Buildings take a lot of time and money to build. Because of the many resources needed to make each establishment come to life and the amount of money on the line, you will expect that companies will do anything to make them as strong as possible. This is not the case for many modern building projects, especially the older ones.
From structural steel to incorporating concrete, the materials used to construct a building are meticulously planned for different occasions and circumstances. However, situations are different for many companies. Be it lack of financial resources to invest in quality materials or limitations on the skills of builders, a building’s outcome is anchored on the work that is put on its creation.
During the boom of different industries, the height and number of buildings somehow determined how developed nations are. In today’s time, this can now be measured by how well-made their structures are to withstand different situations, be it natural or not.
Thanks to the continuous innovations in technology, buildings are now made to endure adversaries that used to easily destroy them. According to Disaster Doc, an average of 8 building collapses happen worldwide happen each year which result in over 300 casualties.
This shows how important it is to utilize resources in making buildings durable and long-lasting when exposed to different calamities such as cyclones and earthquakes. This is not only to serve its purpose in the long run but also to protect the lives of the people in them.
And so, what innovations have helped improve the structure of modern buildings? Here are what have made them stronger throughout the years:
Shear Walls and Cross Braces
A shear wall is one of the products of technology that has a monumental contribution to how buildings withstand external forces, especially the ones brought by earthquakes. Shear walls mainly work on resisting the swaying forces and movements by stiffening the structure of buildings. They help in supporting the modern buildings by counteracting the pressure caused by sudden and intense movements.
Shear walls are then supported by cross braces which are diagonal steel beams to further enforce a solid and intact structure for the modern buildings. With shear walls and cross braces, the modern buildings can not only improve in strength but also in architecture to make them last for long.
Diaphragms are central to the structural elements of a building. They are features that provide foundational support to an establishment which consists of the roof, the floors, and the decks. Because modern buildings are made up of different parts and components, it is important to focus on how each component could be further optimized to provide more longevity.
Diaphragms are commonly installed horizontally to combat the tension being put into the structure of the building. They also have to be placed skillfully individually so they can act as a strong force as an ensemble. Overall, with solid focal components, modern buildings can be made stronger regardless of their susceptibility to different disasters.
Moment-resisting frames are known for their ability to allow buildings to be more flexible which is helpful to withstand strong movements. While it is considered a less affordable solution, these frames work well to ensure that construction elements such as joints and beams can move along the pressure while keeping the whole foundation rigid and intact.
Because of the unique features of moment-resisting frames, buildings can endure stronger pressure and bigger movements which are particularly safe for areas prone to earthquakes. Although many other techniques can be done that will cost lesser than this option, this provides an added layer of security for the modern buildings that are populated and busy.
Damping is a technique used to absorb shocks that can control movement in buildings. Shock absorbers can be beneficial in making the movements slowed down or even unnoticeable when they are not as strong.
Dampers are installed between columns and beans on every floor. They absorb shock by transferring the vibrations to pistons which are key components of dampers. The energy accumulated from the vibrations can transfer into heat which lessens the amount of force that comes with them.
A pendulum power, another form of damper, is also placed at the top of buildings and works similarly to a hydraulic which counteracts movements and stabilizes its direction. This also assists the modern buildings to make forces more subtle and less disruptive.
Use of Durable Materials (Structural Steel, Reinforced Concrete & Bamboo)
The key to a durable establishment is employing durable materials in its structural design. From the ancient architectural materials such as bricks and stones, innovations have come a long way in developing the foundations of any establishment.
Materials such as structural, reinforced concrete, and even bamboo are reliable enough to be used for buildings when it comes to improving their strength and capacity. Structural steel can be used to form“X” shape braces in both interior and exterior parts of a modern building as a support to its shape and overall structure.
Concrete and bamboo can be utilized on solidifying and strengthening the foundations of a building easily and cost-efficiently. With these durable materials working hand-in-hand, not only safety can be ensured but aesthetic elements and touches of buildings can also look more elevated.
Experimenting on New Materials (Fiber, Shape Memory Alloy & 3D Printed Materials)
Different natural construction materials have been a go-to for establishing a good building structure. However, technology provides an opportunity for many industries to further enhance and optimize each work to serve people better – this is where innovative materials come in.
The emergence of artificially designed materials such as a fibre-reinforced plastic wrap, shape memory alloy, and other 3D printed materials have become a huge leap in the field of architecture. Not only do they make construction easier but they also make it stronger, more flexible, and overall superior in comparison to traditionally made ones.
They might cost a bit more than conventional construction materials, but they provide results that will safeguard the structural elements of an establishment, save lives, as well as last for many years ahead.
Constructing a building is vital in many societies. Aside from the fact that it is a home for many productive affairs and processes, it also opens up opportunities for many industries. And so, making a modern building durable enough to withstand disasters is essential to not only protect the assets of a community but to protect the safety of the people too.
The history of construction has shown that technology and innovation pave the way to creating a more reliable structure for modern buildings and make an exponential amount of strength possible despite many adversaries.
The development in the construction materials and techniques might already be looking promising today, but one thing is for sure, it will continue to grow as time passes by. Fundamentally, innovations emerged to make living more efficient, and what better way to make it possible than to keep people safe from different risks from the environment.
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