Earthquake-proof houses

Por kirai el 19 de November de 2009 en Architecture

Since I started living in Japan one of the main concerns in my life are earthquakes. I have always wondered if buildings and houses are really prepared to endure a great earthquake. The truth is that, after asking many people and informing myself, most of the structures would resist less than you would have expected. Earthquake legislation was changed in 1981 and every building or house built after that year is supposed to be more secure against seismic shakings. In 2007 the legislation was changed once again to make it even more strict. But even so, everybody is afraid that there will be a huge earthquake with epicenter in a very populated area.

If you come to Japan, the newer the house you stay the better, at least it should have been built after 1981. Earthquakes are one of the reasons (among many of them) why houses value goes down over the years.

Earthquake proof house
A house in construction with a special system in the walls that is able to withstand strong shakings.

Earthquake proof house
Down to the left you can see the structure of the walls interior. There is some kind of “mobile scissors system” integrated inside each of the house walls.

Earthquake proof house
This is a sketch of how an earthquake would affect the Tokyo town hall.

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