01
Feb
10

Earthquake Resistant Wood Structure – Kobe Japan

WOOD CONSTRUCTION PERFORMS WELL IN LARGEST-EVER EARTHQUAKE SIMULATION; Full-scale Seven-Story Building Demonstrates Safety, Stability
In the worlds largest-ever earthquake simulation held this week in Japan, a full-scale, six-story condominium building made from wood atop a single-story of steel got good marks from researchers for stability and safety after being shaken for 40 seconds in a simulated 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
The results demonstrated that wood-frame buildings can be built to withstand major earthquakes and will help researchers validate new design methods for mid-rise, wood-framed buildings in urban, earthquake-prone areas. The advances ultimately will improve the construction and safety of wood buildings in the U.S. and around the world.
This weeks test confirms what we know to be true about woods strength for use in disaster-prone areas. Along with woods renewability, low life-cycle environmental impacts, and ability to sequester carbon, wood provides the optimal combination of green building and stability for earthquake-prone areas, said Robert Glowinski, Group Vice President for Forestry and Wood Products. Moving forward we can take invaluable information from this test to provide new safe wood building options for earthquake zones, as well as for other applications. Construction innovations are continually demonstrating the flexibility and superiority of wood and this research reinforces that.
Conducted in Miki City, near Kobe, Japan, on the worlds largest earthquake shake table at Japans National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, the simulation was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and conducted by researchers from Colorado State University, along with advisors from industry and academia. American Forest & Paper Associations wood engineering staff served on the advisory committee to the project and AF&PAs Tokyo staff provided local support.

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