Is Mass Timber a Good Choice for Seismic Zones?


Construction of Brock Commons. Image © KK Law. Courtesy of naturallywood.com

Construction of Brock Commons. Image © KK Law. Courtesy of naturallywood.com

For some, it may be terrifying to think that we inhabit a sphere orbiting the Sun, whose core has temperatures of up to 6,000°C and all human activities are located on the Earth’s crust, the smallest layer in thickness, in the so-called tectonic plates. These plates float on the mantle, more precisely in the asthenosphere, and sometimes collide, causing earthquakes. As we can see in this interactive map, earthquakes are much more frequent than we imagine, with dozens occurring daily around the world, many of them unnoticed. But some are extremely potent, and when they occur near urban areas, they are one of the most destructive forces on Earth, causing death and damage to the built environment.

With the advancement of research, tests and experiments in engineering, countries and regions with tectonic activities already have the knowledge to reduce the danger of death and damage caused by these events. Some solutions and materials work better in the event of an earthquake. Wood is one of them.

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