Engineer: Concrete, done correctly, helps buildings survive quakes

05/26/2011 | New Scientist

Earthquake engineer Elizabeth Hausler says concrete-reinforced buildings have a better chance of surviving a tremor. But, she adds, construction has to happen in the right order. Developers in China, Indonesia and Haiti were using the confined masonry method, "but they were not doing it correctly and in many cases there was no connection between the masonry walls and columns," Hausler says. "Simple changes to the sequence of construction, like building the walls before the columns, can make a big difference to the building's strength."

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