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Seismic Design Principles  

by Gabor Lorant, FAIA Lorant Group, Inc. / Gabor Lorant Architects, Inc.

  • Introduction

Within This Page

Description, application, relevant codes and standards, additional resources.

This resource page provides an introduction to the concepts and principles of seismic design, including strategies for designing earthquake-resistant buildings to ensure the health, safety , and security of building occupants and assets .

The essence of successful seismic design is three-fold. First, the design team must take a multi-hazard approach towards design that accounts for the potential impacts of seismic forces as well as all the major hazards to which an area is vulnerable. Second, performance-based requirements, which may exceed the minimum life safety requirements of current seismic codes, must be established to respond appropriately to the threats and risks posed by natural hazards on the building's mission and occupants. Third, and as important as the others, because earthquake forces are dynamic and each building responds according to its own design complexity, it is essential that the design team work collaboratively and have a common understanding of the terms and methods used in the seismic design process.

In addition, as a general rule, buildings designed to resist earthquakes should also resist blast (terrorism) or wind, suffering less damage. For example, were the Oklahoma Federal Building designed to seismic design standards, the damage caused by the blast would have been much less (refer to MAT Report FEMA 277 ). For more information, see WBDG Designing Buildings to Resist Explosive Threats section on Seismic vs. Blast Protection.

About half of the states and territories in the United States—more than 109 million people and 4.3 million businesses—and most of the other populous regions of the earth are exposed to risks from seismic hazards. In the U.S. alone, the average direct cost of earthquake damage is estimated at $1 billion/year while indirect business losses are estimated to exceed $2 billion/year.

Seismicity Map of the United States showing the very high areas being on the west coast, Carolinas, and northwestern Tennessee. The high and moderate areas surround these very high areas.

Seismicity of the United States

A. Origin and Measurement of Earthquakes

Plate tectonics, the cause of earthquakes.

Earthquakes are the shaking, rolling, or sudden shock of the earth's surface. Basically, the Earth's crust consists of a series of "plates" floating over the interior, continually moving (at 2 to 130 millimeters per year), spreading from the center, sinking at the edges, and being regenerated. Friction caused by plates colliding, extending, or subducting (one plate slides under the other) builds up stresses that, when released, causes an earthquake to radiate through the crust in a complex wave motion, producing ground failure (in the form of surface faulting [a split in the ground], landslides, liquefaction, or subsidence), or tsunami. This, in turn, can cause anywhere from minor damage to total devastation of the built environment near where the earthquake occurred.

Photo example of ground failure-landslide - Alaska, 1964

Ground failure-landslide—Alaska, 1964

Liquefaction damage—Niigata, Japan 1964

Photo of Saada Hotel before an earthquake destroyed it-Agadir, Morocco, 1960

Saada Hotel (before)—Agadir, Morocco, 1960

Saada Hotel (after) ground shaking damage—Agadir, Morocco, 1960

Measuring Seismic Forces

In order to characterize or measure the effect of an earthquake on the ground (a.k.a. ground motion), the following definitions are commonly used:

  • 0.001g or 1 cm/sec 2 is perceptible by people
  • 0.02 g or 20 cm/sec 2 causes people to lose their balance
  • 0.50g is very high but buildings can survive it if the duration is short and if the mass and configuration has enough damping
  • Velocity (or speed) is the rate of change of position, measured in centimeters per second.
  • Displacement is the distance from the point of rest, measured in centimeters.
  • Duration is the length of time the shock cycles persists.
  • Magnitude is the "size" of the earthquake, measured by the Richter scale, which ranges from 1-10. The Richter scale is based on the maximum amplitude of certain seismic waves, and seismologists estimate that each unit of the Richter scale is a 31 times increase of energy. Moment Magnitude Scale is a recent measure that is becoming more frequently used.

If the level of acceleration is combined with duration, the power of destruction is defined. Usually, the longer the duration, the less acceleration the building can endure. A building can withstand very high acceleration for a very short duration in proportion with damping measures incorporated in the structure.

Intensity is the amount of damage the earthquake causes locally, which can be characterized by the 12 level Modified Mercalli Scale (MM) where each level designates a certain amount of destruction correlated to ground acceleration. Earthquake damage will vary depending on distance from origin (or epicenter), local soil conditions, and the type of construction.

