Conflict and Natural Disasters
Earthquake-resistant architecture
I have started writing for my masters dissertation, "Earthquake Resistant Architecture for Mountain Regions," focusing on Kashmir and the Northern Area of Pakistan, which is located in between great mountainous ranges of Himalayan and Karakoram.

Recent earthquakes reflect how poor our concepts/practices are, and above all how these structures result in massive destruction.

This disaster gives rise to many questions, such as: have any lessons been learned? And what are the roles and responsibilities of an architect?

Most importantly, how should the future preparation/planning guidelines be devised, and how to design and execute buildings with seismic risk, as "Earthquakes do not kill, buildings do".

So far what I have perceived is that our traditional architecture has wisdom to resist these natural disasters; on the other hand, we can't ignore modern architectural/engineering solutions to overcome these calamities.

The building disasters after this recent earthquake call for proper planning and the introduction of appropriate architectural and engineering intervention to trounce these disasters.

My intention is to look for new/radical ideas as well as the good that our traditional architecture offers.

Last but not least, I want to underline this important saying to highlight many of the disregarded technicalities of building.

I will genially appreciate it if anyone could guide me how to get started and suggest me some references and reading in this context.
Wajahat Ali
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Dear Wajahat,

Stick to a good library or google it. Earthquake structures is one subject where a lot of research has been done and information is available in abundance.

I got a mail from an architecture school regarding a training program on earthquake related structures: you could try attending it as you are close by.

The Department of Architecture and Planning of Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee is organizing a short-term one-week course on "Earthquake Resistant Building : Design and Construction."
The course dates are 28th August to 1 st September 2006.

This course is open to all practicing architects as well as the faculties from architectural institutions.

We are sending you copy of Announcement Brochure. The participation form and brochure for the course can be downloaded from or

For information please contact:
(Dr. M. Mukherjee)
Department of Architecture and Planning
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
Roorkee: 247 667 (UA)
Email:, 01332��285334(O),285036(R)

Kiran Aryan
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Thank you for your worthwhile suggestions.

I have been looking to different sites and books but most of them express solutions more engineering-based.

At the moment I am focusing more on how architecture or rules of architecture should be lead for these resistant design proposals; as Henry Degenkolb once said, "Some of the major problems relating to earthquake design are created by the original design concept chosen by the architect."

Could anyone elaborate more on how earthquake resistant architectures, from a single building to the urban scale, can be safeguarded architecturally.
Wajahat Ali
Earthquake-resistant architecture

Earthquake resistance is a critical issue solved primarily by earthquake engineers. The solutions don't fall under the scope of architectural design. Only the implementation and the innovation in implementing.
Though highly desirable,it is rare that earthquake engineers and architects work hand-in-hand to solve the issues and produce appealing designs.

I have been a part of the course Kiran talked about. It is wonderful, as it directly discusses the implication at an architect's end.
P Das
Earthquake-resistant architecture

I beg to differ.

Architects have a very important role in the earthquake resistance of buildings.

The building and room sizes, proportions, opening sizes, placements, etc., are all part of earthquake resistance as well as architecture.

Yes, the architect is not expected to design the RCC/steel/etc. structural details, but he/she is expected to follow certain basic guidelines for earthquake resistance.

Placement of bands at lintel level do guide your door/window heights, don't they? These are essential parts of earthquake resistance as well as architecture.

Chitradeep Sengupta
Earthquake-resistant architecture
I believe we share the same views.:)
They recommend, we implement. Thus we cannot see earthquake resistant 'architecture' in isolation (from engineering).

P Das
Earthquake-resistant architecture

"Earthquake-resistant architecture" becomes a reality when engineers, designers and architects realise that the ground moves like water in an earthquake.

Therefore the normal rules of "design on land" do not apply. Buildings in an earthquake (designed and built according to the normal rules of design on land), sway, fold, sink, slide, collapse, etc.

This means that these buildings tend to behave like rafts, boats or ships floating upon the surface of a sea and therefore it is only when this fact is recognised will buildings be developed to work within that watery reality.

I have watched various TV programmes about landslides in mountainous areas under earthquake or volcanic conditions, and there is now a body of knowledge and scientific formulaes, etc., that show that huge masses of dry particles act in a similar way to the fluidity that is normally associated with water.

