Typically, land is not â€śred zonedâ€ť as it was in Christchurch, meaning owners can no longer build there. In Japan, it is up to owners to fix buildings if they can. The advantages are clear: A building can be saved for perhaps as little as $30,000, which is far cheaper than knocking it down and rebuilding.
Also in Tokyo, we visit an experimental house called Chisuikan. Owners, Kozo Keikaku Engineering, call it â€śthe worldâ€™s first three-dimensional seismic isolation building.â€ť The name is derived from there words: Chi (â€śknowledge or intelligenceâ€ť); Sui (â€śseasoned and excellent technologyâ€ť); and Kan (â€śbuildingâ€ť).
In the basement, massive seismic isolators will help the building survive a big tremor. If a quake struck now, we would be in one of the safest places. The isolators incorporate a steel trestle and laminated rubber bearings. These form a horizontal seismic isolation device. A slider provides a shear force transmission device, and an air spring provides a vertical seismic isolation device. Cross-coupled pipes connect two oil dampers.
Engineer Dr. Osamu Takahashi says the seismic isolators are a significant advance. He says he was influenced by technology originally developed by Kiwi engineer, Dr. Bill Robinson, in the 1970s. What makes theses new isolators a step forward from previous base isolation technology is their ability to handle both vertical and horizontal movement in an earthquake.
Yes, they are expensive, but a lot cheaper than demolishing a building and starting again. This technology saves lives, and enhances a buildingâ€™s value. Many public buildings in earthquake areas around the world already use base isolation technology, including government buildings, hospitals, disaster control centers, and power plants.
I am impressed with Japanâ€™s earthquake technology, both old and new. Timber is already recognized as an excellent building material. If Japanâ€™s wooden temples and farmhouses can last for hundreds of years, so can buildings in other parts of the world. New innovations in seismic technology also have considerable potential.<< previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14