B. Effects of Earthquakes on Buildings

Seismic Terminology (For definitions of terms used in this resource page, see Glossary of Seismic Terminology   )

The aforementioned seismic measures are used to calculate forces that earthquakes impose on buildings. Ground shaking (pushing back and forth, sideways, up and down) generates internal forces within buildings called the Inertial Force (F Inertial ), which in turn causes most seismic damage.

F Inertial = Mass (M) X Acceleration (A).

The greater the mass (weight of the building), the greater the internal inertial forces generated. Lightweight construction with less mass is typically an advantage in seismic design. Greater mass generates greater lateral forces, thereby increasing the possibility of columns being displaced, out of plumb, and/or buckling under vertical load (P delta Effect).

Earthquakes generate waves that may be slow and long, or short and abrupt. The length of a full cycle in seconds is the Period of the wave and is the inverse of the Frequency . All objects, including buildings, have a natural or fundamental period at which they vibrate if jolted by a shock. The natural period is a primary consideration for seismic design, although other aspects of the building design may also contribute to a lesser degree to the mitigation measures. If the period of the shock wave and the natural period of the building coincide, then the building will "resonate" and its vibration will increase or "amplify" several times.

Height is the main determinant of fundamental period—each object has its own fundamental period at which it will vibrate. The period is proportionate to the height of the building.

The soil also has a period varying between 0.4 and 1.5 sec., very soft soil being 2.0 sec. Soft soils generally have a tendency to increase shaking as much as 2 to 6 times as compared to rock. Also, the period of the soil coinciding with the natural period of the building can greatly amplify acceleration of the building and is therefore a design consideration.

Tall buildings will undergo several modes of vibration, but for seismic purposes (except for very tall buildings) the fundamental period, or first mode is usually the most significant.

Seismic Design Factors

The following factors affect and are affected by the design of the building. It is important that the design team understands these factors and deal with them prudently in the design phase.

Torsion : Objects and buildings have a center of mass, a point by which the object (building) can be balanced without rotation occurring. If the mass is uniformly distributed then the geometric center of the floor and the center of mass may coincide. Uneven mass distribution will position the center of mass outside of the geometric center causing "torsion" generating stress concentrations. A certain amount of torsion is unavoidable in every building design. Symmetrical arrangement of masses, however, will result in balanced stiffness against either direction and keep torsion within a manageable range.

Damping : Buildings in general are poor resonators to dynamic shock and dissipate vibration by absorbing it. Damping is a rate at which natural vibration is absorbed.

Ductility : Ductility is the characteristic of a material (such as steel) to bend, flex, or move, but fails only after considerable deformation has occurred. Non-ductile materials (such as poorly reinforced concrete) fail abruptly by crumbling. Good ductility can be achieved with carefully detailed joints.

Strength and Stiffness : Strength is a property of a material to resist and bear applied forces within a safe limit. Stiffness of a material is a degree of resistance to deflection or drift (drift being a horizontal story-to-story relative displacement).

Building Configuration : This term defines a building's size and shape, and structural and nonstructural elements. Building configuration determines the way seismic forces are distributed within the structure, their relative magnitude, and problematic design concerns.

  • Low Height to Base Ratios
  • Equal Floor Heights
  • Symmetrical Plans
  • Uniform Sections and Elevations
  • Maximum Torsional Resistance
  • Short Spans and Redundancy
  • Direct Load Paths
  • Irregular Configuration buildings are those that differ from the "Regular" definition and have problematic stress concentrations and torsion.

Photo of collapsed building

View enlarged illustration

Buildings seldom overturn—they fall apart or "pancake"

Soft First Story is a discontinuity of strength and stiffness for lateral load at the ground level.

Discontinuous Shear Walls do not line up consistently one upon the other causing "soft" levels.

Variation in Perimeter Strength and Stiffness such as an open front on the ground level usually causes eccentricity or torsion.

Reentrant Corners in the shapes of H , L , T , U , + , or [] develop stress concentration at the reentrant corner and torsion. Seismic designs should adequately separate reentrant corners or strengthen them.

Knowledge of the building's period, torsion, damping, ductility, strength, stiffness, and configuration can help one determine the most appropriate seismic design devices and mitigation strategies to employ.

C. Seismic Design Strategies and Devices

Diaphragms : Floors and roofs can be used as rigid horizontal planes, or diaphragms, to transfer lateral forces to vertical resisting elements such as walls or frames.

