Steel-framed homes in Earthquake-prone areas

08/06/2019

Did you know, many towns east of Perth are situated in an Earthquake-prone area?
Building a brick home in these areas can be an expensive and frustrating experience, requiring a lot of reinforcement and extra costs. For many years Western Australians have opted for traditional brick homes and dealt with the necessary upgrades. However, with steel-framed homes constructed to endure earthquake activity - I think we have the answer! 

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Why is brick a poor choice for homes and building in an earthquake-prone area?

Brick is an extremely hard material, which when combined with mortar is extremely brittle, not allowing much room for movement. This means that any movement on site will cause the bricks to crack, crumble, or buckle and fall – this is not what you need in an earthquake prone area!

Extra cost involved in building brick homes:

Due to the properties of brick, there is a lot involved to ensure homes constructed from the material are suitable for seismic activity. Reinforcing a brick home includes wall to floor anchoring, reinforced mortar, plates and bolts, and bracing along the brick wall, to prevent collapses. Due to the cost and labour involved, the price of a brick home in earthquake zones increases significantly, anywhere above $100/m2! 

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So how can we help reduce the cost of your home in an Earthquake prone area?

As a steel-framed builder, our homes do not require reinforcement to be suitable for Earthquake-prone areas. The steel-framed construction process means the buildings are lighter towards the top, and the vertical steel members allow forces caused by swaying and bouncing to be sent to the foundation. 

Along with the steel-framing process, our homes are built on pre-stressed concrete slabs. Pre-stressing is the process of creating irreversible stress points intentionally to withstand seismic stress. The essence of pre-stressed concrete is that once the initial compression has been applied, the resulting materials have the characteristics of high-strength concrete, with improved structural capacity compared with conventionally reinforced concrete.

Our homes are built to an earthquake-proof standard, thus creating a much more cost-effective and efficient option for building in earthquake zones than traditional brick construction methods. 


If you'd like to find out more on the durability of a steel-framed home click here  or book an appointment with one of our friendly team. 

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