Japanese engineers have sometimes very original ideas . In a country , prone to regular eartquakes , they have come with a system that allows to lift up a complete house with just air . Uplifting a complete house is one of the ways that can isolate a house from the shockwaves caused in the event of an earthquake
This is the theory of their warning and uplifting system :
Earthquakes don’t kill people. People’s houses in the midst of earthquakes kill people. Look at the statistics—or the photographs—and you’ll know that the vast majority of fatalities from earthquakes large or small come from buildings, or parts of buildings, falling on people.
What better way to avoid tragedy then, but by tossing a house in the air when an earthquake comes?
That’s the general idea behind the levitating house developed by the Japanese company Air Danshin . The product of inventor Shoichi Sakamoto, the house sits, during more stable times, on a deflated air bag. When sensors feel a tremor, they switch on a compressor within a second. The compressor pumps air into an airbag, inflating it within a few more seconds, and ultimately lifting the entire house a good three centimeters off its supposedly earthquake-proof concrete foundation. There the structure will hover, its inhabitants able to casually go about their business, for the duration of the quake. Then the airbag deflates and the house gently settles back down.
This is how it looks in reality : structure levitates 1cm to 3 cm
Read the complete article by Michael ABRAMS on :
Check out this awesome blog on science . Here are the Earth’s plate tectonics explained
GERONIMO, Oklahoma – It’s a spot in the road off I-44 just south of Lawton. If you blink, you might miss it. But the unusual dome shape buildings will catch your attention. They may look funny, but their design just might save lives during a tornado.
Those strange looking structures are actually Geronimo’s high school and junior high campus. Monolithic Domes. Five connected pods as they call them, built to withstand an EF-5 tornado.
School board member Michael Johnson took us on a tour. What makes the curved roof safer than a traditional square building? Johnson compared it to a basketball.
“It has no real sharp edges for the wind to push on,” Johnson said. “It deflects a lot of mother nature. Oklahoma’s wind. And it’s entirely made of concrete.”
Concrete walls, floors and even that strange round roof.
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Another dome project that I found :
Solar Equipped in Illinois — Kati and Robin Millers’ Monolithic Dome home has 6 solar-thermal collectors that collect the sun’s heat and convert it into thermal energy. It heats water that circulates through the radiant heating system to heat the home.
More readings on disaster winds on this blog :
The disaster in the Philippines caused by the typhoon Haiyan , with wind speeds up to 300 km / hour devastated buildings like this in the picture below . Note that these houses were relatively solid build , but nevertheless some roofs went away
Source picture : http://mashable.com/2013/11/10/help-victims-typhoon-haiyan/
I made me think again of the wooden house designed by a Belgian architect Frank Verplanken ( in 2003 )
Below the backside of the house ( more open with windows , facing south )
Below the frontside of the house ( more closed , facing north )
It has 6 big wooden arches , each spaced 3 m away from eachother . So , this kind of half cylindrical roof type would resist very well to very strong winds . The roof which actually makes up the entire solid structural skeleton of the house , rests on only 12 points ( that is 6 times 2 points ) on the soil .
If one could find a smart way to create a dampening barrier between the arches and the soil , this house would become even resistent to violent earthquakes . Some used giant tires from trucks , could be used as a basis for the wooden arches to rest on . In the case of a violent earthquake , these tyres would be able to dampen the shockwaves of the earthquake .
It is very difficult to find back again some good pictures from this special house , but I have managed to find the pictures above on :
Further reading on disaster winds and our Earth’s plate tectonics on this blog :
Here is what the disaster looks in pictures :