Is Mass Timber a Good Choice for Seismic Zones?

By Eduardo Souza
Arch Daily
April 4, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

With the advancement of research, countries with tectonic activities already have the knowledge to reduce the danger of death and damage caused by [earthquakes]. Some solutions and materials work better. Wood is one of them. …Buildings generally support vertical loads well. In the case of an earthquake, the lateral forces transmitted by the waves of the earthquake make the entire structure vibrate. In regions where there is seismic activity, flexible foundation systems, counterweights and even pendulums are used in tall buildings to avoid or counterbalance the structure as it sways. But the materials that make up the building can play a key role. Wood as a structural material works particularly well in the case of earthquakes, as wood lateral force resisting systems tend to have high degrees of ductility. This means that it is a material that supports a great deal of deformation until the moment of its fracture. That is, it bends before breaking. 

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