Earthquakes are natural disasters that happen without warning. This is why it’s crucial to be proactive and choose good building materials. The building that you need must be built to withstand an earthquake.

Metal buildings are more likely to survive earthquakes because they are durable and ductile. Steel is much better than other materials like concrete and wood. They can bend and flex, which is crucial during earthquakes. However, just because a building is made of metal doesn’t necessarily mean it is earthquake-proof. 

To build a fully earthquake-proof building, you need to pick the correct materials and follow different building standards. Continue reading this article to learn about earthquake-safe steel structures:

What Makes a Building Fail During Earthquakes?

When an earthquake occurs, it sends shockwaves that cause the ground to move. These movements happen in different directions. The series of shockwaves will lead to extreme stress and structural damage. 

Your building walls and partition provide resistance to the sway loading. The structure becomes even more vulnerable when there are aftershocks at different frequencies. If your building cannot handle up-and-down loads and side-to-side forces, it will end up collapsing.

How To Make a Building Earthquake-Resistant

Focus on a Good, Flexible Foundation

After a few tremors, your building may start to crumble to the ground. A good foundation limits excessive stress and movement. We suggest that you invest in a flexible foundation with a good shock absorber. Seismic dampers can absorb vibrations, which are important in earthquake-resistant structures. When there are shock absorbers, the magnitude of shockwaves can be reduced. 

Another method used is base isolation, which resists the ground forces. Your contractor will place the building on flexible pads made of steel, rubber, and lead. This technology will isolate the building foundation like it is “lifted” above the earth. When an earthquake occurs, the isolators vibrate and absorb seismic waves.

Reinforce the Structure

To reinforce your structure, you need to add materials that redistribute the forces during a seismic event. Materials like shear walls, cross braces, diaphragms, and moment-resisting frames can transfer earthquake forces. 

  • Shear walls can maintain the structure’s shape even when the ground is shaking. 
  • Diagonal cross braces are steel beams that support compression and tension.
  • Diaphragms remove tension from the floor and push force by transmitting inertial forces.
  • Moment-resisting frames are placed among the joints of the building to resist forces and make the building more flexible.

Use Steel Rebar

Through the years, steel rebar has been proven in terms of earthquake resistance. This excellent building material is guaranteed to survive seismic tremors. Steel rebar is very ductile, which is good in absorbing earthquake shocks.

However, steel rebar isn’t foolproof. You need to consider the distribution of weight. The steel rebar should be framed with lighter materials on the upper floors. Moreover, your contractor should use the correct techniques to maximize the effectiveness of the steel rebar.

Invest in Steel Buildings

A building material can resist stress and vibration when it has high ductility. This means that the structure can dissipate energy and bend without breaking. It will respond better than brittle structures. 

In fact, steel buildings have a distinct edge over other materials. During a seismic event, a steel building might snap back rather than crack. It will only undergo minor damages, instead of an extensive collapse.

Steel Buildings Are Lightweight

We all know that metal is lighter than concrete pillars and floors. When the building is lighter, the loads will be lesser. In addition, less mass means less earthquake force will exert on the building. That’s why it’s important to choose lighter and more ductile materials.

During an earthquake, concrete structures are unsafe in earthquake-prone areas. Its materials can crumble and pose a particularly deadly risk to people and animals. They are very fragile and highly likely to collapse. For your safety, choose steel structures that can withstand seismic waves.

Count on Our Steel Experts

If you’re looking for a steel building contractor, turn to Texas Custom Metal Buildings of Midland. Our employees are to install metal buildings, carports, barndominiums, and more! We make sure every job leaves our customers satisfied with the quality of our services.

Find out more about our services by reaching out to our friendly team. We’re always excited to meet new clients and talk about their metal building goals.