After the massive earthquake which hit Japan in 2011, one must really wonder if it’s possible to build an earthquake- resistant building? The answer is, in fact, a combination of yes and no. There are some engineering techniques by which we can be used to create a structure which can withstand earthquakes depending on the severity, most structures can withstand quakes up to 5 to 5.9 on the Richter scale. However if the number on the scales above 6 we can expect the best-engineered building may suffer severe damage. Even though quakes above the number 6 is rare, but this is a possibility in many parts of the word.
Buildings have traditionally designed to bear the load on a vertical order after the doors, windows, and walls are added. The structure usually loses its strength, the structure also loses its stability too. Modern architects try that buildings sway from side to side to absorb the vibrations. Most modern homes are built with reinforced concrete and steel, materials not exactly known for the bendability. Engineer weave a skeletal structure which reduces the weak points along the structures.
Countries with a history of having frequent earthquakes have come with techniques which have in fact influenced modern architecture as well. Chinese and Japanese architecture have structures which come with a central pillar which vibrates with quakes instead of standing form. The building abosrbs the vibrations, this technique has influenced modern architects to come up techniques by which most modern high rise buildings acts as a tuning fork.