Earthquakes have minor influence, if not, no influence
at all on a wooden building structure, due to its tremendous flexibility
and strength. The seismic response of any wooden building is often
amazingly high. That is to say that such is only true below a certain
pre-defined structural boundary level based on the Richter scale. The
structural codes and regulations for countries or parts of countries
which may be hit by an earthquake such as Japan, Indonesia, California,
Hawaii, Mexico, Turkey, parts of the Caribbean, the Pacific and other
areas, are defined such that each structure needs to be verified to its
natural frequency (the number of vibrations per second) and be compared
with the earthquake resonance (the frequency content of the ground
motion). If this resonance is close or equal to the building's own
natural frequency a building will suffer the greatest damage. And here
plays the advantage of wood a significant role. The natural frequency
capacity of a wooden building is often much higher than the earthquake
response factor. However, as is always the case, there are limits.
Economically it would not be an advantage to design a wooden house which
can withstand an earthquake to a force which exceeds level 9 on the
Richter scale. It's possible but expensive.
Our engineers will always calculate the natural frequency of
a wooden house which needs to be built in an earthquake prone area and will
compare this figure with the local codes and regulations as to the allowed
We have supplied houses to earthquake prone areas. So far no
damages were reported after an earthquake had struck.
to the Bali Timber Houses Special Features page
Post a technical question about earthquakes.
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