Earthquake resistance

Odporność na trzęsienia ziemi

Wood differs from other building materials such as steel, concrete and stone due to the optimal relationship between its toughness and own mass. The low mass of wooden houses results in their lower lift force in the case of an earthquake. In such a situation, apart from vertical cracks the most dangerous are horizontal fissures in the ground. Wood is composed of so-called pore cells, which create cavities and optimize its flexibility and mechanical properties. For this reason wood can be highly resistant to pressure and stretching. Wooden structures high resistance to earthquakes has been proved by numerous buildings in seismically active regions, such as multi-centennial wooden houses in Istambul, wooden structures in Japan and multi-storey residential buildings in Seattle.

Another advantage of wood construction is the high prefabrication degree of individual components such as walls or ceilings. This allows carring out the construction process quickly and cost-efficiently. Because of its advantages wood is the leading building material used in rebuilding areas struck by natural disasters – not only in the case of residential buildings.

An example of the above is the successful reconstruction of an earthquake-stricken region – Abruzzo in Italy. After a strong earthquake in the area of L’Aquila in April 2009, many new residential buildings were provided to the local community in a short time thanks to the use of massive wood construction.

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