Buildings, structures, and foundations must be designed to withstand sideways loads in order to be earthquake proof. The lighter the structure, the less it weights. They must be able to withstand the loads. They must be connected to any framework and strengthened to bear weight in their weakest direction.
The base of a building plays an important role in making it earthquake resistant. It should be constructed from strong, stable material such as concrete or steel. The foundation should be deep enough to prevent any part of it from being affected by ground movement. An effect area of at least 200 feet around the building should have soil conditions analyzed before construction begins. If liquefaction is found, the building should not be located on the effective area.
Lofts above the first floor should be used for storage if at all possible. They provide extra height which reduces the amount of energy needed to resist wind pressures. Also, they are out of reach of most people who might try to climb up them during an earthquake.
Windows should be kept under control. They should only be opened when absolutely necessary because even closed they can allow air flow which decreases window strength and increases loading on other parts of the building. Also, make sure they're locked!
Fireplaces produce many dangerous gases that can fill up a room quickly. Make sure there's proper ventilation when using a fireplace or stove. Open windows and doors will help release these gases.
The bulk of the building exerts less force on a lighter construction. Steel structure is lighter than concrete without sacrificing strength. It will withstand an earthquake better than a more fragile construction. Concrete can collapse from an earthquake, but the structure will be much stronger when it is rebuilt.
In general, older buildings were mostly built with concrete, while newer ones are mostly built with steel. However, both materials have their drawbacks. Old concrete can crack and break down over time, while old steel can bend and dent under pressure. Both issues can be addressed by choosing suitable repairs for the existing state of the structure.
New buildings should use strong materials for the foundation to prevent damage during an earthquake. The type of foundation depends on where the building is located and what kind of soil it is built on. For example, if the land is soft and sandy then a slab-on-ground foundation made of concrete or asphalt is recommended. If the soil is hard then a basement dug into it may be needed. In either case, water has to be prevented from entering the basement to prevent flooding after an earthquake.
After an earthquake, damaged parts of the building need to be repaired. This includes doors and windows that might have been broken during the event. Even if they were closed and locked before the earthquake, they can be forced open by its forces.
The design of any structure, whether high-rise or low-rise, will have a substantial impact on its survivability during an earthquake. Modern high-rise buildings in low seismicity zones are built to handle lateral loads, particularly wind forces, which can be substantially greater than earthquake forces. High-rise buildings in high-seismicity areas must withstand both lateral loads and vertical forces from shaking.
In general, high-rise buildings are safer than low-rise buildings for two reasons: 1 the ground under them does not have to shake as much to cause damage; and 2 if they do suffer damage, their weight helps prevent collapse. The more stories a building has, the higher the risk of it suffering major damage. However'tall' simply means height, but also refers to the distance between floors - unless otherwise stated, 'tall' buildings refer to structures with at least 12 meters (40 feet) in height.
When a high-rise building experiences an earthquake, its upper floors are exposed to greater forces than lower floors. Because the force of gravity is the same for everyone, this means that people on the upper floors are subjected to greater stress than others. If a floor is damaged by falling objects or other causes, it cannot provide support for those above it, so it's important to avoid elevating risks by having heavy objects such as furniture up there.