Roof provides mass for seismic protection

Vibration absorbers stabilize 9-story building in Peru against earthquakes

Arequipa, Munich. How can a modern building with a soft-framed structure be protected against earthquakes without investing a great amount of mo- ney in stiffening or damping systems which, on top of that, are unwanted for the architectural design? In the Peruvian city of Arequipa, Professor Simbort Zeballos from the local university has developed a solution: a roof consisting of an elastically mounted mass plate. As a well-versed partner for seismic damping, MAURER was brought in.

The building owner of the 9-story building is the insurance broker Consejeros. This line of business is interested in safety per se and also in a principal office building featuring a very special design.

Modern type of construction leads to vulnerability

The 40 m building features a slender, asymmetrical, soft-framed structure. This does not cause any trouble in the service load case since wind impact can be considered insignificant; however, in case of an earthquake, damages are to be expected. Yet the building owner did not want to interfere with the architectural design by adding internal stiffening walls.

Professor PhD Enrique Simbort Zeballos from the Catholic University San Pablo, Arequipa, was consulted as an expert. Together with Eng. Luis Becerra who was the leader of the project he determined the exact vibration behavior of the structure through finite element calculations. The result: ±225 mm hori- zontal displacement in the ninth story, which would have damaged the building and put people at risk.

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