And as I have said before and I will say again, most of the buildings designed on land depend to a greater or lesser degree upon gravity to maintain their shape and so all sideways motions are totally disregarded in the calculations. The only buildings which do have some resistance in earthquakes are those with frame structures and further, those with flexible fibrous frame structures (wood-frame houses) stand up even better.
Frank John Snelling
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Dear Frank,

Your response shows your close relationship to marine or naval architecture, right?
But how can one compare or design structure similar to those ones on water to that of on the hard ground?

It's only in some exceptional times when the ground starts waving like water, displaying all longitudianal and lateral waves...

So could you please relate naval architecture to ground structures in design or structural aspects?
Sriraj Gokarakonda
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Frank is refering to a phenomenon called 'liquifaction' where soil (specially sand)starts behaving like a liquid in earthquake.
I doubt if it has any direct relationship with naval architecture.
Seismology has a critical role to play to understand such a behavior of soil. It is a part of earthquake engineering.
Chitradeep, another arguement from my side.
P Das
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Greetings again to all my fellow artisians.
Special hello to Wajahat Ali and hello to Frank: yeah it is me...Dave Davies....have been absent for several months, working away in Singapore and waiting for the politics of business to settle so that I may finally get to work in Pakistan...

On what may you ask...why, an 'earthquake resistant' building of course...and how does this relate to the topic of the moment?

Well, simply put, this way: Architecture: the principle behind building design and structural engineering, the method used to determine how to build, have long been assumed to be in two different camps.

And, dare I say it, I have sensed and seen that division since my sojourn into the eastern hemisphere. Just to recap:

I come from New Zealand, have been working in Singapore for a year and I design and build buildings to specifically resist earthquakes and high winds.

This discussion has mentioned courses designed to enlighten students, architects, anyone into how buildings behave in earthquakes, and Frank has reminded us of the similarity earthquake-affected land masses have to marine structures, ie., the fluidity of the soil particles and the like.

And this is not to be confused with building ships on land. Frank mentioned that relationship to bring us to realize that when we are building for earthquake resistance, we need to consider the ground that we once thought was solid as a rock, is not so solid.

But we need to think of the ground as a solid in motion once the earth moves.

Now from my training and experience (30 years of engineering in the metal trades, including 15 years in the steel frame construction industry and trained in architecture (Dip Arch NZ)).

After living in the land of 'several shakes a day,' New Zealand, I have seen what architecture and engineering have done to get on well and how the two disciplines have merged and how they work on common ground.

Architects in NZ do not simply draw floor plans and finishes without referring to Bracing Codes...and having an firm understanding of Earthquake Bracing.

There are no cases of any building design that is drawn by any one in NZ that does not already have certain characeristics designed into it that make it earthquake proof.

More importantly, the materials we use are more likely to be the secret to our success. Frank mentioned timber frame, which does flex; I use light weight steel framing that looks like timber, but is more flexible and has greater resistance. On the other hand, the former construction methods of brick plastered, or any block or stone wall plastered, is not going like being shaken. Steel reinforced columns and beams alone do not make a building earthquake resistant. Hard as rock finishes do not mean they will not crumble when their foundations are turned to jelly. Yes, there are ways to make our buildings look like the traditional styles and still be able to have earthquake resistant methods and materials used to build them.

I will be Pakistan from this week until September. Hope all is well with you all, and ciao for now.
David Michael James Davies
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Look into publications.

There are rules for non-engineered buildings.

I have used similar ones in the Gujarat earthquake reconstruction to make some 10,000 houses earthquake safe.

Norbert E. Wilhelm
Earthquake-resistant architecture
I believe that vernacular architecture and naval architecture have many valuable concepts and insights into the problems of designing and constructing earthquake resistant buildings.

These bodies of knowledge are available and should be used regardless of their unorthodox or non-scientific origins.
Frank John Snelling
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Hello Frank,
Long time no see. Yeah, I read your latest comment about how the vernacular and naval architecture have valuable concepts, and using these bodies of knowledge regardless of their unorthodox or non scientific origins, but hey I agree with you, these methods of using timber as bracing elements and stones and brick as infill is fine if you have that method used on every building site.

I have seen the half-timbered houses of Europe stand and survive quake after quake. We have them in New Zealand too, but over the last 100 years, a lot of those methods have been passed by, because tradesmen and the customers do not want to wait or pay for or even understand them. The towers of London and so forth have stood for hundreds of years, but that does not mean every one else wants to build in or live in a building like that.

