Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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Is it possible to construct Earthquake-proof buildings? Maybe it is, but the costs can be huge. So, only Nuclear Power Plants can afford to be Earthquake Proof. For the rest of us, its earthquake resistant buildings, so that we can minimize the loss of life and property,

Earthquakes do not kill people, but actually people are killed by the collapse of badly designed and constructed buildings. But, with the different types of new materials available in our inventory, it is feasible to construct an earthquake-resistant building.

Earthquakes can be disastrous...

Some care should be taken while constructing a building in earthquake prone areas. Special attention should be given to Structural Design of the structure. Here are some tips for designing safer structures.

1.Building should be of regular shapes. Cylindrical structures perform better in high-wind areas. 

2.Architect should try to design the building as aerodynamic as possible. This reduces the effect of Wind load on tall structures. 

3.There should no odd shapes in elevation and the whole building should be in balance. The center of gravity of building should not move.

4.Cantilever projections should be minimum and their length should not be more than 3 to 4 feet.

5.The span between the columns should be as small as possible.

6.Point loads on load-carrying beams should be avoided.

7.The dead loads on the cottage-building should not be increased unnecessarily. For Example, Terrace garden or terrace swimming pools should be avoided, if possible. 

8.The sunk portions of WC and bath should be minimum.

9.Building should be a Reinforced Concrete framed structure. It provides better stability and reliability in Earthquake-prone areas.

10.Cottage-building's foundation should be placed on hard and level ground.

11.There should not be very large overhead water tanks than are required. If it has to have larger capacity, then it should be divided into two three smaller tanks and should be kept at different locations to maintain balance of cottage-building.

12.If the column length is more than 12 feet, then bracing beams should be provided in between the column at regular intervals. Bracing beams strengthen a column, and allow construction of multistoried buildings. 

13.The columns should be connected at each level.

14.For strengthening the brickwork, a sill or a lintel should be provided at every 3 feet level, and R.C.C. wall should be taken where it is possible.

15.Cottage- building should not contain very large and heavy windows. They are bound to weaken the structure.

16.The cottage- building's electrification should contain a main switch and circuit breakers so as to avoid fire hazards because of short circuit in the earthquake.

17.The glass used any structure should be fiber-reinforced glass or wire glass.

18.Use of new and better materials like Fiber-reinforced Concrete and fiber-glass should be recommended. These new materials decrease dead load and increase the structure's strength


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