Essay on Safe construction practices

A powerful earthquake measuring 6.9 at the Richter scale struck near the town of Bhuj in Gujarat at 08.45 am on 26 January 2001. The earthquake caused extensive loss to human life and damage to property in the Kutchch neighbouring districts. It is the first time in India that extensive damage was incurred in urban centers besides rural areas. The cities of Bhuj. Anjar, Rapar and Bachau in Kutchch district were very severely affected with a large number of buildings collapsing and causing heavy loss to life.

We have already studied the causes, effects and the mitigation strategies of natural and man-made hazards in previous classes. Now we would learn about some of the more important factors to be considered to construct a building which would be resistant to natural hazards like earthquake, landslide, cyclone and flood.

Over the last few decades the impact of natural disasters on lives, property, livelihood and infrastructure has skyrocketed, because of rise in world population and people having started living in areas that are prone to natural hazards. We can live safely in such areas provided due precautions are taken.

We should construct disaster resistant buildings to curb the loss to life and property. This approach should be incorporated at the earliest possible time while doing design developing and project planning. We should pick the correct and most suitable technique, out of the many techniques available, to mitigate the effects of natural hazards on the building environment.

The building can be designed to resist hazard effects by identifying - the hazard, the location, the type of construction of the proposed building/facility and the requirement of specific performance. Strengthening of the existing structures must be done by undertaking renovations and repairs of the existing buildings. It is imperative to take into consideration some or all the issues outlined in the chapter, while incorporating disaster resistant features in the design of a building to protect our precious life and property from natural hazards.