Santa Monica latest city to mandate seismic retrofits for older buildings

According to Rong-Gong Lin II, Raoul Rañoa and Jon Schleuss of the LA Times, the city of Santa Monica is considering a mandated seismic retrofit program: Santa Monica’s safety rules would go beyond what Los Angeles has done by requiring not only wood-frame apartments and concrete buildings to be retrofitted, but also steel-frame structures. The ordinance … Continue reading Santa Monica latest city to mandate seismic retrofits for older buildings

Stanford researchers working on regional “seismic observatory” using existing fiber optic networks

Researchers at Stanford are pleased to report the following: Thousands of miles of buried optical fibers crisscross California’s San Francisco Bay Area delivering high-speed internet and HD video to homes and businesses. Biondo Biondi, a professor of geophysics at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, dreams of turning that dense network into an … Continue reading Stanford researchers working on regional “seismic observatory” using existing fiber optic networks

New concrete product claims to be more earthquake resistant AND more sustainable

Concrete is a really amazing building product that provides strength and protection, particularly when reinforced with steel, or when combined with various admixtures. Unfortunately, concrete is extremely costly to produce in terms of its environmental impact. By some accounts, concrete production results in the release of a ton of carbon, for every ton of concrete. … Continue reading New concrete product claims to be more earthquake resistant AND more sustainable

“Earthquake Safety Bed” protects occupants from building collapse

Admittedly, this is a little strange, but clearly could be a practical measure in certain parts of the world. Dahir Insaat Corporation is a Turkish company that specializes in pre-fab cast-in-place construction buildings ranging in size from a small cottage to an entire apartment block. The company also has developed a design concept for an … Continue reading “Earthquake Safety Bed” protects occupants from building collapse

External braided carbon fiber rods designed for dampening impact of earthquakes

Earthquakes are a serious design consideration when it comes to the built environment. Particularly in areas along the Pacific Rim, where seismic activity is somewhat regular. CNN reports on an innovative, and certainly very aesthetically striking design concept in Japan that is intended to help a building not so much “fight” earthquakes, but will rather … Continue reading External braided carbon fiber rods designed for dampening impact of earthquakes

Why is the risk for earthquakes just as high in parts of the Midwest as it is in California?

During the tail end of my junior year of high school, my family and I temporarily relocated to Southwest Missouri. We were fleeing the cratering of the entire construction industry in Southern California, hoping to catch the extraordinary boom in construction taking place surrounding Branson. Although the school year only had a few weeks left, … Continue reading Why is the risk for earthquakes just as high in parts of the Midwest as it is in California?

Santa Monica’s mandatory seismic retrofit program to begin in earnest

Researchers have for years warned the public, various government agencies and building owners/managers of the potential dangers related to older buildings within reach of Southern California’s notorious faults in a major earthquake. In short, what building experts once thought would be sufficient, in terms of structural design requirements, we now know could leave building occupants … Continue reading Santa Monica’s mandatory seismic retrofit program to begin in earnest

Italian scientists facing prison for failing to predict 2009 earthquake acquitted, for now…

In April of 2009, an earthquake caused extensive damage to the ancient city of L’Aquila, Italy. Relatives of people I know in that region luckily survived without injury. However, the Italian government surprised the International scientific community when it filed criminal charges against the geologists for “failing to predict the earthquake.”

Fortunately, the geologists were acquitted in October. Appeals by prosecutors are still expected, so this story is not yet over. Continue reading “Italian scientists facing prison for failing to predict 2009 earthquake acquitted, for now…”

Earthquake involving Los Angeles’ Puente Hills fault could mean serious casualties and property damage

Previously: Seismic retrofits may be required for hundreds of apartment buildings in Los Angeles, Los Angeles: More than 1,000 concrete buildings at risk, nothing to be done, and Remembering Northridge: Thoughts on “Soft Story” Buildings The Puente Hills fault system runs east of downtown L.A., straddling the 10 freeway towards the Inland Empire region. While … Continue reading Earthquake involving Los Angeles’ Puente Hills fault could mean serious casualties and property damage