Conflict and Natural Disasters
Architect's role in earthquake safety
What do you think the role of architecture and architects is in promoting earthquake safety?
Kubilay Hicyilmaz
Architect's role in earthquake safety
Dear Kubilay,
10 months ago i started a discussion on this forum section disaster, subject shelter domes.
I believe architects should focus on
-quick-response after disaster
-self-sustained building methods
-building tech that integrates with the temporary build from rubble
-tech which is light to transport

As two possible solutions i see foamed domes (quake resistant and safe) and/or sandbag structures (see other threads) each of next to the hand-rebuilt spaces from rubble (not safe for afterquakes)

Jacob Dhoillander
Architect's role in earthquake safety
Dear Jacob,

Thank you for your response.
I saw sand bag structures in Kashmir. One variety looked like two rows of sand bags with with some CGI bent as a roof. They did not look nice and certainly not what any body in the Pakistani context wanted. I am happy to concede that in other parts of the world they may have been acceptable, but not in Kashmir.

There was a second variety which was sandbags wound around to look a bit like a bee hive. Again, they looked like an experiment, but again, in the wrong place. In Kashmir people wanted rectangular buildings, not curved ones.

An interesting point is that with my question I was not in particlarily thinking about an emergency situation but a more general one.

Do architects have a role in promoting earthquake safety?
Why do architects not promote earthquake safety in all their work in countries prone to earthquakes?

Should architect learn about the basics in earthquake engineering during their studies?

Kind Regards,

Kubilay Hicyilmaz
Architect's role in earthquake safety
An architect's role in earthquake safety is to make sure his or her designs are more earthquake resistant than what already exists.

Unfortunately, the usual "dry land" orientated viewpoint of both engineers and architects leads them to simply reinforce standard "dry land" building designs. This unnecessary and massive over-engineering means that these designs are too expensive for the majority of the people.

Therefore, there is need for both "dry land" engineers and architects to completely rethink how to design and build, because the "absolute fact" that dry land never moves is nonsense.

Scientists have created proven theories that a mass of loose soil, loose stones, etc; acts in the exact same way as a body of water. In other words, earthquake zone building designers needs to grasp the concept that ground moves like the sea and so naval architecture or marine design is more appropriate. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Architect's role in earthquake safety
I see no understanding of my earlier post above. People who live on dry land have the fixed idea that it never moves. Therefore when dry land does move it completely confuses people because one major stable (fixed) idea is proven wrong sometimes in such a terrible way that the very thought of thinking out solutions is virtually impossible because the first step is to recognise that a reconceptualisation is needed about the fixed idea that dry land never ever moves.
Frank John Snelling
Architect's role in earthquake safety
The Earth is well defined and the measures of its tremor's averages can be measured before drafting the design/structure .
Same goes for flooding ot torrential rains that can jam life by poorer drainage systems.Or storms and tornadoes :an architect has to measure these before hand while the government helps in providing security to risky buildings in the regions....
Their are economic regions however where official records and public records differ because of political stagnation ...
which means the private sector maintains itself stronger over real statistics than public sector .
Sher Saddozai
Architect's role in earthquake safety
I have not been here for some time, a change of offices and laptops left me out of the for earthquake design by some of you may recall..I worked in Pakistan in mid 2006 after the earthqukaes there and the principle of building to cope with a 'fluid' rather than a 'dry' site is right on target..the design principles I was taught in New to build the structural floors and foundations like an upturned saucer...that can survive movement of the ground beneath..not using pile foundations as is common practise here in asia...and using structural walls...with a universal distrubited load...not with post and beams and 'infill' walls of non load bearing plaster over brick walls...yes we can design and build to resist earthquakes..I am building using the principles here in Indonesia right now.
David Michael James Davies


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