Policy ForumGeology

Building for Earthquakes

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Science  11 Jun 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5677, pp. 1604
DOI: 10.1126/science.1098145

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Most earthquake losses result from damage to structures, but much can be done to mitigate urban earthquake risk. Because basic data and analysis are lacking for how buildings and other structures perform under extreme loads, this Policy Forum describes two U.S. government programs for expanding placement of recording instruments and sensors in seismic regions and for developing tools for modeling and simulation to predict building performance during earthquakes. These combined efforts could lead to significant progress toward building resiliency in the urban environment.