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Environmental Science/Earthquake Resistant Structures.


QUESTION: Dear David‎‎‎‎‎‎‎

1. Is it possible to build 100 % Earthquake resistant proof buildings and structures ?.

2. Is it possible to renovate/redevelop already built structures viz buildings,bridges etc for earthquake resistant proofing ?.

i.e. Structures which are more than 3 years old.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Yes, structures can be made earthquake resistant, but the cost of the structure/ or the upgrade and improvements may be cost prohibitive. California has some of the strongest earthquake codes in the world. I know of a lovely church in the Bay Area which is unoccupied because it was built from unreinforced masonry (stone). The cost of upgrading would require the church to drill into the walls vertically and install vertical reinforcing rods to tie the foundation to the walls, and secure the wall stones so that they cannot fall in the event of an earthquake. The cost estimation requires the services of a good structural engineer and a good contractor.
Hope that helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear David

Thank you.

Are Quality certifications awarded by Civil consulting cos for
Earthquake resistant proofing to Builders ?.

i.e. Quality certification indicating "This Structure
is certified for withstanding earthquake of magnitude 7 by
XYZ Civil Consulting co".

The above is just a example from my end.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Short answer is NO, quality certificates are not issued, at least that I'm aware of. The process involves submitting the design to the building authority, and after their review for conformance with the appropriate structural codes, a building permit is issued.
Because building codes change over time, based on evidence, older structures will be designed to lesser standards.

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David L. Russell, PE


I`m a Chemical,Civil and Environmental Engineer and have a number of projects in all phases of the environment. I have worked in the chemical industry and am active in professional societies, and am currently on an industrial wastes committee for the Water Environment Federation, and have taught courses in remediation in the US and abroad. I have written one book on Remediation of petroleum Contaminated Sites, and have a second book on PRACTICAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT to be published by John Wiley in September, 2006. I've also written over 30 articles on various elements of environmental problems and cleanup. Most Recently, I have addressed a NATO Scientific and Techical Conference on Ecoterrorism, and have worked with the same group on remediation of sites contaminated with Chemical Warfare Agent materials and othe materials as well. . I can answer q`s about Chemical and Environmental Engineering, land development, air pollution, water pollution, soil and water cleanup, combustion, international environmental problems, industrial processes chemical processes. Civil and Environmental and Chemical Engineering. Overall, I have over 35 years of experience in this area. Note: I do not answer homework questions


I love work in the third world and developing areas because it is challenging and one can get a sense of accomplishment.

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