Yes, Quonset huts have withstood the impacts of many strong earthquakes with little or no damage.
A building’s seismic risk is mainly determined by its strength and stiffness. This means the stiffer the building, the less it will move or deflect when seismic waves move through the structure. Quonset huts are designed to flex, making them the best structures for earthquake-prone areas.
During an earthquake, the load is transferred to the foundation through the ceiling and walls. Because a Quonset hut is constructed as one unit, it evenly distributes the energy caused by seismic waves to its concrete foundation with little chance of damage.
The height and mass of a Quonset hut add to its ability to withstand earthquakes. A heavier building’s mass will slow down the intensity of the oscillation, which lessens the possibility of a collapse.
Since Quonset huts are typically shorter than most straight wall buildings, they may suffer significantly less damage than a taller one.
Quonset huts have 100 percent usable space, which means they do not require the use of beams and trusses to support the building. This can eliminate the potential weak spots inside of the building and few areas where the structure can become damaged, which can contribute to a collapse.
Additionally, it’s important that your steel building is engineered to meet proper seismic design regulations. Seismic Design Category (SDC) is determined based on your geographic location, underlying soils and building use.
Soil types are determined with an A-F rating system. An “A” soil is very shallow and has hard bedrock, which is an advantage for seismic design. An “F” class soil is soft and can amplify seismic sources.
For SDC, there are two types of buildings: typical structures like offices and apartments and buildings that have to function after a seismic event like hospitals.
The seismic category assignment can also range from A-F.
- Seismic Design Category A – Buildings in areas where expected ground shaking will be minor with good soil
- Seismic Design Category B – Buildings of Occupancy Groups I,II and III where expected ground shaking will be moderate. Stratified soils with Good and poor soil
- Seismic Design Category C – Buildings of Occupancy Groups IV ( Hospitals, Police Stations Emergency control centers, etc.) where expected ground shaking will be moderate and buildings of occupancy categories I, II, and III where more severe ground shaking will occur
- Seismic Design Category D -Corresponds to buildings and structures in areas expected to experience severe and destructive ground shaking but not located close to a major fault and have poor soil
- Seismic Design Category E – Corresponds to buildings of Occupancy Groups I,II and III in areas near major active faults in which soil or rock are of no consequence
- Seismic Design Category F – Corresponds to buildings of Occupancy Groups IV ( Hospitals, Police Stations Emergency control centers, etc)areas near major active faults in which soil or rock are of no consequence