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Earthquake Proofing Methods (Research Paper Sample)


Write a term paper on the various methods of Earthquake Proofing.


Earthquake Proofing Methods
The continuous change in the atmospheric pressure due to factors such as global warming has had a significant impact on the seismic activity around the globe. This can be noted by the gradual increase in the number of earthquakes being reported across parts of Asia and America. The effects and impacts caused by the earthquake cannot be avoided, and so it has become vital that buildings are constructed to minimize the impacts from this event.
A number of countries have set up early warning systems that can help the people prepare before an earthquake strikes [6, 7]. The need to be prepared has led to engineering efforts that are aimed at providing feasible solutions to destruction caused by earthquakes. This paper will critically analyze and assess different methods that are used to make buildings stronger during construction in order to make them earthquake proof.
Earthquake prevention
The destruction caused by earthquakes has led to a need to have stronger buildings that can withstand the activity. In countries like Japan, the government has set up a strict policy on the requirements that buildings have to meet in order to be declared fit for occupation. The government is encouraging people to build earthquake resistant buildings in order to minimize the damage and cost of reconstruction after an earthquake. Most of the buildings have taken up different activities such as reinforcing concrete walls, easing internal stress by adding special joints, and digging a much deeper foundation for the buildings [3].
However, the cost of building these features that will help to reinforce the house in case of an earthquake is much higher. This has been a problem among the residents as they struggle to keep up with the policies and requirements that are outlined by the government. The following methods are vastly used in the process of earthquake proofing.
Base isolation Method
This method is widely used by different people around the world to proof buildings from earthquakes. The method has been in use since the 6th century as seen in ancient buildings around Persia currently known as Iran. The method involves raising the height of the building after building a very deep foundation. The method consists of two components that work in tandem to tame the wild seismic impact of an earthquake [6, 7]. These components are sliding units and shear units. Shear unit involves having a deep and wide foundation that has been smoothed at the top. This deep foundation helps to restrain the building against any underground movements. This is made possible by the deep foundation, and strong stone and mortar that are used in the building process. The top is then smoothed out to enable construction of the second unit.
The sliding unit consists of smoothened stones that have been evenly placed together to form a plate that will slide back and forth in the event of any underground movement. The process continues and gradually absorbs the energy that causes earthquakes. This helps to keep the building strong and proof it against any seismic effect. The process of Base isolation method is being used in large buildings and strong buildings as well [8]. This is because it is not very expensive to carry out as compared to other methods of earthquake proofing. This is one of the safest methods as it has been used from time immemorial to protect large building in different parts of the world without fail. The method has been tested and proven to work because different regions experience different levels of seismic activity making it easy to analyze and see the strength of the structures built using this method [2, 4].
Energy dissipation method
This method is preferred by most scientists around Asia due to the principle that is used in the proofing process. The method relies in the conversion of energy from one form to another in order to reduce the impact that the energy causing an earthquake has on the building [5]. The energy is converted using dampers that are placed on joints around the building. The joints of buildings are made of plastic materials that are used as dumpers. The plastic materials absorb energy and help to arrest the earthquake before any harm is caused to the rest of the building. The dumpers are mainly used in buildings that have more than three floors. This is because the impacts of the waves that carry the energy are higher after travelling for long distances. Long distances reduce the force that is emitted by the seismic activity that causes the earthquake [5]. It is hard to apply this method in smaller buildings because the impact of the wave can be felt in the plate of the building rupturing it before it gets to the hinges and joints of the house. The method can be used in taller buildings because of the deep foundations that these buildings have. The method is preferred because it is cheap to implement as compared to older systems that relied on reconstruction of the property. The dumpers are also cheap and easy to install into the buildings. However, the method relies on the strength of the building to hold the dumpers in place to transform the energy from one form to another [4]. The energy that has been transformed is not as effective as the original wave which makes it less harmful and not useful for other functions. This method is less effective as compared to the isolation method because it is not as effective in proofing as compared to the isolation method.
Liquefaction Method
The process of liquefaction refers to the process by which the soil surrounding a house is not strong enough to hold the house during an earthquake. This soil damages the building as it sinks and distorts the foundation of the building. The process of liquefaction occurs when water and sand that is meters below the surface is pushed upwards by the pressure [3]. The process can only be seen after an earthquake as sand boils are formed on the earth’s surface. The liquefaction method can be avoided in parts of the world depending on the topography of the land. The process is curbed by mixing soil and sand on the base of the foundation before constructing a house. However, the method is very expensive as seen from a survey in China. The cost of hiring experts to survey land and determine whether it can undergo liquefaction ranges between 1,000$-2,000$ depending on the ground quality. If the ground is found to be prone to liquefaction then the firming up the round will range between 10,000$ - 30,000$ depending on the method being used [1]. This method is very expensive as compared to the other methods above. However, the method can only be used in areas that have sand soil because it undergoes liquefaction easily as compared to other areas. The method is dependent on whether an area has sandy soil unlike the two methods discussed above.
In conclusion, the three methods above are used in the process of proofing buildings against earthquakes. The methods cannot be used in all areas due to different factors that affect the process of implementation. However, the Base isolation method is the best to use in the proofing process. This is because the process is cost effective and it can be applied in areas that have different types of soil. The process can also be used in buildings that require vast floor space. The process is cost effective and easy to implement in areas that have different topographic conditions, and this makes it the best method in the process of proofing buildings against earthquakes.
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