Earthquake is a word that we are all scared of. Numerous earthquakes have caused countless disasters on the face of the planet, causing the intelligent human to think of ways that will prevent, or at the minimum reduce the damage posed by the natural disaster. We have been quite successful in designing high-rise buildings that can withstand earthquakes of very high magnitudes. Here is a list of top 7 of those:
1. Utah State Capitol
The Utah State Capitol is the house of government for the state of Utah. The building has its own base isolation system made up of a network of 280 isolators built with laminated rubber laying on the foundation of the building. The lead-rubber isolators are attached with the foundation using steel plates. In case an earthquake happens, the isolator bearings allow the building to rock back and forth gently, moving only the foundation and not the rest of the structure.
2. Taipei 101
Taipei 101 in Xinyi District, Taipei, China is considered to be one of the tallest buildings in the world. The tower stands at 1,667 feet height with a tuned mass damper to prevent damage in the case of a natural disaster like typhoon or earthquake. An enormous mass is suspended by steel cables near the top of the structure, which works like a pendulum, moving back and forth in the direction opposite to the building to dissipate the energy. The gold ball weighing 730 tons, hanging with the Taipei 101 is one of the largest tuned mass dampers in the world.
3. Burj Khalifa
The world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai, UAE rises to a height of 2,722 feet above the ground. The sky tearing skyscraper can stand earthquakes of magnitude 5.5 to 7.0 of the Richter scale. When an earthquake hit the area in 2008, the advanced engineering design of the building left Burj Khalifa unharmed.
4. The Yokohama Landmark Tower
Situated in the Minato Mirai 21 district of Yokohama, Japan, the Yokohama Landmark Tower is the second tallest building in Japan with a height of 972 feet. The islands of Japan are one of the most earthquake prone areas on the planet. The Yokohama tower is placed on rollers, which prevent the skyscraper from shaking even when the earth below moves it. It is built with flexible materials that will cause the building to bend instead of breaking. A simple mass-damper system keeps the vibrations from causing any damage.
5. The Transamerica Pyramid
The tallest skyscraper of San Francisco, the Transamerica Pyramid stands at 835 feet with phenomenal earthquake resistance capabilities. The structure stands on a steel and concrete foundation that moves along with the earthquake vibrations. The rectangular areas of the building frame have diagonal structures to give the frame more support. In a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in 1989, the building shook for over a minute but stood its ground, unharmed and unaffected.
6. The Petronas Towers
Malaysia’s Petronas Towers in Kualampur were the world’s tallest building until 2004. The 452 meter high towers are built to resist earthquakes and stand to be the world’s tallest twin towers. A two-story bridge connects the 41st and the 42nd floor of the towers which can slide in and out of the building to prevent the wind from putting loads on the building.
7. The U.S Bank Tower
The US Bank Tower is located at 633 West Fifth Street in Los Angeles California. The 1,018-foot building is the tallest building in California, which is state quite prone to earthquakes. It has the capability to withstand an earthquake of a magnitude of 8.3 on the Richter scale.