Are any highrise buildings in Japan built on fault lines?

  • Are any highrise buildings in Japan built on fault lines?

  • admin

    Yes, many, because fault lines are ubiquitous in Japan.
    The Japaneses (I'm married to one) have long since learned to construct buildings that are minimally susceptible to earthquakes. They utilize specialized mountings between the building frame and the underlying foundation, which absorb earth vibrations in all three planes (x, y, z) and significantly reduce the movement of the building. And the buildings themselves are designed to flex or sway, a slight amount, rather than being utterly rigid.
    These mountings are complex in design, but for a very simplified view, consider a building that is mounted on four giant steel balls, one under each corner of the building frame. The concrete pad on which each ball rests could then move laterally, and the balls would roll while the building remained more or less still.
    That is vastly oversimplified, and in practice wouldn't work very well. But from this, you can get the idea that there can be heavy-duty structural mountings which can flex and absorb shocks and motion in every direction -- not so different from the steering wishbones in an automobile, which in conjunction with the shock absorbers, keep your car riding smooth and stable on a very rough road.