The Use of Steel in Earthquake-Resistant Buildings

Steel has the pole position of proven prowess in the construction industry, as you will see. Whether or not you live close to the ‘Ring of Fire’, where volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis strike, you’ll be impressed with the performance of steel in earthquake-resistant buildings.

Consider your verdict:

Case-in-Point for Earthquake-Resistant Buildings

Here’s the story, first the bad, then the good news.

In September 2017, North Korea’s Gyeongju province was hit by a colossal 5.8-magnitude earthquake. You’d better believe that buildings shook violently and crumbled to the ground.

The port city of Pohang, in South Korea’s Gyeongsang Province, was struck later that same year by a 5.4-magnitude quake. That was bad, for sure! We’re talking about the destruction of and damage to thousands of buildings and homes.

The good news was that the nuclear reactors, situated about 80 kilometers south of Pohang, operated normally with no sign of radiation leaks…phew!

Korea’s Earthquake-Resistant Buildings

Meet Young Bae Kim, who lives just under 9kms from where the earthquake started. “I could feel the ground shake, but the house was completely under control,” he related.

How is that possible? Well, steel yourself.

Kim lives in one of the ‘Steel Houses’ built by POSCO (a leading global steelmaker; headquartered in Korea), whose employees volunteer to build homes and bridges for communities in need. A ‘Steel House’ is made from lightweight structural steel that is fire- and vibration-resistant.

Closing Argument for Earthquake-resistant Buildings

Due to the fact that all Steel Houses survived the Gyeongju earthquake while other homes were damaged, more and more Koreans are choosing steel over traditional building materials such as wood and concrete. In Japan, where earthquakes are much more frequent, the use of steel in construction is almost a given.

The Verdict?

The best solution for building earthquake-resistant buildings is steel. End of story.

For more information on how Steelmor can help you with your projects, please feel free to get in touch with our team.