Your home needs to survive earthquakes: yes, you can help | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 17, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:25 PM, September 17, 2015

Your home needs to survive earthquakes: yes, you can help

No one or nothing on earth can really keep an earthquake from coming, such a hard and harsh natural reality it is! However, some amount of watchfulness while building a home can minimize the damage we might have to suffer. There is a strong and specific side or concept called Seismic Design in architecture that is dedicated to the structural analysis of buildings, bridges, and roads, with the aim of making them resistant to earthquakes and other seismic activities. Long story short, every aspect and department as regards erecting a particular structure should meticulously look at its optimum physical integrity. Thankfully, there are simple ways to it that you can realize by yourself and check with your architecture/engineer for conformation.

The soil you choose

The structural plan of your home first depends on the type and quality of the soil that your plot has got. Get a soil test done by some reliable expert firm, for an assessment of both the soil's ingredient-characteristics and the resultant load-bearing capacity. If you are going to have a tall building on a soft land, do use piles as per the designer's instructions.

The rod you choose

Your home basically stands on the integrated inner structure of rod and concrete. So, side by side with good cement, choosing a standard rod is just essential. Things you should consider seriously, while buying a rod, are as follow.

• A rod that is produced from billets is usually far better, while those from scraps are much inferior. So, be sure to avoid scrap ones.

•Do not use any lower grade of rod than that your structural plan actually suggests.

•And best if you can test a sample of the particular brand of rod you are going to buy, before purchasing the whole bulk, from BUET for its required quality parameters.

The structural technology to use

First, it has to be a design based on the beam-column process. The columns' size should be kept large and the quantity of rod lessened accordingly, for an elastic-inside structure that can better tackle a quake. The grade beam needs to be strong enough. You must meet the requirement of adequate RCC walls when it is a multi-storey building. Double-check with your designer for some special arrangement of rods in every junction of a beam and a column.   

Building Code to follow

Do comply with the Building Code, fully and absolutely. A column should of course be 12 inches at the least in dimension for an earthquake-resistant design, as an example, according to the Building Code. One must keep in mind the criteria for bearing the loads of quakes and winds.

Hope it helps, when you are going to build your home. Wish you all the very best. And, once completed, may your peace rest on your very own home, without any heavy worries as such.

(This article is curated for public awareness by KSRM)

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The writer is Professor (Rtrd.), Department of Civil Engineering, BUET & President, Institute of Engineers Bangladesh

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