The purpose of structural engineering in Salt Lake City, Utah is to create structures that are sturdy and safe. And particularly with the unique conditions of the Utah landscape, an essential element of creating those strong buildings is ensuring they have the backbone to withstand the event of an earthquake. The destructive forces, seismic waves, and horizontal vibrations earthquakes send through the ground can collapse buildings and cause a tremendous amount of loss. Thankfully, we’ve learned a lot about designs and materials that can help structures adapt and even make it through earthquakes.
Building Earthquake-Proof Structures
There are several key design elements engineers can implement to help reinforce a building’s structure and counteract the forces an earthquake inflicts.
First, it helps to lift the building off the ground on a flexible foundation. In the event of an earthquake, this flexible base absorbs seismic waves, vibrates, and moves while the structure above it stays steady.
Another element is to utilize shock absorbers to reduce and slow down the magnitude of shockwaves that occur during an earthquake. Vibrational control devices like dampers can be placed between columns and beams, and hydraulic pendulum power can also help stabilize large buildings in the event of an earthquake.
Vibrations can also be absorbed using plastic and concrete rings buried beneath the building’s foundation. This helps deflect and reroute the energy from an earthquake.
Another key design step is to reinforce the structure of the building as much as possible using shear walls and cross braces to transfer movement away from its foundation, horizontal frames to distribute earthquake forces throughout the columns and walls of the structure, and moment-resisting frames to protect joints as the building bends and moves.
Finally, the use of innovative, earthquake-resistant materials is crucial. Examples include steel, wood, and newly engineered materials made from polymers or natural elements.
Structural Engineering In Salt Lake City, Utah
Designing structurally sound buildings starts with structural engineering in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our team at Civil Solutions Group is here to help ensure the framework for your building is safe and strong.