Here in Asia the locals have developed their own style of architecture; they have done what is natural to local architecture. They have used what they have as far as materials and man power and skills, and still there are problems with what is built. As far as scientific or unorthodox goes, history shows us the results, all science does is study the results and record them.

Science has never created any thing that did not occur somewhere before, all the building science people have done is simulate conditions and control the outcomes so that they can learn what happens as far as materials go; I personally love the hard finish of rock and plaster finishes on buildings. I love the scrolls and flutes of the pillars, I love the detail of the many architectural styles that are around us. Most of these details had a structural reason; sometimes the reasons for their use are lost in time and only the item and its visual effect is retained with the demands of modern living and the increasing demand on the building industry to perform better than it has in the past, there are bound to be combinations of looks, effects, architectural details, materials, building styles and layouts that are going to be used together to get the best of both worlds.

I have been designing and building across cultural abysses for a few years now; most of the time my buildings look just like the original traditional building, but beneath the old style exterior lies the heart of a modern day wonder, with space for people to continue work and life safely as they would like to with all the modern conveniences of today's world included, there is no need to be so 'in your face' when building for the people; old architectural styles and modern preventative methods can be mixed and can work well together, so let's have fun people! Let us design and build good buildings that work!
ciao for now
David Michael James Davies
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Many thanks for worthy comments and accept my apologies for missing the conversation, as I've been absent due to some travelling.

The idea of naval architecture floated by Frank is quite astonishing, yet perplexing. Interesting, being a unique idea and when I say confusing than I mean to say that "aren't we restricting our ideas with an engineering net. How an architect or urban planner play role effectively and their ideas differ from engineers?" Guide me, please.
Wajahat Ali
Earthquake-resistant architecture
I am doing my B.arch final project on Earthquake Resistant Design. I think you can also look at these sites for reference: and .

I attended a training about Local Seismic Cultures, and how people living on seismic zones use indigenous materials for construction. People all over the world have been living on fault lines for time immemorial. These populations develop a system of construction usually using indigenous materials which are not only cheap but sustainable as well. This system of construction is called the local seismic technology.
I hope it helps a little. Best of luck.

Andaleeb Rizvi
Earthquake-resistant architecture

Thank you for your interest. The reason why I refer to naval design is because that supposedly immutable fixed surface known as "terra firma" becomes fluid during an earthquake, in the sense that solid ground moves about like waves on a sea and if there are enough vibrations then soil solids will behave like liquids. And yes, I know earthquakes do not behave in the exact same way, but then seas do not either.

The problem with the normal viewpoint of a permanently land-dwelling person is the natural assumption that the ground never moves, or if it moves it is such an infrequent freak event that it can be ignored... until next time.

Naval architecture, or 'ship design,' automatically uses the known scientific principles of (a) "centre of buoyancy" and (b) "centre of gravity." Any ship with a centre of gravity higher than the centre of buoyancy will turn turtle and sink. These principles are not even considered when designing high rise buildings on land because the normal or standard education of civil engineers and architects is always oriented to building on a solid which never moves.
Frank John Snelling
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Greetings Frank and Wajahat,and all others here,

I have been in Islamabad since Saturday last; have seen first hand the devastation brought by the earthquake here.

Have also seen a city with not enough storm water drains. The streets virtually act as rivers of rain with every thing running downhill, including whatever rubbish is left out on the streets. This is not a good way to live.

Now I understand how floods kill so many innocent people. Meanwhile our project to build this hospital in Ghari Habibullah is going well.

Talking of marine technology, we build structural reinforced concrete floors with perimeter beams and where all the floor slab is connected together, not just ground beams under the walls, as is the practise here.

The local contractor we are using has never built a floor slab like we are using ever before; this is the start of something new here.

With the local ground conditions as they are here, liquification is the most likely result of an earthquake here, and with this concrete raft acting as the floor, we are more likely to float above the soft stuff beneath.

Anyway I am heading off to site now and will update as I can; ciao for now.
David Michael James Davies
Earthquake-resistant architecture
I just want to add that this discussion is a lot of help for me also, as I have already told that I am doing the same topic for my thesis.

But I am using the low cost local construction technology. I have just returned from Bagh, where we were doing a pilot project reconstruction, training and capacity building of artisans, and had to build three model houses using the local system of construction with stone and timber.

