Three Keys to Earthquake Resistant Buildings According to UB Lecturer

Thousands of Buildings collapsed after the earthquake in Cianjur last November. Source:

Being in an area surrounded by volcanoes and surrounded by various faults, makes Indonesia vulnerable to natural disasters, especially earthquakes, which claim many victims, both material and injured, and even death. Preparedness for earthquake mitigation must start as early as possible, one of which is the preparation of earthquake-resistant buildings.

Earthquake resistant buildings, according to Ir. Ari Wibowo, ST., MT., Ph.D, is not a building that was not damaged when it was hit by an earthquake. “Earthquake-resistant buildings are buildings that can be damaged during an earthquake, but cannot collapse. Buildings that are damaged in the desired way so that they can remain standing even when an earthquake hits, that is the concept of an earthquake-resistant building, “explained Ari.

Ir. Ari Wibowo, ST., MT., Ph.D, Secretary of the Engineering Profession Department, FT UB

The concept of this building, added Ari, according to guidelines from the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, there are three levels. “When hit by a small earthquake, the building is not damaged. When a building is hit by a moderate earthquake, it can be damaged in secondary structures such as walls and slabs but the main structure should not be damaged. And when hit by a big earthquake, main structures such as beams and columns may be damaged but may not collapse,” added the man who serves as Secretary of the Department of Engineering Profession, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Brawijaya.

“Earthquake-resistant buildings, for the general public, in principle are simple and light,” he said. Simple buildings are regular ones, for example Ari with a symmetrical plan like a box, and there are columns at each wall meeting, the columns continuing to the bottom. “Columns must also be stronger than the beams,” he explained. This is so that the damage occurs in the beams, not in the columns. This is what is meant by “broken the way you want it to be”.

The building must also be light. “This is because the effect of the earthquake on the structure is proportional to the weight of the building. One of the ways to make the building weight lighter is by using lightweight bricks for walls, using light steel frames such as galvalume for buildings. The contents of the house must also be considered, because the lighter the contents of the house, the effects of the earthquake can be minimized because the building is light,” said Ari.

Soil conditions, explained Ari, also affect the strength of the earthquake. The softer the soil type, the greater the effect of the earthquake on buildings. “The main key for building foundations is to reach hard ground or rocky ground. Very guarantee for earthquake resistant buildings. If not, then the effect of the earthquake will also be more severe,” added the Civil Engineering lecturer.

Regarding materials, organic materials such as wood or bamboo have elastic properties that are more able to withstand large deformation conditions. “So buildings with these two materials can last longer even though the building is tilted a lot, and does not collapse easily. However, these two materials are more susceptible to termites, mold, humidity and the same. That is why houses using concrete tend to be preferred because it is more durable,” he said.

To prepare earthquake-resistant buildings, Ari reminded them to make buildings that are simple, strong and light. “Strength here is related to the quality of building materials, construction methods used, and so on. For example, the manufacture of concrete is really strong, and according to the rules, starting from the size and amount of iron, material composition to size. Therefore, for the general public, of course, consulting or using construction services that are correct and comply with the rules will be very helpful, because there are technical terms that are difficult for ordinary people to understand. Guidelines regarding simple buildings have also been provided by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, and can be accessed by the public,” he concluded. (VQ/ Humas UB/ Trans. Iir)