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ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES IN HOUSING CONSTRUCTION
Post: #1

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES IN HOUSING CONSTRUCTION


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SEISMIC ISOLATION

Seismic isolation is a relatively new concept in earthquake engineering, having been
introduced in the early 1980s in the USA and New Zealand, and as early as 1975 in the
former Soviet Union. Quite simply, the idea underlying the technology is to detach the
building from the ground in such a way that the earthquake motions are not transmitted
up through the building, or are at least greatly reduced.


PASSIVE ENERGY DISSIPATION DEVICES

Passive energy dissipation systems represent an alternative to seismic isolation as a
means of protecting building structures against the effects of damaging earthquakes.
The basic function of passive energy dissipation devices in a building is to absorb or
consume a portion of the earthquake input energy, thereby reducing energy dissipation
demand on primary structural members and minimizing structural damage. The means
by which the energy is dissipated is either through the yielding of mild steel, sliding
friction, motion of a piston or a plate within a viscous fluid, motion of an orificed viscous
fluid device, or viscoelastic action of polymeric materials. The most common types of
passive devices used-to-date include viscous fluid dampers, friction dampers, metallic
dampers, and tuned mass dampers. These devices can be effective against wind
motions as well as against earthquakes4.


EARTHQUAKE PERFORMANCE

Typically, all the buildings built with these new technologies have performed or are
expected to perform well in major earthquakes. In fact, unlike some of the other
construction technologies described in the WHE, this technology is used to improve
a building’s performance in an earthquake. In China, where the use of base isolation
for rigid masonry buildings is becoming more widespread, these buildings have been
subjected to numerous strong earthquakes and have all performed well. No damage
to this building type has been observed in any of these earthquakes: 1994 Taiwan Straits
(M 7.3); 1995 Yunan Province (M 6.5); 1996 Yunan Province (M 7.0), and the 2000 Xinjian
Autonomous Region (M 6.2).
Post: #2
Advanced homebuilding technologies are not used as frequently as the more standard construction technologies described in previous chapters, which involve the use of masonry, wood and concrete. However, as with other innovations, it is hoped that over time these new technologies will gain greater acceptance. For the purposes of the World Encyclopedia of Housing, advanced technologies include seismic isolation and passive energy dissipation devices. To date, the WHE database contains three reports describing advanced technology applications: two describe China's baseline isolation systems (WHE Report 9) and Kyrgyzstan (WHE Report 76), and the third report describes the use of a system of seismic protection developed in the former Soviet Union, known as "unlinking reserve elements" (WHE Report 77, Russian Federation). The first application of advanced technologies in housing construction dates back to the 1970s. For example, the sliding belt insulation system was developed in Russia around 1975, with its first application in Kyrgyzstan in 1982. The decoupling reserve elements (DRE) were developed in Russia in 1970 and were first applied in 1972 The first code dealing with this type of construction was issued in 1981. In China, the widespread use of basic insulation for housing has only been used since 1990, with the first code addressing this technology published in 2000.
 

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