You can also look up "Grenot Minke" for your research.
Andaleeb Rizvi
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Hi Everyone,

As already mentioned by some members, small things like the centre of gravity, materials chosen for construction, bracings, distribution of masses evenly to avoid unnecessary tortions in the building should always be in an architect's mind. Presently I'm doing a student competition project on a disaster mitigation centre in Portblair.
The other main thing which lies in the hands of the architect is to decide the building form. The basic geometric shape has a long way to go in an earthquake resistant building.

The circle and the triangle are supposedly the best basic forms which can take loads from anywhere, rather than the rectangle and higher polygons which need diagonal bracings, etc., to resist forces from any random direction, though they perform well if the forces are from a particular direction.

I'm planning to have a triangular plinth and a surmounted cylindrical structure which is held by a high tensile steel member from the plinth.

Also from my reading I understand that buildings made of materials like wood and steel perform better than RCC in times of quakes due to their strength-to-weight ratio. Moreover, precast RCC structures have poor records in earthquakes.

I would be so grateful if anyone would explain about the performance of the geometrical massing I'm thinking of, and discuss any geometrical shapes in general.
Sriraj Gokarakonda
Earthquake-resistant architecture

Why not use Buckmaster Fuller's work, such as his Geodesic Dome?

The essential factor of design is to create a safe structure which will at least allow people not to be crushed by earthquakes collapsing the walls and roofs.
Frank John Snelling
Earthquake-resistant architecture
I have also started work on my graduation project for B.Sc, which is concerned with providing survivors of the earthquake an opportunity to rebuild their lives, and trying to revive their lost heritage. I visited Muzaffrabad in July '06. Unfortunately most of the area has been converted to "tent settlements" and I was unable to gather the information on how people lived there before the earthquake hit. I would really appreciate it if I could get an idea on the kind of architecture that prevailed there before the disaster hit, and the kind of urban fabric that existed in the mountains.
Since I've chosen a site that exists in the mountains, very primitive settlements existed, I believe, it's even hard for me to get official site maps.
I've also been trying to get some information on cases worldwide, where it's been possible to revive the lost architecture after disaster hit. I believe in the fact that if the ways of building of our ancestor's weren't lost, the scale at which lives were lost would not have been an issue.
I would really appreciate it if I could get any information regarding this and if I could get some advice on where to start.
Saima Hashmi
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Dear Wajahat,

As mentioned by many, there are "rules" of thumb for constructing in earthquake regions.

The following things help produce a simple(r) response to earthquakes:
Regularity in elevations and plan
Even proportioning of columns,walls,beams
Even mass distribution in plan and elevation...

When an architect makes use of these "constraints," then the dynamic response of the structure is "simple". This means that an engineer could use hand calculations to estimate section sizes and design the structural members.
Nowadays many will use software to help with the analysis.

However, what is important to know is that when the "original" designs are no longer simple in shape, then the engineer can't calculate the dynamic behaviour by assuming an idealised deformation patern of the building.

Therefore, if an architect chooses to deviate from the basic rules, then that architect needs to ensure that he has an engineer on board who understands structural dynamics and earthquake engineering and the seismic detailing that goes with it.

Reinforced concrete appears to be the choice that most people seem to aspire to. However, when it fails, and it does as proven by many earthquakes, it can be catastrophic.
Kubilay Hicyilmaz
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Dear Saima,

In a situation like Kashmir, the real architects and engineers are not the "degree" qualified ones. We only work on the smallest percentage of the structures. The real architects, builders and engineers are the self builders, stone masons, carpenters and steel fixers. See attached link about a training program I implemented when in Kashmir for 3 months after the earthquake:

Also you should look up NSET (a Nepalese NGO dedicated to reducing earthquake vulnerability):

Regarding the tent villages in Kashmir: this is not a true reflection of the situation as a whole. I would say that 80-90% of the population or even more did not end up in refugee camps or temporary settlements. They stayed on their land and are slowly rebuilding. They were concerned that if they vacated their family land, they might lose it. To see this one has to go outside the main towns.

Good luck with the masters dissertation.

Kubilay Hicyilmaz
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Kubilay, Your "rules of thumb" do approach the idea of an integrated structure with uniform stress but do not express the complete idea. This inability to grasp the notion that building literally float about like boats in earthquakes is usual for designers on dry land. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Earthquake-resistant architecture
When an earthquake initiates, the sudden release of elastic strain energy propagates in the form of waves away from the fault as a series of waves. These waves cause mainly horizontal and vertical movement of the ground.