Shear Walls : Strategically located stiffened walls are shear walls and are capable of transferring lateral forces from floors and roofs to the foundation.

Braced Frames : Vertical frames that transfer lateral loads from floors and roofs to foundations. Like shear walls, Braced Frames are designed to take lateral loads but are used where shear walls are impractical.

Moment-Resistant Frames : Column/beam joints in moment-resistant frames are designed to take both shear and bending thereby eliminating the space limitations of solid shear walls or braced frames. The column/beam joints are carefully designed to be stiff yet to allow some deformation for energy dissipation taking advantage of the ductility of steel (reinforced concrete can be designed as a Moment-Resistant Frame as well).

Example of concentric braced frame

Concentric Braced Frame

Eccentric Braced Frame, with link beams

Energy-Dissipating Devices : Making the building structure more resistive will increase shaking which may damage the contents or the function of the building. Energy-Dissipating Devices are used to minimize shaking. Energy will dissipate if ductile materials deform in a controlled way. An example is Eccentric Bracing whereby the controlled deformation of framing members dissipates energy. However, this will not eliminate or reduce damage to building contents. A more direct solution is the use of energy dissipating devices that function like shock absorbers in a moving car. The period of the building will be lengthened and the building will "ride out" the shaking within a tolerable range.

Example of base isolation bearing

Base Isolation Bearings are used to modify the transmission of the forces from the ground to the building

Base Isolation : This seismic design strategy involves separating the building from the foundation and acts to absorb shock. As the ground moves, the building moves at a slower pace because the isolators dissipate a large part of the shock. The building must be designed to act as a unit, or "rigid box", of appropriate height (to avoid overturning) and have flexible utility connections to accommodate movement at its base. Base Isolation is easiest to incorporate in the design of new construction. Existing buildings may require alterations to be made more rigid to move as a unit with foundations separated from the superstructure to insert the Base Isolators. Additional space (a "moat") must be provided for horizontal displacement (the whole building will move back and forth a whole foot or more). Base Isolation retrofit is a costly operation that is most commonly appropriate in high asset value facilities and may require partial or the full removal of building occupants during installation.

Photo example of fluid viscous dampers

Passive Energy Dissipation includes the introduction of devices such as dampers to dissipate earthquake energy producing friction or deformation.

The materials used for Elastomeric Isolators are natural rubber, high-damping rubber, or another elastomer in combination with metal parts. Frictive Isolators are also used and are made primarily of metal parts.

Tall buildings cannot be base-isolated or they would overturn. Being very flexible compared to low-rise buildings, their horizontal displacement needs to be controlled. This can be achieved by the use of Dampers , which absorb a good part of the energy making the displacement tolerable. Retrofitting existing buildings is often easier with dampers than with base isolators, especially if the application is external or does not interfere with the occupants.

There are many types of dampers used to mitigate seismic effects, including:

  • Hysteric dampers utilize the deformation of metal parts
  • Visco-elastic dampers stretch an elastomer in combination with metal parts
  • Frictive dampers use metal or other surfaces in friction
  • Viscous dampers compress a fluid in a piston-like device
  • Hybrid dampers utilize the combination of elastomeric and metal or other parts

D. Nonstructural Damage Control

All items, which are not part of the structural system, are considered as "nonstructural", and include such building elements as:

  • Exterior cladding and curtain walls
  • Parapet walls
  • Canopies and marquees
  • Chimneys and stacks
  • Partitions, doors, windows
  • Suspended ceilings
  • Routes of exit and entrance
  • Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical and Communications equipment
  • Furniture and equipment

These items must be stabilized with bracing to prevent their damage or total destruction. Building machinery and equipment can be outfitted with seismic isolating devices, which are modified versions of the standard Vibration Isolators.

Loss arising from nonstructural damage can be a multiple of the structural losses. Loss of business and failure of entire businesses was very high in the Loma Prieta, Northridge, and Kobe earthquakes due to both structural and nonstructural seismic damages.

The principles and strategies of seismic design and construction are applied in a systematic approach that matches an appropriate response to specific conditions through the following major steps:

1. Analyze Site Conditions

The location and physical properties of the site are the primary influences the entire design process. The following questions can serve as a checklist to identify seismic design objectives.

