A Shake in the Right Direction- Stanford Engineers Improve Earthquake Resistance

Civil Engineers from Stanford University in California have successfully designed, constructed and tested a two-story, earthquake-resistant house. They constructed the house on "sliding isolators", steel slots that allow the house to slide along the ground to reduce the impact of violent vibrations caused by earthquakes. They also incorporated extra-strength walls and a powerful glue that held the walls together better than nails and screws would. They tested the structure on a massive "shake table" at the University of California, San Diego that shook the structure at a level similar to that of a 6.9 Richter-scaled earthquake. The house was able to withstand the tremors with minimal damage, and with a cost that is only a few thousand dollars more than a traditional house, and only requiring an extra four days of construction. Professor Gregory Deierlein, the project manager, was quoted as saying, "We are always cautious to never talk about earthquake-proof, but our resistance is getting better and better."

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