Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

Earthquakes prompt increased interest in seismic design

Jae Choi

By Jae Choi

Program Manager / Market Development & Market Access, Canada Wood Korea

January 25, 2017

tai2The majority of Koreans are concerned about earthquakes. An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale occurred in the southern part of Korea called Gyeongju last September (2016), injuring 23 people and causing damage to more than 5,000 buildings.

The earthquake, followed by daily media articles about earthquake preparedness, Koreans wondered about how safe their own residences were. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced that from next year, the object of earthquake-resistant design should be expanded from the existing three-story or 500-square meter floor to two-story or more. As a result, architects and structural engineers are now very interested in designing wood frame houses that are earthquake safe.

tai1To address the new interest in wood seismic design, on November 4, during the 2016 Korea Wood Show, Canada Wood Korea held a seminar on the topic of “Housing Design for Earthquakes – Is Wood Frame House Safe?” inviting renowned structural engineers and architects to explain “understanding of housing design and wood frame structure for earthquakes”. In addition, based on the results of the earthquake shake table test of a six-storey tall wood frame house in Kobe in 2011, we had the opportunity to explain how safe the wood frame houses are for earthquakes.

A total of 134 people attended the seminar reflecting their interest in the topic. It was planned for the public, but people from various fields such as architects, structural engineers, WF house builders and university professors gathered. Participants were generally satisfied with the seminar contents, and some commented that they would like to have even more technical contents in the next seminar.