The distractive force and fury of natural disasters has baffled humanity for as long as we have been in existence. Earthquakes are one of such phenomena that cause so much consternation and anguish leaving in their wake a trail of distraction to property and loss of life.
Buildings are the most affected and professionals are always seeking ways to fortify them against collapse during such events. LARC Inc, an earthquake retrofit company in Los Angeles explains the need for earthquake-resistant foundations.
Horizontal acceleration is a leading cause of structural failure in many buildings during an earthquake. When the building rocks back and forth on a horizontal axis, it could suffer structural distortion due to the intense vibrational energy coursing through.
To cushion the building, our engineers at LARC recommend the isolation of the foundation from the structure above by insertion of seismic energy dissipaters in between. This is one of our intervention methods in the Los Angeles earthquake retrofitting for the protection of buildings on fault lines.
An alternative way to help building foundations dissipate vibrational energy is the use of shock absorbers. Even as technology improves and better structural designs evolve alongside superior materials for use, there remains significant damage even when the building survives.
In Los Angeles retrofit and construction, we recommend the installation of active mass damping systems in buildings to further reduce vibrational impact. This mass, usually mounted atop buildings, effectively counters mechanical vibrations by moving in the opposite direction to the building’s oscillation.
A new technology is considering ways to make building foundations transparent to earthquake vibrations. Our engineers bury as many as 100 plastic rings in a concentric formation below the foundation. These act as a buffer zone absorbing the earthquake’s vibrational energy before it hits the foundation. Whereas this may be challenging in Los Angeles retrofit projects, we consider it frequently in new constructions.
The rocking frame
The rocking frame is another technology used in construction that allows stability during quakes and faster recovery. For this, LARC Inc engineers use steel frames supported by steel cables and steel fuses. Steel has superior ductile properties and is efficient in dissipating vibrational energy in buildings. The steel frame will rock to the pulse rhythm of the earthquake directing the force down to the steel fuses for dissipation. The tensile steel cables then pull back the building to the original position.
When designing buildings in earthquake-prone areas that include Los Angeles, our engineers consider several fundamental characteristics for stability. We consider the regularity as well as stiffness and strength especially laterally in handling directional vibrations along this axis. We also provide for redundancy to help mitigate failure in some of the safety measures.
Currently, we at LARC Inc are at the forefront of rehabilitating old buildings through retrofits for earthquake preparedness. We guarantee specialized service by our structural engineers and estimates in 7 days. Call us on 818-629-0923 for personalized assistance