Earthquakes can cause a great amount of damage to cities and towns which find themselves in the path of an earthquake. Despite this, towns and cities are still built near fault lines where earthquakes are a common occurrence. To combat the earthquakes which attempt to turn these structures into rubble, buildings are being built in special ways to limit the amount of damage caused by the rampaging earthquakes. I plan on giving a glimpse at how these earthquake-proof and earthquake-resistant buildings are designed.
Firstly, it is important to understand how earthquakes originate and how they cause damage. An earthquake is caused by stress, usually along fault lines. Fault lines exist near plate boundaries, owing to which, most earthquakes occur along these boundaries. Stress builds up along the fault line, until too much stress builds up. The stress then causes the sides of the plates to slip. A slip is the displacement of adjacent points on opposite sides of a fault. When a slip occurs, it tends not to slip very far (the maximum slip recording being only a twelve meter displacement), but the seismic waves created by the sudden release of energy the slip produces can cause damage.
[...] A building is graded on its seismic performance, which is the building's ability to maintain safely and use, during and after an earthquake. Safe in this context means that it does not harm the lives of those within, or around it whether such damage would be done through falling bricks or the entire complex falling apart. Use implies that the building will be able to fulfill its functions after an earthquake. Earthquake engineering is based very strongly in building codes. [...]
[...] Ductility is the property of metal which permits it to be reduced in cross sectional area without fracture. This helps the steel be able to keep itself strong and so it is able to keep its role as reinforcement for the rest of the structure. Earthquake engineering is essential in order to keep communities and structures intact when an earthquake strikes. By understanding how earthquakes damage manmade structures, engineers can learn how to formulate plans and rules which force people to build buildings which can fight against these earthquakes. It also allows [...]
[...] By performing these tests engineers are able to get an idea of how much shaking a structure can take, and through this, they know how well the structure will do during an actual earthquake, if one should occur. One way buildings are built to handle the experience of an earthquake is with seismic vibration control. Seismic vibration control is a way to soften seismic impacts in a building. There are three classifications of seismic vibration control devices: Passive, Active, and Hybrid. [...]
[...] In addition to the design, requirements may also include things like ground stabilization since some earthquakes can force the ground beneath the structure to collapse, bringing the building along with it. Some buildings, such as nuclear facilities, also have their own requirements. Seismic design and seismic requirements are meant to identify failure modes. Failure modes is the observed earthquakes induced failure: It is the description of why failures occurred in the structure of buildings harmed by earthquakes. Examples of such failures are things such as lack of reinforcement within buildings causing walls to crack or lean, or when a superstructure, or skyscraper, is not mounted on a stable foundation which could cause the building to shift away from where it is being held in place. [...]
[...] There has also been an increase in attraction towards pyramid-shaped skyscrapers: this isn't just due to an artistic look, but also due to the increased stability against earthquakes and strong winds. The elevation can give a building the ability to disperse shear wave energy into a large range of frequencies. Earthquake softening ability of the high elevation is created by a pattern of many reflections of vertically increasing shear waves which are created by the way the building breakdowns into uniform story layers as well as a taper. [...]
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