We recently wrote about the importance of having an emergency plan in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster. So now that you’ve had time to assemble that, you might be thinking, what can I do to my home to improve the odds that it will survive a major earthquake? Since I’m not an engineer, I can’t really give you a great answer to that question, but fortunately the smart folks at Architizer have created a rather beautiful Â and informativeÂ Â infographic about seismic retrofitting.
Mass dampers are usually used in large buildings (like the large water tower at the top of 1 Rincon, I would assume). Base Isolation is applicable to pretty much all buildings, and from their description entails:
Base isolation is the major strategy behind both retrofitted and new construction (mass dampers are generally just used for tall buildings). The idea? Decouple the superstructure (above ground) and substructure (foundations) of a buildings to create a frequency separation between the ground and the building. So when a building is being laterally shaken from its foundation, the isolation unit (usually a rubber piece or spring) pulls the superstructure in the opposite direction — back the way it should be.
According to their calculations, the average cost to retrofit a wood frame home of about 2,300 square feet in size built after 1969 is $16,677.
Sadly for San Franciscans, this infographic doesn’t deal with how to retrofit aÂ soft-story wood-frame building, which are considered to be one of the major concerns in San Francisco. In a nutshell, these buildings are built with a wood frame (pretty much everything in SF other than recent construction) and have a ground floor that with openings, usually either because of parking or commercial space.
But its still a great infographic, hope you found it to be useful as well!