Posts Tagged ‘John van de Lindt’

Earthquake-Safe Homes for the Poor

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

The June 2010 issue of National Geographic Magazine has a great two-page article on “safe houses,” on inexpensive technologies to make even the most simple home more earthquake-resistant–

Such improvements in the homes of the poor have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives annually worldwide. Prof. Marcial Blondet, an engineer of the Catholic University of Peru, Lima, has been working on these earthquake-ready construction technologies for the poor since 1970–


Blondet participates in an ongoing conversation on such “earthquake-safe” technologies for Haiti, at–

Several Spanish language videos of Prof. Blondet are available. Here are links for an August, 2007 Spanish language interview, and a 2010 Spanish language lecture.

Prof. John van de Lindt of Colorado State University has likewise developed a series of technologies to allow small frame apartment buildings to be earthquake resistant, as demonstrated in this National Science Foundation video.

Also of great relevance is the work of California engineer Darcey Donovan, who has worked on earthquake-resistant technologies appropriate to Pakistan. Darcey Donovan is the founder of PAKSBAB, which advances these appropriate, earthquake-safe technologies in Pakistan–

Sadly, only a few thousand homes have been built to date worldwide using any of the above innovative and affordable technologies. Both public and private resources should be systematically devoted to increase the number of earthquake-safe dwellings for the poor, who each year from the thousands to the millions suffer injury or homelessness from earthquakes. These injuries and displacement are in many cases preventable.

© Copyright 2010, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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