Outstanding Seismic Performance of 2×4 Homes in Noto Peninsula Earthquake

Shawn Lawlor

By: Shawn Lawlor

Managing Director, Canada Wood Japan/COFI Japan

On January 1st, 2024 a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture. According to Japanese government sources the powerful earthquake resulted in 260 deaths and caused widespread damage to infrastructure and properties across the Noto Peninsula. A total of 125,736 homes were damaged or destroyed. Of this total 8,424 homes were completely destroyed – either collapsed, rendered uninhabitable or had more than 70% of the floor area of the dwelling destroyed. A further 20,461 homes were determined to be half-destroyed – with damage impacting more than 20% but less than 70% of the dwelling floor area. The balance suffered partial damage to less than 20% of the floor area or had lighter non-structural damage.

As was the case in past major earthquake in Japan, 2×4 held up admirably well in the Noto earthquake. The Japan 2×4 Home Builders Association recently conducted a survey of 2×4 built in the Noto region to determine the extent of damage to 2×4 homes. A total of 1,120 homes were surveyed and of these 99% or 1,111 units showed either no damage or only light non-structural damage. Of the remaining 9 homes, no 2×4 homes experienced complete, half or partial destruction as a result of structural failure due to the seismic forces. A total of 4 homes were either partially or half destroyed due to the collapse of foundations underneath. Similarly, a further 5 homes suffered half or partial destruction due to liquification of the soil.  

Photo credit: Z2Data