Earthquake-resistant construction with precast concrete elements
Safety of precast buildings in case of earthquakes
The choice and quality of building materials plays an important role in areas with a high seismic risk. In case of an earthquake, the collapse of buildings must be prevented in order to ensure the safety of the inhabitants as well as a long useful life of the buildings.
Quality in precast concrete production
In case of an earthquake, a sufficient dimensioning of the precast concrete elements can be of vital importance. Apart from structural calculations, the quality of materials and the standard of production are crucial in this context. In a modern precast factory, high-quality walls and floors are produced in a controlled environment.
Why is concrete so earthquake-resistant?
Concrete is able to absorb extreme impacts, which means it can resist high pressure forces. The reinforcement in the precast concrete element takes up occurring tensile forces. The combination of the compression strength of the concrete and the tensile strength of the reinforcement (reinforced concrete) results in an optimum protection against high loads.
Connections between the individual precast concrete elements play also an important role because they need to resist thrust and shear forces in addition to the other forces.
Mexico – Earthquake-resistant constructionOne of our clients built earthquake-proof three story houses at an affordable price in Mexico. Mexico is consistently affected by earthquakes. Therefore an earthquake-proof construction method was requested. Our client chose the precast concrete construction method because with this construction method it is possible to combine earthquake-proof construction with the creation of affordable housing. The houses were built with high-quality solid walls. The risk for a collapse of the buildings was further decreased because the buildings did not have many stories.
More safety due to sensor-based data acquisition
A special field of application for precast concrete elements is sensor-based data acquisition.
Microchips, embedded into precast concrete elements, gather information about the loads and forces which affect the construction element. This can be quite important, especially in the event of an earthquake, because the buildings are affected by exceptionally high forces. The integrated microchips can send out a signal and therefore warn the inhabitants in time to leave the building.
In addition to that, information on loads and forces which affect the building can be read out at all times. This makes it possible to gather useful information for future constructions.