  • Where is the location of the nearest fault?
  • Are there unconsolidated natural or man-made fills present?
  • Is there a potential for landslide or liquefaction on or near the site?
  • Are there vulnerable transportation, communication, and utilities connections?
  • Are there any hazardous materials on the site to be protected?
  • Is there potential for battering by adjacent buildings?
  • Is there exposure to potential flood from tsunami, seiche, or dam failure?

Consider mission critical or business continuity threats of seismicity on adjacent sites or elsewhere in the vicinity that may render the project site inaccessible or causes the loss of utilities, threat of fire, or the release of toxic materials to the site. Conduct subsurface investigations to discover loose soils or uncontrolled fill that could increase ground motion. Hard dense soils remain more stable, while solid dense rock is the most predictable and seismically safe building base.

2. Establish Seismic Design Objectives

A performance-based approach to establishing seismic design objectives is recommended. This determines a level of predictable building behavior by responding to the maximum considered earthquake. A threat/vulnerability assessment and risk analysis can be used to define the level of performance desired for the building project. Some suggested seismic design performance goals are:

  • Conform to local building codes providing "Life Safety," meaning that the building may collapse eventually but not during the earthquake.
  • Design for repairable structural damage, required evacuation of the building, and acceptable loss of business for stipulated number of days.
  • Design for repairable nonstructural damage, partial or full evacuation, and acceptable loss of business for stipulated number of days due to repair.
  • Design for repairable structural damage, no evacuation required, and acceptable loss of business for stipulated number of days due to repair.
  • No structural damage, repairable nonstructural damage, no evacuation, and acceptable loss of business for stipulated number of days due to repair.
  • No structural or nonstructural damage, and no loss of business caused by either (excluding damage to tenants' own equipment such as file cabinets, bookshelves, furniture, office equipment etc. if not properly anchored).

Regarding the magnitude of the earthquake it may also be stipulated as "Low," "Moderate," or "Large" as another matrix of grading threat and establishing corresponding building performance goals.

3. Select/Design Appropriate Structural Systems

Seismic design objectives can greatly influence the selection of the most appropriate structural system and related building systems for the project. Some construction type options, and corresponding seismic properties, are:

  • Wood or timber frame (good energy absorption, light weight, framing connections are critical).
  • Reinforced masonry walls (good energy absorption if walls and floors are well integrated; proportion of spandrels and piers are critical to avoid cracking)
  • Reinforced concrete walls (good energy absorption if walls and floors well integrated; proportion of spandrels and piers are critical to avoid cracking)
  • Steel frame with masonry fill-in walls (good energy absorption if bay sizes are small and building plan is uniform)
  • Steel frame, braced (extensive bracing, detailing, and proportions are important)
  • Steel frame, moment-resisting (good energy absorption, connections are critical)
  • Steel frame, eccentrically braced (excellent energy absorption, connections are critical)
  • Pre-cast concrete frame (poor performer without special energy absorbing connections)

Structural and architectural detailing and construction quality control is very important to ensure ductility and natural damping and to keep damages to a limited and repairable range. The prospect of structural and nonstructural damage is not likely to be eliminated without the prudent use of energy-dissipating devices. The cost of adding energy-dissipating devices is in the range of 1–2% of the total structural cost. This is not a large number, particularly when related to the life-cycle cost of the building. Within a 30–50 year life cycle the cost is negligible.

Many building codes and governmental standards exist pertaining to design and construction for seismic hazard mitigation. As previously mentioned, building code requirements are primarily prescriptive and define seismic zones and minimum safety factors to "design to." Codes pertaining to seismic requirements may be local, state, or regional building codes or amendments and should be researched thoroughly by the design professional.

Many governmental agencies at the federal level have seismic standards, criteria, and program specialists who are involved in major building programs and can give further guidance on special requirements.

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Provides a number of web-based "Disaster Communities," organized around multi-hazard issues, including an Earthquake Disaster Community with major seismic related FEMA publications.
  • International Code Council (ICC) ICC was established in 1994 to developing a single set of comprehensive and coordinated national model construction codes. The founders of the ICC are Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), and Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI).
  • National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) FEMA's earthquake program was established in 1977, under the authority of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, enacted as Public Law 101-614 . The purpose of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) is to reduce the risks of life and property from future earthquakes. FEMA serves as lead agency among the four primary NEHRP federal partners, responsible for planning and coordinating the Program.
  • Standards of Seismic Safety for Existing Federally Owned and Leased Buildings —a report of the NIST Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction (ICSSC RP 6) (NISTIR 6762)

For definitions of terms used in this resource page, see Glossary of Seismic Terminology   .


