Did you know that Japan (and some other countries) build buildings that are nearly earthquake proof? It’s true! Japan is very prone to earthquakes, so their engineers spend a long time determining how to make structures more resiliant to the effects of plate tectonics.
These buildings are designed to move with the force of an earthquake or tsunami, rather than being completely rigid. This allows them to take a large degree of abuse from natural disasters and still remain standing. The buildings bend, rather than break, and while the top of a high rise building swaying around in the wind would certainly alarm its occupants, anyone would agree it is a far better option than a potential collapse.
Japan has done extensive testing to improve their understanding of structural integrity, including erecting a 7 story bulding inside of a warehouse, in order to study the effects seismic activity on the structure. This experiment, done in partnership with the US-based National Science Foundation, allowed structural engineers and scientist to monitor the building’s progress and document their findings in a safe test environment. Their goal is to continue to study and enhance construction techniques in order to refine and perfect buildings, make them as safe as possible in the future.
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