When designing and building a structure, engineers must take the forces of nature into account. As experienced structural engineers in Plymouth, we know how important it is to factor in the natural world.

One such force of nature that can cause havoc and destruction to an improperly prepared building is an earthquake. Certain areas of the world experience far more seismic activity than others. In these locations, buildings use earthquake-resistant technology to ensure that they remain intact in the event of any movement.

Here, we take a look at some of the most impressive earthquake resistant structures from around the world.

Mori Tower, Tokyo

The Mori Tower against blue sky

Japan is one of the most active earthquakes regions in the world. Some experts estimate that the country experiences over 100,000 earthquakes a year. Due to this, the country has strict engineering standards that ensure buildings are constructed or modified to prevent earthquake devastation.

Mori Tower is one of the tallest building in Japan’s capital. In preparation for possible quakes, the tower has been constructed with motion-absorbing technology to ensure it remains intact.

The structure makes use of 192 fluid-filled shock absorbers; if the tower begins to sway, these dampers will move in the opposite direction and counter the movement.

Taipei 101, Taipei

Taipei 101 at night

At its time of construction in 2004, Taipei was the tallest building in the world; any earthquakes could be devasting for this building and the surrounding structures.

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This Taiwanese structure is visually striking but also houses some impressive anti-seismic technology.

Taipei 101 has the biggest tuned mass damper in the world. This is essentially a large metal ball that rolls to counteract any potential swaying or movement of the tower. The ball does not stop movement, but rather, aims to minimise and mitigate it.

The damper system is housed between the 87th and 92nd levels.

The Transamerica Pyramid, California

California is another particularly at-risk area when it comes to earthquakes due to its proximity to major fault lines like the San Andreas and Hayward faults.

The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco was built with the possibility of future devastating shocks in mind. The building’s concrete and steel foundations are designed to move with any earthquakes and reach as far as 52 feet deep. This base allows for stability and the absorption of shock waves.

The exterior is reinforced by rods at four supporting points on each level; this helps stabilise the building when it sways. A unique truss system supports the lower levels while a network of interior frames extends to the 45th level.

In 1989 the tower was put to the test with a 6.9-magnitude earthquake. Although the building was reported to have swayed up to a foot during the quake, there was no structural damage thanks to the measures put in place when it was built.

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You might not be looking to make your new project earthquake-resistant, but seeking the guidance of an experienced structural engineer for your new build can always be beneficial.

Find out how our experienced team at Martin Perry Associates could help.