  • American Council of Engineering Companies
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Building Seismic Safety Council (NIBS) —The Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC), established by the National Institute of Building Sciences develops and promotes building earthquake risk mitigation, regulatory provisions for the nation.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Mitigation Division —One of the features of FEMA's site is a map library, containing: GIS mapping products and data for the latest disasters, along with current and prior year disasters and custom hazard maps that can be created by entering a zip code and selecting from a variety of hazard types to help determine disaster risks in any community. In addition, the Mitigation Directorate's Flood Hazard Mapping Technical Services Division maintains and updates the National Flood Insurance Program maps.
  • Mitigation Clearinghouse —The Clearinghouse serves to provide a dynamic resource library, thereby improving discovery and accessibility of mitigation related literature.
  • Natural Hazards Center —The Natural Hazards Center, located at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA, is a national and international clearinghouse for information on natural hazards and human adjustments to hazards and disasters.
  • Seismosoft —providing the earthquake engineering community with access to powerful and state-of-the-art analytical tools since 2002.
  • USGS National Earthquake Information Center


  • Design Guideline for Seismic Resistant Water Pipeline Installations by American Lifelines Alliance. 2005.
  • UFC 1-200-01 General Building Requirements
  • UFC 3-310-04 Seismic Design for Buildings

WBDG Participating Agencies

earthquake resistant building case study ppt

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Earthquake Resistant Buildings and Design

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Related Papers

International Journal for Research in Applied Science and Engineering Technology IJRASET

IJRASET Publication

The research based work of earthquake & propagations of seismic waves, wave which generates by help of energy cause from sudden breakage in rock within Earth or either explosions which move through & around Earth, named as Seismology. Earthquake that occurs by movement of 2 tectonic plates, sudden toward & enen against. The rock normally breaks underground along because of breakage of rock earth-shake, results as earthquakes. Design of these types of building that might withstand earthquakes are named as earthquake-resistant design of the structures. Such buildings which construct, called as earthquake-resistant structures. Current work illustrates the merits along futures trend of earthquake-resistant designs of such structure.

earthquake resistant building case study ppt

Suchitro Basu

Nazifa Tabassum

ᕧᖆᕬᘗᖱ ᒺᗋᖽᐸᓏ

IJERA Journal

It is seen that reinforced concrete (RC) frame buildings are commonly found constructions in urban India, on which several types of forces are subjected during their lifetime, such as static forces due to dead and live loads and dynamic forces due to the wind and earthquake. It has been confirmed from different studies that unlike static forces, direction and locations of dynamic forces, amplitude, especially the earthquakes, vary significantly with time, which cause considerable inertia effects on the buildings. Under dynamic forces behaviour of buildings depends on the dynamic characteristics of buildings which are controlled by both their stiffness and mass properties of the buildings, whereas the static behaviour is solely dependent upon the stiffness characteristics. Hence buildings performance largely dependents on the deformability and strength of constituent members, additionally, linked to members internal design forces. The internal design forces in turn depend upon the accuracy of the method employed in their analytical determination.

yvmohan reddy

Apart from the modern techniques which are well documented in the codes of practice, there are some other old traditional earthquake resistant techniques which have proved to be effective for resisting earthquake loading and are also cost effective with easy constructability.

