Wood Buildings Can Withstand Massive Earthquakes

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Images from Popular Science via Inhabitat

Wood construction has some tremendous advantages. Wood is strong, light, flexible and fast. Unlike concrete, which adds a ton of CO2 to the atmosphere for every ton of cement made, wood is renewable and sequesters carbon dioxide for the life of the building.

Sarah Parsons at Inhabitat shows us how a seven storey wood frame condominium building can withstand an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale.

Sarah writes:

Researchers say that to get the building to withstand a whole lotta shaking, they changed the condo’s nail distribution to better distribute stiffness among the different floors, taking into account changes in structural pressure that occur during an earthquake. Designers also used 63 anchor tie-down systems from Simpson Strong Tie, steel rods that run from the foundation to the roof and prevent the building from rocking.
woodenhouse-construction details photo

Looking at this closeup, there is a lotta wood in those walls, but a lot of slick and sophisticated hangers and ties. Impressive stuff. More in Inhabitat and Popular Mechanics