Drafting Tools Used For Earthquake-Resistant Designs | Engineer Supply - EngineerSupply

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Which buildings will survive an earthquake. Low rise or High rise?

Blog which buildings will survive an earthquake

Earthquakes can happen anywhere and at any time, so the idea of not being in an “earthquake zone” is a falsehood. There are approximately 2 million earthquakes happening throughout the world each year. And of the 500,000 that can be detected, 100,000 of them can be felt. Yet approximately 100 buildings get damaged by earthquakes each year. It’s a well-known fact that buildings and earthquakes don’t go hand in hand. And in many cases, the damage can be extensive. Building damage avoidance is a simple concept, but it’s the materials being used that causes problems.

How Earthquakes Affect a Building

Blog which buildings will survive an earthquake

Earthquake resistance can be built into the design of a building because it must be able to withstand the horizontal forces that can be inflicted on its foundation when an earthquake occurs. The tremors cause sideways loadings to be inflicted on the foundation, which can cause the building to shake. Traditional foundations are designed to take the weight of the roof, floors, and walls. So, the weight pressing down will always be constant and the foundation will be able to take the weight of the structure. In older buildings, problems can occur when extra floors are added or a heavier roofing system is installed when the foundation isn’t reinforced to handle the extra weight.

To build a home or building under static conditions, the materials need to be organized, attached to each other, and properly balanced. These types of buildings aren’t designed to accelerate rapidly and change directions like a car or airplane. In areas where there’s a great deal of seismic activity, they need to be able to withstand the dynamic accelerations that can occur during an earthquake. Large buildings and structures (such as bridges), must be designed so the vibrations caused by earthquakes are dampened.

Because noticeable earthquakes are rare in most places, people may not be able to realize that the objects and buildings around them can be hazardous. It’s not just the movement of the ground that kills people. Deaths often occur from earthquakes that cause buildings to collapse, objects to fall inside them, as well as fires and tsunamis. The type of constructions that causes the most fatal injuries during an earthquake are bricks that haven’t been reinforced, stone, or concrete buildings that aren’t flexible enough to withstand the tremors.

Buildings That are the Most Earthquake Resistant

The most earthquake-resistant type of construction is a low wooden structure that’s anchored to its foundation and is sheathed with thick plywood. Some of the classic architecture in Japan uses this type of shock-resistant design, including wooden buildings that are more than a thousand years old. Unreinforced masonry and shock-resistant wood houses are used by cultures in areas with high earthquake risk.

Timber frames are the safest and most durable form of construction for areas that experience frequent earthquakes. It’s lightweight and can withstand the horizontal forces that it must endure under these conditions because it has lateral bracing that’s built into the design. Unlike concrete and stone, timber will flex and go back to its original shape. Joints are a major fail zone in traditional buildings because they can loosen during an earthquake (which can cause its structure to fail). This doesn’t happen with a timber frame. It’s rare for a timber frame building to collapse if it has been designed correctly. Blog which buildings will survive an earthquake The effect of seismic waves will vary with the size of the building. Smaller structures are more affected by high-frequency waves that occur in short bursts. A small boat that’s sailing in the middle of the ocean won’t be affected by a large swell, but a series of smaller waves that occur in quick succession can cause it to capsize. A smaller building that experiences more shaking by high-frequency earthquake waves will be affected in much the same way. Larger structures (such as high-rise buildings) are more affected by slower tremors that last for longer periods of time. An ocean liner won’t be affected by short waves that hit the vessel in quick succession, but a large swell will cause it to capsize. A skyscraper or high-rise building that’s hit by greater shaking over longer periods of time will be affected in a similar fashion.

Designing Structures for Earthquake Resistance

The chances that a building or structure will fail during an earthquake depends on how it’s engineered, and it’s by no means a simple task. Using drafting tools to design an earthquake-resistant structure is based on a few considerations with regard to items that may be not be desirable in this type of design. Some of these include but may not be limited to:
  • Heavy roofing systems.
  • Using materials that aren’t flexible enough to withstand an earthquake.
  • Inability to return to its original shape when the shaking stops.
  • Large window or door openings.
  • Weak and non-mechanical joints reinforcing the building’s materials.
  • Weak horizontal elements.
If you’re looking for construction tools or an architectural scale you need for a design, be sure to look at what we have at Engineer Supply.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are drafting tools used for?

Drafting tools can be used for the measurement and layout of drawings or to improve the speed and consistency of creating standard drawing elements. Pencils and pens can serve as a drawing medium, while other tools (such as a straightedge and architectural scale) can help you with measurements and other tasks.

How can I clean my drafting tools?

Lay out all of your drafting tools and separate them into piles of like items. Spray a cloth with cleaner and wipe down any supplies with residue on them. Remove any black marks out of your erasers, which you can do by rubbing it against a clean piece of paper until the smudges have disappeared. Kneaded erasers can be stretched and remodeled into a ball (like kneading bread dough) to get the black marks out. Run your hands through your drafting brush to remove any loose debris, and wipe it down with a cleaning cloth to remove any residue from the handle.

What's the best way to store my drafting tools?

Roll up your drafting papers into a tight roll by securing them with a rubber band at each end, and place it into a drafting tube for storage. Place your pens and markers into the long slots of your organizer tray. Put the erasers into the smaller cube slots, and fill in with any other drafting materials (such as lead refills, push pins, paper clips, small rulers, and mounting stickers).

What types of drafting tools were used in the past?

Certain tools are required to draft by hand, and many of the tools that were used in the past are still being used today. Some of these include protractors and compasses (which can help drafters to draw curved lines and measure angles), as well as T-squares (which allow them to draw 90-degree angles and straight lines). Some of the tools that were used in the past are no longer used, even by those who choose to draft by hand. Sepias were once used to create copies of original blueprints, which could be changed with a pencil while keeping the original lines intact. Computers have made this tool obsolete, and the same thing is true with track machines (which had a sliding component that helped drafters to hold drawing tools steadily over the paper so it wouldn’t move).

Where can I buy quality drafting tools?

If you’re looking for quality drafting or construction tools, you can find what you need at Engineer Supply. We have a variety of products that can help architects and engineers to create quality designs. So if you’re ready to purchase an architectural scale or any other tool, feel free to look at what we have in stock.
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