Thandavamoorthy Thumati

In this modern world structures are acted upon frequently by dynamic loads such as earthquake, cyclones, floods, land slides, blasting, etc., in contrast to those constructed a few centuries ago wherein loading on the structures were mainly static in nature. The speciality of static loadings are their variation in magnitudes with time do not change, i.e., their magnitudes remain constant for ever. At that time designers were happy if they designed the structures for static loading only and also found satisfied when the design fulfilled the conditions prescribed by codes of practices prevalent at that time. Subsequently extreme loadings struck the buildings and they were found wanting. When the extreme loading particularly earthquales were widespread throughout the world and their occurrences were repeated resulting in colossal loss of lives and properties, engineers and scientists became wiser and commenced organised research to find a solution to ensure safety to human beings. The outcome of this research is the formulation of texts on dynamics of structures. The present treatise is therefore entitled as Basics of Dynamics and Earthquake Resistant Structures. It covers the fundamental principles of dynamics as applicable to structures and deigns these structures to resist the forces induced by motion of the ground. As various guidelines have been framed by codal authorities of the country to design structures constructed with masonry, reinforced concrete and steel. In India the codal authority is the Bureau of Indian Standard. It has released mainly three codes related to earthquake design, viz., IS: 1890, IS: 13920 and IS: 4320 for designers to follow in their design. In essence the book contains 32 chapters dealing with various aspects of theory of vibration, basics of seismicity, lesson learnt from past earthquakes, related soil properties and its measurement, analysis techniques such as response spectrum approach and time history technique, various aspects of seismic resistance provisions of buildings, codal provisions relevant to buildings constructed in India, details about isolation and vibration control methods, mitigation of earthquake effects and finally quality aspect of materials and construction technique. The book has been prepared based on the syllabus prescribed by Anna University and other universities situated in different parts of the country. This book has been tailored to suit to design engineers and other practising engineers in their profession. The hallmark of this book is that it presents at the end of each chapter Points to Remember section which will be quite beneficial for them to score high marks in 2 marks part of the university question paper.

IJSRD - International Journal for Scientific Research and Development

Earthquakes are very serious problems since they affect human life in various ways. The Earthquakes are mainly prevented by two methods namely Base Isolation Methods and Seismic Dampers. The present paper deals with 1.Increase natural period of structure by "Base Isolation Techniques".2.Increase damping of the system by "Energy Dissipation Devices". In brief manner. This paper explains the main theme of the above methods and their preventive methods about Earthquakes. The present paper deals with structures which resist Earthquakes. It explains the frames which help in resisting Earthquakes. In total, this present paper deals with Methods of resisting Earthquakes and Frames resisting them and also the prominent techniques followed to resist Earthquakes.

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Earthquake Resistant Building : 10 Techniques Used by Architects Around the World

earthquake resistant building case study ppt

Falling under the category of natural disasters, the mere mention of earthquakes does not paint a very good picture. And rightfully so… the uprooting of families, the havoc within people, the loss of life, and the list goes on! However, in earlier times when the typology of structures was typically closer to the ground, not reaching a very substantial height, there would be scope to rush to open space for minimal damage. But in the present scenario with high-rise buildings jam-packed close to each other, there is left no option but to make the buildings strong enough to withstand the tectonic activities taking place in the region. The field of Engineering and Architecture is fortunately on a constant roll in devising newer technologies and implementations day by day for earthquake-resistant buildings that take us a step closer to a safer tomorrow for our inhabitants. 

The following are the ten buildings that were designed for earthquake resistant buildings with specialized features to withstand the lashes of earthquakes:

1. Taipei 101, Taiwan | Earthquake Resistant Building

Architect: C.Y. Lee and Partners Year of completion: 2004

Standing 508 m tall, making it the 10 th tallest building in the world as of 2020, Taiwan’s giant has had to have gone through complex engineering and clever architectural planning that went into building this structure (construction began in 1998). The building uses the tuned mass damper (TMD) approach to counteract the swaying this structure may experience in events of an earthquake. There hangs a ‘ball of steel’ weighing 730 tonnes acting as a centralized pendulum that is designed to oscillate away from the lateral bend of the building to neutralize the effect of the earthquake. Despite having such a dense and heavy profile, it manages to appear intricate and aesthetic to a viewer.

Earthquake Resistant Building Techniques - TAIPEI 101, Taiwan - Sheet1

2. Utah State Capitol building, USA

Architect: Richard K. A. Kletting Year of completion: 1916 (with later seismic upgrades in 2004)

This neoclassical Corinthian-styled classic colonnaded façade of a structure resembles the strength and repose a government building was once intended to. However, there were quite a few later innovations that were introduced to the structure’s foundation to deal with the earthquake situation in the region. It was designed to withstand up to 7.3 magnitude earthquakes while keeping the classical aura of the building intact. This base isolation system bears 281 lead-rubber laminated base isolators attached to the building foundation with the help of steel plates. In the event of an earthquake, every hard impact is absorbed by the rubber isolators while also gently shaking the building back and forth, so there is no damage or collapse.

