5 Astonishing Earthquake Resistant Buildings from Around the World
Countries like Japan,Turkey, and even the United States experience more earthquakes than others and that is why it is important for them to construct a building that is earthquake resistant. Earthquakes cause the ground to shake violently which can lead to building collapse, holes in the infrastructure, and lengthy repairs.
We have not gotten to a point in time where there are earthquake proof buildings, but we have designed them to be resistant. In order for a building to be considered earthquake resistant, the structure, design, materials, and building processes need to be top notch. This requires extensive research to create a design and build a structure that can withstand the trouble that an earthquake poses.
Here are 5 astonishing earthquake resistant buildings around the world today.
Taipei 101 (Taipei, Taiwan)
The country of Taiwan as a whole averages around 2,200 earthquakes per year, of which approximately 214 of these earthquakes can be felt. Due to the significant number of earthquakes yearly, when they began constructing another skyscraper they wanted to make the building earthquake resistant. Taipei 101 finished construction in 2004 and before 2009 was the tallest building in the world. Not only is this building humongous, earthquake resistant, but it too received a LEED certification in 2011 becoming the tallest green building in the world.
Taipei 101 has been designed using seismic and weather resistant technologies including an internal damper. The internal damper controls the swaying of this massive building and minimizes the possibility of structural failure. Although the internal damper does not stop swaying entirely, it controls the movement of the building to prevent it from collapsing. This internal damper maintains the stability of the building, weighs 728 tons, and rests between floors 87 to 92.
More importantly the Taipei 101 was put to the test early as during construction in 2002 it survived a 6.8 magnitude earthquake without any damage. This was not the only time the building was tested; a year after it opened in 2004, the internal damper survived both an earthquake and high winds between 100 to 145 mph. Showing that the building is able to withstand extreme weather conditions.
Shanghai Tower (Shanghai, China)
Unlike Taiwan, China sustains less earthquakes yearly. The country of China as a whole averages around 15 earthquakes per year with a low point of having 5 earthquakes in 2020. Shanghai, China is the most active city in China for earthquakes so it was important when designing this skyscraper to make it withstand extreme weather conditions.
Shanghai Tower is over 2,000 feet tall and is the second tallest building in the world today, with construction finishing in 2014. In order to combat the power behind earthquakes, the building's site location was constructed on soft, clay-heavy soil. When installing the foundation of the superstructure, engineers used over 980 piles, created a deep foundation, used multiple layers of depth reaching as deep as 300 feet, and reinforced concrete amounts of 2.15 million cubic feet.
Like the Taipei 101, the Shanghai Tower uses an internal damper to control swaying. This damper weighs 1,000 tons and also has been equipped with shock absorbers to keep the building from swaying too far or quick. The Shanghai Tower has not been tested yet since its opening and is mainly used for business purposes like retail, commerce, and leisure.
The Transamerica Pyramid (San Francisco, California)
San Francisco, California alone withstands over 5,000 earthquakes per year, yet rarely any of them are felt and chances are quite small. Oddly enough, a scientific study conducted by Janet Watt, David Ponce, and Tom Parsons has predicted that a major earthquake occurs again in San Francisco. This future earthquake is expected to hit a magnitude as high as 6.7 but this was not the reason the building was designed. As the Transamerica Pyramid was completed back in 1972.
The Transamerica Pyramid was built using a 52 foot deep foundation of concrete and steel. This foundation was created to move with the earth if an earthquake were to happen. Earthquake engineering of this building included designing of shear walls reinforced by rods at each level, and sensors installed in the frame that measure the horizontal load displacement of the building.
The Transamerica Pyramid was also put to the test early as in 1989 a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco. The seismic activity from the earthquake caused the building to sway side to side for more than a minute, but the structural elements remained intact and no damage was sustained.
Mori Tower (Tokyo, Japan)
Japan is much like Taiwan and it sustains over 2,000 earthquakes yearly, with an average of 200 reaching a 1 magnitude or higher. In a country known for its technology and building processes it makes sense that they were able to create an earthquake resistant building like the Mori Tower.
With so many yearly earthquakes such as the catastrophic Great Hanshin or Kobe earthquakes, structural engineers mandated new building codes to deal with the weather. The Mori Tower finished construction in 2003 and features some of the most advanced earthquake resistant technology. The Mori Tower also uses internal damper systems, but what differs is they have chosen to use 192 fluid-filled shock absorbers. These absorbers are filled with thick oil and when the tower begins to sway due to weather, the oil moves in the other direction of the wind to minimize swaying.
This astonishing building has not been put to the test yet, but with the competent technology the Japanese have installed we can be sure that it will maintain its structural integrity.
New Wilshire Grand Center ( Los Angeles, California)
Los Angeles has an average of 59 earthquakes per year between 2.0 and 3.4 magnitude. It has even been said that another big earthquake reaching a 7.4 magnitude is expected to come soon. With this in mind Los Angeles has created a vast number of earthquake resistant buildings to combat this. One of these buildings being the New Wilshire Grand Center.
The New Wilshire Grand Center was completed in 2017 and is the tallest building in the United States west of Chicago. To combat earthquakes a number of tests were conducted and it was found that a whiplash could be created on the top floors. Engineers added resisting frames such as outriggers that extended from the center of the building to the exterior. These outriggers allow the facility to restrict vertical and lateral movement. To further enhance the stability of this building, engineers also added buckling-restrained braces which will stretch upon impact. The New Wilshire Grand Center was also designed on a 17.5 foot concrete foundation which is attached to a joint between the base and tower that can withhold up to 1.5 feet of swaying.
Like a few of these astonishing buildings mentioned before, the New Wilshire Grand Center has yet to be tested. With the advances in technology, testing that was commenced we are certain that the stability within this building will be able to withstand not ideal weather conditions.
Earthquake Resistant Buildings Finalized
Being able to withstand an earthquake is an astonishing feat to begin with. It takes a lot of testing, design, and brainstorming to complete these types of projects. To learn more about earthquake resistant buildings visit DOZR.com to get the 101.