Natural Disasters: Construction Materials for Safe Structures

Feliz Grace Bueno     July 14, 2022

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Natural Disasters: Construction Materials for Safe Structures

Natural disasters are unavoidable – that much is a given but there are ways that we can prepare for them. For construction professionals, it’s essential to look for materials that can help to prevent disasters from making too much damage to structures. While we might not stop them entirely, there are materials that can help to at least lessen the need for repairs. 

That said, we’ve prepared a list of innovative construction materials that you might want to look into if you’re in the market for materials that can help with natural disasters. 

Innovative Construction Materials for Natural Disasters

Whether you’re a contractor or an individual looking in the market for materials that you can use to create a safe structure, there are a couple of construction materials that you might want to consider when you’re doing your research. If you are a private individual and you want to have insight into these materials, it’s best to get in touch with a construction professional to help assess your concerns. 

With that, here’s a quick list of construction materials that can aid in the building’s foundation and construction against natural disasters.

Rocking Frames  

Rocking Frames comprise steel cables, frames, and fuses that rock up and down during earthquakes – these keep the frames intact throughout the ordeal. Once the earthquake is over, the rocking frames will help the building reposition itself because of the flexible frames of this material. 

Reinforced Glass 

Reinforced Glass is laminated and thick enough to withstand winds that can go up to 250 miles per hour in speed. Homeowners can decide to use this material although it is often used in buildings, but it can be rather costly. 

Damping Systems 

When integrated into buildings, damping systems act as shock absorbers. When applying heavy weight to a building connected to dampers, it reduces the severity of vibrations. Damping systems can be integrated into the brace system of a building or throughout the entire structure. 

Expanded Mesh 

Metal Mesh can reinforce structures – particularly in the walls and ceilings. They’re durable against earthquakes and they’re also able to withstand high winds and other weather situations. 

Flexible Pipes

Solid pipes will bend and break, leading to structural and water damage. Flexible pipes are ideal to use because they can bed and move with the structure instead of breaking when it meets any resistance; they are both durable and can prevent water damage because of leakage. 

Steel Beams 

Steel beams can take advantage of the strength of steel from the ground up. It also helps to create a more secure foundation for the structure. Accompanied with base isolation, the building would essentially “float” about the foundation – allowing the structure to move as one during the earthquake. 

Steel

Steel is mostly used in construction already, but for natural disasters, structural steel (or steel products) are ideal for solidifying a building so it can withstand strong winds, earthquakes, and even the pressure from floods. It offers good ductility compared to brick and concrete, as steel allows buildings to move without breakage.

Lead-Rubber Bearings 

When incorporated with rubber bases, Lead-Rubber Bearings are stiff enough to support a structure, but they’re also very flexible. This keeps the foundation intact while the building is taking impact. These bearings would function alongside steel beams, keeping the foundation strong while the beams allow the structure to move during the earthquake.

Always remember to not only assess the construction materials but also take the time to assess the location of the structure itself, as this will play a large role in the materials that you’ll choose for the structure that you’re planning to build. It always pays to do thorough research and planning so that we can ensure the safety and protection of the building. 

Citations:

  • 15 Building Products Designed to Withstand Natural Disasters. (n.d.). Fox Blocks. Retrieved July 11, 2022, from https://www.foxblocks.com/blog/15-building-products-designed-to-withstand-natural-disasters
  • This Material Is Key to Designing Earthquake-Resistant Buildings. (2019, April 3). Thomasnet.com; Thomasnet. https://www.thomasnet.com/insights/this-material-is-key-to-designing-earthquake-resistant-buildings/
  • Gerardi, J. (2022, March 23). 20 Innovative Construction Materials | ProEst. ProEst. https://proest.com/construction/tips/innovative-materials/

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