Earthquake Resistant Building Techniques - Utah State Capitol building, USA - Sheet1

3. Petronas Twin Tower, Malaysia

Architect: César Pelli Year of completion: 1999

This iconic structure remained the tallest skyscraper in the world well until the year 2004. This still, however, remains the tallest twin tower in the world at a whopping height of 452m. The two glass towers are connected with a centralized 2 storey bridge. This feature is not only aesthetic addition but also is designed to slide in and out of the building every time there seem to be substantial lateral loads acting upon the building.

Earthquake Resistant Building Techniques - Petronas Twin Tower, Malaysia - Sheet1

4. Burj Khalifa, Dubai | Earthquake Resistant Building

Architect(s): Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill Year of completion: 2010

The world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa Bin Zayed, is an architectural marvel standing tall and safe. All thanks to its advanced architectural and structural system designed to withstand earthquakes ranging from 5.5 to 7.0 magnitude on the Richter scale. It is equipped with a mass dampener/harmonic absorber within the structure to absorb the vibrations. The minaret-inspired building was once introduced to some tremors due to the Iran earthquake in 2008, but the structure remained unharmed and intact.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai - Sheet1

5. The Yokohama Landmark Tower

Architect: Hugh Stubbins Year of completion: 1993

The beauty of technological advancements is that it eventually makes up for the human errors that were made in the past (well, for the most part). Similarly, as we humans occupied and inhabited the geologically active island chains, regions like Japan are at a high risk of an earthquake. The buildings actively respond to the same very efficiently as well… the Yokohama Landmark Tower is no exception. This building equips within itself a Hybrid mass damper (a combination of tuned mass damper and an active control actuator) as well as something called “bandage pillars”. These are earthquake resisting pillars that are designed with the help of resin fibres that essentially may allow some chunks of the pillar to fall off but prevent it from collapsing in case of an earthquake.

Earthquake Resistant Building Techniques - The Yokohama Landmark Tower - Sheet1

6. Citigroup Center

Architect: Hugh Stubbins Year of completion: 1976

What makes this building a rather unique addition to the New York skyline is the 410-ton concrete tuned mass damper added much later into the structure. It was the first building in New York to equip the same… the initial structure was provided with much weaker bolded joints, making it a structurally unsound and hazardous building as the lateral loads were said to be too much load on them.

Earthquake Resistant Building Techniques - Citigroup Center - Sheet1

7. U.S Bank Tower, USA

Architect: Henry N. Cobb Year of completion: 1989

Situated in the seismically active area of Los Angeles, this is the second tallest skyscraper in an earthquake-prone zone following Taipei 101. This structure is designed in a way that it can withstand an earthquake of up to 8.3 magnitudes on the Richter scale.

Earthquake Resistant Building Techniques - U.S Bank Tower, USA - Sheet1

8. One Rincon Hill South Tower, USA

Architect: John C. Lahey Year of completion: 2008

The rather unique feature about this high-end residential tower is the tuned liquid mass damper atop the 60 storey structure. It is essentially a 5 feet tall tank filled with 50,000 gallons of water that flows the opposite side of the sway to decrease the impact on the inhabitants.

Earthquake Resistant Building Techniques - One Rincon Hill South Tower, USA - Sheet1

9. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, Turkey

Architect: HEAŞ (Airport Management & Aeronautical Industries Inc)

The confluence of three major tectonic plates in the City of Istanbul makes it a major earthquake-prone area. Resultant of which came the Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. With the ability to withstand an earthquake up to the magnitude of 8 on the Richter scale. The computer-simulated triple friction pendulum isolators help the structure not only stay aloft in the event of an earthquake but also start functioning right after the passing of the same.

Earthquake Resistant Building Techniques - Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, Turkey - Sheet1

10. The Transamerica Pyramid, USA | Earthquake Resistant Building

Architect: William Pereira Year of completion: 1972

This San Francisco high rise was designed in such a way that it reflects some sunlight to its neighbors, considering the tiny heights of the buildings around. Along with those features, it also is very efficient in terms of earthquake resistance. The building is said to rest on a steel and concrete foundation that is engineered to move along with the earthquake giving subtle sways to the structure itself. The tower survived a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in 1989.

