base of the building to keep the top structure safe. Dampers are advisable for high-rise buildings and for retrofitting older buildings.


3. Levitation:
Levitation engineering lifts up the house when an earthquake strikes. The building here is constructed upon a deflated airbag that pumps up during a quake and builds air space of a few centimeters between the house and the ground. This reduces the impact to a great extent.

“In India, the Bureau of Indian Standards had a detailed and revised publication for ‘Recommendations for Earthquake Resistant Design of Structures, 1962. According to the standards, buildings that adhere to these recommendations will not encounter a ‘total collapse’ even in earthquakes of intensities as high as 8.0 on the Richter scale.” For earthquake-resistant properties get in touch with Get My Ghar!

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