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RussellJ 10-29-2012 05:56 PM

Base Isolation
Does anyone know where you can buy Base Isolation systems for earthquakes. I live in a area with major quakes, so i rather build a home with this system to protect against 10.0 and 9.0 earth quakes.

Here is a video if you don't know what base isolation is.
This is an example of The Great Japan earthquake, March 2011.

Daniel Holzman 10-29-2012 06:21 PM

Seriously, you want to protect your home against a magnitude 10 earthquake? Where on earth do you live? As for base isolation systems, they are very expensive and complex, and are generally custom designed for the application, often a bridge or a large building. I have never seen them used on residential construction due to expense and complexity of installation.

RussellJ 10-29-2012 10:16 PM

Yes I am serious, I live in California and according to Caltech we are suppose to have one with in the next 10 years, at least 9.0.

user1007 10-29-2012 10:35 PM

Lived in California for a couple decades. You are sitting on some long overdue fault lines but don't put too much credence in CalTech or anyone else predicting within a 10 year period. Could happen of course.

I think of you are serious, you should check with an architect to see what your options are. Not sure how you would add base isolation to an existing woodframe residence.

There is irony in the last major earthquake that did damage around the Monterey and San Francisco Bay Areas. Most damage in SF was done to home built on landfill moved from the big one in the 1900s. The soil is sort of liquid so the earthquake vibrations reverberated through it sort of like shaking a bowl of jello. This went on for quite awhile even though the quake was but a few second long.

The other factor causing such damage was that while people spent $$$$ on fancy paint jobs, they never got around to bolting their homes to their foundations. When the shaking motions mentioned happened they just sort of vibrated homes right off their foundations.

The United States Geological Survey has its headquarters in the Bay Area. You might see what information they put out on your topic. The American Geophysical Union may have something for you as well. And for that matter, do be shy about calling whatever the outreach office is at Caltech.

And remember that the major goal in designing buildings to withstand earthquakes has to do with them staying intact enough for all people to get out of them and clear enough away. They may not survive quakes but at the same time exceed their engineering expectations.

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