Earthquake Resistant Building Techniques - The Transamerica Pyramid, USA - Sheet1

In this never-ending road down the structural lane, there will always be a constant need to keep improving and experimenting to adapt and survive against natural calamities while experiencing minimal damage to property, as well as life. We may not have figured everything against saving one’s structure completely against the mighty quake, but we are surely in a hopeful place.

earthquake resistant building case study ppt

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earthquake resistant building case study ppt


Earthquake Resistant Building Construction Seminar pdf Report and ppt

Earthquake Resistant Building Construction Seminar and PPT with pdf report : Well, everyone knows about the earthquake and an earthquake is an oscillation or the quivering. In few cases the earthquake is fierce to the surface of the earth which delivers the energy in the crust of the earth, coming to the released energy then it is a quick and unexpected displacement of the parts of the crust due to the eruption of volcano or even it may be an explosion made by the humankind.

Also See: Seminar Topics for Civil Engineering

Initially, the crust bends and stress go beyond the rocks strength then they divide with violence or violently damage the part and during the process of dividing, the oscillations are produced and they are called as seismic waves. We are talking about here Earthquake Resistant Building Construction Seminar and PPT with pdf report.

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The seismic waves come out of the earthquake source and move in parallel to the surface of the earth, the speed of the waves change as they travel because the speed is dependent on the material that they travel. The seismic waves are responsible for the calamities on the surface of the earth, the structures or buildings built on the earth cannot be proved as totally earthquake proof structures and the only way that we can protect the structures is by enhancing the earthquake resistant of the buildings.

The necessary treatment should be done in connection with the area where they are present and the earthquakes and losses occurred due to the earthquake made the people work on the problems and bring their solutions.

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How does an Earthquake Resistant Building Differ with the Other Buildings?

The force of the seismic waves and the intensity of the earthquake which will occur are very complex to make an estimation of it. The real forces that can be produced in a building during the earthquake will be very large and to build the structures with the resistant features to all these forces makes it very costly. The objective of earthquake resistant construction is to protect the structure during vibration from collapsing and the major feature to ensure in such a construction is the ductility.

Effect of an Earthquake on the Reinforced Concrete Structures:

At present, the reinforced concrete structures are very common in India. An RC structure is made up of horizontal parameters like beams and slabs; along with the horizontal parameters, it also includes the vertical parameters like the columns and walls. The foundation supports the RC structure and the RC frame is nothing but the RC columns with the joining beams, it takes part in the opposing the forces of the earthquake. The forces generated during the earthquake moves in a downward direction like from the slabs to the beams, from the beams to the columns and also to the walls and finally to the foundation, from the foundation they are scattered or spread along the ground. The major elements of the reinforced concrete structure are as follows:

  • Floor slabs
  • Masonry walls
  • The hierarchy of the strength which explains about the materials that need to be more stronger

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Seismic Design Philosophy:

The intensity of the earthquake and its vibration can be mild, moderate and very strong. The minor or mild vibrations occur very often, the moderate vibrations happen occasionally and the strong vibrations occur seldom. Therefore, the philosophy of the seismic design lies in the following parameters:

  • Earthquake resistant building
  • Earthquake design philosophy

Remedial Measures to Reduce the Losses due to the Earthquakes:

The necessary remedial measures that aid in reducing the losses that occurred by the earthquake are as follows:

  • Planning of the building
  • The band’s provision
  • The joints of beam column
  • The foundation
  • The staircases
  • The masonry building

Also See: Green Concrete Seminar and PPT with PDF Report

Construction of Earthquake Resistant Structure with the Reinforced Hollow Concrete Block:

The reinforced hollow concrete blocks are made as the walls of load bearing for loads of gravity and also as the walls of shear for loads of seismic to furnish safety from the earthquakes. This type of construction is also called as the concept of a shear-wall diaphragm and it includes the following parameters:

  • The structural features
  • The advantages of structure
  • The benefits of architecture
  • The benefits of construction

Mid-Level Isolation:

The basic isolation systems are of three types and they are as follows:

  • The foundation isolation
  • The pile head isolation
  • The mid-level isolation

The mid-level isolation acts as dampers and decreases the swaying of the structure.

Also See: Construction Management Seminar with PDF Report Free

Traditional Earthquake Resistant Housing:

Some of the traditional earthquake resistant housings are as follows:

  • The Dhajji-Diwari structures of Kashmir
  • The Kat-Ki-Kunni structures of Kulu valley
  • The Quincha earthquake resistant structures
  • The Uttarkashi Pherols

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