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Only a few weeks ago we were all basking in glorious sunshine, strolling around in our shorts complaining ‘it’s too hot’ in typical British fashion, yet this week we have tumbled back to reality with the usual wind and rain we Brits come to expect this time of year.
Most notably have been the 100mph winds whooshing through our country and knocking over deck chairs and garden tables. I jest, as we all do when we have a ‘storm’ as we are quite lucky to only encounter truly terrifying weather on very rare occasions. Compared to countries like America or China who have just experienced some of the raw devastating power of natures wrath, our incidents pale in comparison.
But whether you are in the UK, America or any other part of the world, hurricane force winds cause damage, earthquakes cause damage, as do a whole host of other natural phenomena. Whilst houses are usually the first to go, larger buildings are also at risk and if they were to topple, the consequences would be severe, but that doesn’t mean that architects and construction firms haven’t thought about ways to minimise the effect of natural disasters. Here we’re going to take a look at 5 of the toughest buildings on the planet that could give mother nature a run for her money.
Public Safety Building, Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City lies on a fault line which means it is prone to major earthquakes. Due to this building’s construction using concrete dampers, it is able to withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. Some rooms can move up to 24 inches from side to side to help absorb the shock and ensures the building remains functional after a quake without suffering any damage.
Shanghai Tower, China
Shanghai see’s its fair share of hurricanes and flooding and the Shanghai Tower has been designed to reduce the impact of strong winds by 24 percent. This is due to the towers twisting design which also helps reduce sway at the top of the building. This is quite an impressive feat considering the tower is built with 25 percent less steel than skyscrapers of a similar size.
Torre Mayor, Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico has encountered numerous earthquakes over the centuries and this building, completed in 2003, has already shown its tough credentials to the world. Built with 96 diamond shaped dampers which enable it to withstand earthquake forces nearly four times as efficiently as a conventionally damped building, the Torre Mayor can withstand earthquakes up to 8.5 on the Richter Scale. In Jan 2003 it proved its worth by withstanding a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in which the building remained undamaged and its occupants weren’t even aware a tremor had occurred!
Taipei 101, Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan.
The Yokohama Landmark Tower, Yokohama, Japan
Japan has been prone to earthquakes ever since humans decided to occupy the geologically active island chain. Due to this, the Japanese have always built their buildings with earthquakes in mind. This impressive 972ft structure is actually placed on rollers which, in the event of an earthquake, allows the building to roll over the earth as it moves leaving the structure undisturbed. It’s mass damper system not only weighs it down, but it is also built with extremely flexible materials which allow the building to bend rather than break in the event of an earthquake.
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