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Earthquakes and Steel Buildings

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In Blog, Earthquakes and Steel Buildings

How We Measure Earthquakes

Richter, Moment Magnitude, and Mercalli Earthquake Scales When hearing about recent earthquakes, the first thing everyone wants to know is the quake’s magnitude.  Having a number to define the strength of the tremblor allows us to gauge how the quake compares to other historical earthquakes. But what does the designated earthquake magnitude actually mean? Early Seismographs Seismographs are instruments used to measure the force and duration of an earthquake. In 1883, John Milne, a British geologist and mining engineer studying… Read More

In Blog, Earthquakes and Steel Buildings

Steel Buildings in Earthquakes

Designing Solid Structures for Shaky Ground The performance of pre-engineered steel buildings in earthquakes is nothing short of amazing. How do we know? Building code officials and structural engineers study the performance of various building types under duress.  After every natural calamity, they examine which buildings failed and which withstood the stresses forced on them.  Their goal is to insure life safety in the event of extreme conditions.  Consequently, they take what they learn from natural disasters and amend building… Read More

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Steel Buildings for Welding Shops

Part 2: Prefab Metal Buildings vs. Weld-up Buildings Our last blog established that steel buildings are the only safe choice for welding shops. Now let’s look at the framing choices. As an experienced welder, your first instinct is to weld-up your own shop, but is that really the smartest choice? Before you build, compare the pros and cons of weld-up metal buildings and prefabricated steel buildings. You may be surprised at which system is the better value. Defining “Weld-Up” Metal… Read More

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Building Strong with Prefab Metal Buildings

Part 2: Safer Structures in Earthquakes and Snowstorms Our previous blog covered how prefab metal buildings provide extra protection against windstorms, floods, and fires. Now let’s look at some of the other types of natural disasters inflicting billion-dollar structural damage. Prefab Steel Buildings in Earthquakes The devastating earthquakes in Mexico last month killed hundreds of people, emphasizing the need for seismic-resistant building techniques. Generally, the buildings that perform best in earthquakes are those with a little “give,” which take the… Read More

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Metal Building Construction Loads 101

Part 2: Understanding Environmental Loads Part one of this series on construction loads covered the basics of dead loads and live loads. Now let’s look at the additional loads old Mother Nature inflicts on structures. Planning for nature’s violent vicissitudes is tricky. No one knows exactly the strength hurricane-force winds will blow. Who can guess how much snow can accumulate during back-to-back snowstorms? And multiple variables determine the damage inflicted by seismic events. Building code officials calculate required loads based… Read More

In Earthquakes and Steel Buildings, Fire and Steel Buildings, more

WOOD versus STEEL Buildings- Part 2

Natural Challenges Facing Wood and Steel Buildings Part 1 of this series on wood versus steel buildings covered some of the basic material differences between the two building methods. Now let’s look at how wood and steel performance. When considering a building system, it is important to think long term. How safe is the structure? How will it hold up against earthquakes, fire, violent storms, and termites? TERMITES WOOD-framed structures invite termites, wood ants, and vermin in for a snack.… Read More

In Earthquakes and Steel Buildings, Lightning and Steel Buildings, more

Combating the Cost of Calamities with Steel Buildings

Metal Buildings Outperform Other Structures in Natural Disasters In the wake of the devastating natural disasters recently inflicted on the U.S., building stronger structures like steel buildings is vital. Choosing to build structures to stand up to Mother Nature at her worst just makes sense. Counting the Cost of Catastrophic Events The escalating cost of natural disasters in the U.S. boggles the mind. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), since 1980 the U.S. has suffered 170 weather related… Read More

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A Steel Storage Building to the Rescue

How a Steel Warehouse Survived the San Francisco Earthquake After spending most of my adult life in the pre-engineered steel building business, I am always intrigued by the history of steel structures.  Recently I encountered a fascinating story about a steel storage building built in 1906. The great San Francisco earthquake struck on April 18, 1906.  Estimated by modern seismologists to have measured between 7.7 and 8.2 on today’s Richter Scale, the earthquake reduced the busy metropolis to rubble.  In… Read More

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