Generally the rotational component of motion is ignored, mainly due to the complexity of recording these using strong motion accelerometers.

The combinations of these movements result in the ground on which a building is placed to move. If the structure were inside the ground, it would just move with the ground assuming it was a rigid structure. Those above ground experience the deformation time history of the ground (more or less). The ground deformations are measured using accelerometers.

If I have understood you correctly, you are comparing the motions experienced by the building to that of a ship being subjected wave loads in that it moves up and down and rocks about? I think I sort of see how you are visualising it.

If the engineer can do the sophisticated time history analysis, then the motion of the ground can be simulated in a computer simulation. The stiffness and mass distribution of the structure is modelled and the base is then subjected to an acceleration or velocity time history. The equations of motion then work out how the structure behaves to the applied base excitation. This is where it is important that the engineer understands structural dynamics.

Dynamics throw up results that are not intuitive to engineers and architects, who only think about vertical loads that can be assumed to be static loads. Often making a structure stiffer by providing bigger columns and beams only attracts more forces from an earthquake, which is why it is important that those engaged in the construction profession in earthquake countries need to appreciate structural dynamics.

Most people will not have the ability, time and money to do dynamic time history analysis.
Therefore, the results obtained from such detailed work is condensed into what presents its self as a set of simple rules. There is much hidden work behind these "simple" rules.

What I am saying is that it is fine to use whacky, complex geometries, BUT you then need to make sure the dynamic behaviour of such structures are properly evaluated. If this can't be done, then the rules of thumb are no longer valid, and the occupants are put at risk from the unexpected structural failure of a building.
Kubilay Hicyilmaz
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Thank you, Kubilay, for your encouraging response, it was extremely helpful.
You know your observation was absolutely right, about how the people are not willing to move out of their land and they are being educated on building back their homes themselves.

I was accompanied by a local NGO, and they did explain to me this approach of educating people to rebuild lives, but my only concern is that will they be able to revive the heritage that they have lost, because personally speaking, and I'm just a student, I feel that using the prototype ways of using concrete blocks and the steel reinforcements, we will be able to have shelters that resist earthquakes but maybe they might just be a little harmful in the sense of people moving towards a society which would no longer be able to revive the identity it had.
Thank you again for your response.
Saima Hashmi
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Dear Saima,
One aspect of my 3 months in Kashmir was that I did not see any historic buildings. In a way this is strange but when one looks at the houses that were there, especially away from the towns they often had thick mud roofs. Structures of this type require regular maintenance to stop water ingress. The timber only has a finite life and usually suffers from rot and infestation. Therefore maybe this is why there were not many historic buildings.

I don't think it is logical to come to the conclusion that if people is blocks or reinforced concrete that this means that they will lose their heritage. Surely people define their own culture and heritage.

What does worry me is that reinforced concrete structures can be built relatively simply, if one is happy with a very low quality structure. Getting reinforced concrete correct requires a good design, good quality concrete, sand, aggregate and reinforcement bars. In the instance of Pakistan all of the above are not readily available.
When the sand, cement and aggregate are mixed the water used must be ideally of drinking quality (free from salts and other impurities) and used in the correct quantities. The concrete has to then be cured properly.
The steel fixer must detail the reinforcement properly to ensure ductile behaviour and the client needs to pay to have good quality ductile rebar.

This makes the point that although concrete is an old material, used by the Romans, its modern day use with reinforcement is relatively new and the combined range of skills to produce good quality reinforced concrete are generally not available.

