Spanish properties modern, safe from earthquakes; the rest … unknown

What would happen in Spain with residential buildings occur if an earthquake like that of L’Aquila ? It seems difficult to foresee the consequences, especially if the epicenter occurs near a city, experts say . What is clear, at least on paper, it is that the blocks of flats built under the anti – seismic regulations 1994 and 2002 (incorporated in the Technical Building Code -CTE-) would be almost totally immune to disaster. The effects on raised above, unknown. Contrary to what one might think, skyscrapers are better prepared to withstand earthquakes.

“I have no doubt that Spain is ready 100% for it does not happen so in Italy. From given a similar quake would have only material damage. Only if the epicenter occurred in large cities and moving out of high density could be danger , “said Carlos Hern├índez Pezzi, President of the Superior Council of Colleges of Architects of Spain (CSCAE) . Pezzi justifies these statements noting that the legislation is continually renewed, which have made progress in concrete structures and studied the millimeter land.

Only about 10 buildings in L'Aquila, two or three new construction, collapsed |  Ap

‘If an earthquake of magnitude six occurs in a city, earthquake disaster kit┬áthe outcome would be very similar to that lived in Italy’

Less clear is what Patrick Murphy, architect and specialist in studies of seismic vulnerability of buildings . “The Spanish cities are very similar to the Italian and mainly old cases of these feature buildings that are obsolete from the point of view of seismic resistance. If an earthquake of a magnitude six were produced in an urban area, the outcome would be very similar , ” says Murphy after witnessing in person the catastrophe of L’Aquila.

Irish – born architect no doubt by stating that “the big jump in construction is produced with the 1994 regulations coming into force in 1996”. “The buildings constructed for 13 years have high guarantees to survive an earthquake like that of Italy , ” he says. Murphy is surprised that in L’Aquila of the approximately 10 properties that have sunk completely, two or three are newly built. “This will be talking about , ” he says.

Pezzi more explicit about which no doubt say that it shows “there has been some corruption” regarding building controls in Italy because ” it is not normal contemporary buildings have fallen”. And it starts circulating the rumor that in the Italian city has been used to sand beach to erect buildings.

Spain map of seismic risk, according to the latest standard of earthquake resistance of 2002.
Ampliar photo

Spain map of seismic risk, according to the latest standard of earthquake resistance of 2002.

The Mediterranean, the area most at risk

Spain has a seismic risk map that locates the Mediterranean area as the most vulnerable to tremors area. Thus, depending on the demarcation a method of work or other applies . “Where there is risk of earthquakes is being built with concrete structures quite efficient , ” says Pezzi. The main material also chosen in Japan, the country par excellence of earthquakes. “In Japan use more concrete than us because the demand is much higher standard , ” said Murphy confirming that anti – seismic regulations is increasingly common in all countries.

Beyond the material used, it should be noted that the skyscrapers , contrary to what might appear, are less vulnerable to earthquakes that low buildings. “It’s difficult for a fall height property than others as these are calculated elasticity for possible movements or strong winds , ” stresses Pezzi.
It is pointing in the same direction Murphy, who “after the highest and most complex building ever more creditworthy companies and professionals with greater control and studied projects.” Given these assumptions, the multiple skyscrapers of Benidorm, construction icon height in the Mediterranean, would not run any danger.

Continuous renewal rules

Following the recent catastrophic experience lived in L’Aquila, it seems that something will change. “The lessons learned in Italy will be applied in Spain. Maybe in 2010 we have a new law , ” Murphy explains, stressing that there is a Standing Committee of the Seismic Resistance Norm that handles be renewing the existing standard by introducing new knowledge and advanced materials that appear.

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