Researchers introduce inexpensive earthquake-resistant construction

Engineers at Stanford University have created a new method of constructing earthquake-resistant homes. In a test of their prototype home, the house was undamaged after being submitted to a large shaking table that shook with the intensity of a 6.9 magnitude earthquake. The most significant factor in the construction is that the home is not placed on a standard foundation, but rather on seismic isolators consisting of 12 steel-and-plastic sliders with steel plates underneath. Although the idea of seismic isolators isn’t new and is already in use for some larger structures, the Stanford findings are noteworthy because installation of their solution is relatively cheap (around $15,000 for a 2,000 square foot house). This technology could be retrofitted to an existing home, but incorporating it into a new build is much easier and would only take four extra days to install.

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