Therefore, I think it is OK for new methods to be tried or adopted but as long as the pit falls are properly appreciated.
Kubilay Hicyilmaz
Earthquake-resistant architecture
I just came across your message and the dialogue following it. I will be pleased to communicate with you on this topic - and you can find me through the website, which is where you can find my writings on the subject. I was just in Britain (at Cambridge) and in Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan working on the topic of traditional construction in earthquake areas.
Randolph Langenbach
Earthquake-resistant architecture
well long time no see gentleman and ladies...I have spent the last 6 months investigating the local methods and materials available in this region I work in..I work from Papua New Guinea to Pakistan..and have spent many weeks walking around sites and supply depots with my people with me as I sought out what was available and useful. Dare I say that not many of the methods I have seen will survive the devastating power of an earthquake and sure enough...I have seen many 'sturdy' building collapse as a result of the methods used...the materials are usually ok...but their use is the short fall. I am working on some projects that use what I found locally but in a different sequences..the local custom of post and beam with infill walls is a major failure point in all of the damaged buildings I have I suspected..and pile foundations do not help either...I will shortly tell more of what I have found to work and will have pix to show as well...meanwhile...back to the grindstone..
David Michael James Davies
Earthquake-resistant architecture
dear Wajahat... Suspension floors 'can you comprehend that 'its like a steel netting that is filled with flooring material and overlays and underlays and hemmed to the 'a steel structure .
I say this for very large buildings like Auditoriums Stadiums Secretariats ...In another forum i discussed what architect does before starting a project in such region. Modren geo-science has lent us accuracy!
Sher Saddozai
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Well it has been some time since I was last here and I see that not much more has been added, however I have had a successfull time finding and implementing some new building methods that have removed the hit and miss effect of site mixed concrete.
Now for historical reference, there was an article about how concrete today has been all know the result...untested sitemixed concrete with unwashed sand, estimated measures of cement and granite or hard fill, untreated water with calcites and other natural occuring salts in the water mix, site mixed and poured into formwork over and around steel reinforcing that is often only mild deformed steel, not tensile steel and not always to engineered design but often to just was traditionally used before. No exact calculations involved.
Asides from the untested concrete beams and posts and the time consuming methods of most builders use simple timber or bamboo formwork using local available supplies...not alloy scoffolding and trestles...any way all this is common and you have all seen it. We end with with buildings where infill walls are made using clay brick or concrete block with mortar and plaster to finish.

Well there are options, I use two methods to build, one uses no onsite 'wet work', that is no formwork and site mixed concrete, and the other uses technology that uses galvanized metal coil that is processed by a CADCAM rollformer that is small enough to take to site. The first method I use takes advantage of the characteristics of AAC block...made by HEBEL, Aerated Autoclaved Cement block, but not simply glued togeather as infill block, but supplemented with tensile steel rods inserted into the walls at metre intervals and tied into the bond beam that runs around the top of the wall and into the beam that is set in the perimeter of the floor foundation beam. This method of construction is available where there is supply of AAC blocks, and is 80% of everywhere. Funny thing the cost of materials for this type of construction....compared with the cost of the traditional reinforced concrete using sand, metal, cement, reinforcing steel and manpower needed for the formwork placement, removal and time taken for all of that. Using AAC block we can build in a third of the time and build lighter and stronger.

Using tensile galvanized channel we can build structural walls and floor beams for residential buildings up to four floors in height, especially where there is a shortage of water. There is presently many projects using this technology in the Middle east, I am willing to discuss the possibilities with who ever would like to know more.

Ciao for now....
David Michael James Davies
Earthquake-resistant architecture
hello David.
is there a website i can visit to check out the method you just described?
Jofer Magsi
Earthquake-resistant architecture
hi jofer...I saw you request for more information about he optional ways of building I sounds like you wanted to hear about the steel framing methods...I have discussed them on here previously and just recently I was sent pictures of a site in the middle east that has taken our technology on in a big is one of those pics sent to me...
David Michael James Davies
Earthquake-resistant architecture
Hello David
I am an Australian field engineer assisting in the construction of light weight steel structures in western Panama in an eathquake zone adjacent to Volcan Baru. We are using the Kiwi developed pre-engineered steel framing system and at the moment the local engineers are having difficulity in designing a cost effective earthquake resistant raft slab. ,,,,,,, The internal walls are non load bearing and the tile roof is supported by light weight steel trusses,,,,, any help would be appreciated
Geoff Dunlop
Earthquake-resistant architecture

I am an Australian field engineer assisting in the construction of light weight steel structures in western Panama in an eathquake zone adjacent to Volcan Baru. We are using the Kiwi developed pre-engineered steel framing system and at the moment the local engineers are having difficulity in designing a cost effective earthquake resistant raft slab. ,,,,,,, The internal walls are non load bearing and the tile roof is supported by light weight steel trusses,,,,, any help would be appreciated
-- Geoff Dunlop, June 26, 2008
well Geoff...I do hope you have found a solution...I have been off line for some months working in China and Vietnam. As for the floorslab, we use mesh in the floor tied to a perimeter ground using a trussed roof does introduce another problem, all your load is placed on the external walls, I use ceiling panels and roof supports with roof rafters, that what the load is spread over all the internal walls. This type of design resists earthquakes and high winds better...but thats for you to decide..
ciao for now..
David Michael James Davies


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