Tuesday, 24 Nov, 2009 Technology

The Biggest Earthquake-Safe Structure Built in Istanbul


On October 31 the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Istanbul witnessed the opening of a new terminal which made it the largest earthquake-proof construction on the planet. The name of the airport comes from the first woman combat pilot in the world.

The building occupies an area of 2 million square feet and can resist a magnitude 8.0 earthquake. Besides, the construction can not only resist such a powerful earthquake, it can also continue working as a fully functional building afterwards.

Such advances became possible as a result of a new seismic building technology along with complex computer simulations applied. Computer simulations can predict the reactions of the structure during an earthquake and thus be able to keep it safe.

It is worth mentioning that Istanbul stands on the confluence of three tectonic plates, which means that there are big chances that another major earthquake will take place in the near future. The new building will be able to save lives and significantly cut the costs of damage. The new terminal was designed by Arup, one of the leading companies focusing on sustainable design and engineering.

The new building technology used to create the terminal is dubbed "triple friction pendulum isolators." These seismic isolation devices were developed by Earthquake Protection System and are meant to absorb the energy produced by the shock waves, being able to resist powerful earthquakes. The technology lifts the entire structure off the ground and reduces the motions of the construction during an earthquake. There are 300 of these devices used in the new terminal, which makes it the biggest earthquake-safe construction in the world.

Posted by bart

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