Non-structural elements account for 75-85% spent on a build. Add to this is that the most widely reported earthquake damage is the failure of non-structural components, specifically the ceiling and in-ceiling services.

How is the use of seismic restraints on non-structural elements being implemented by the lighting industry to ensure a safe living space for occupants and the public?

According to the World Bank, one of the most crucial factors limiting fatalities and fiscal damages during and after an earthquake is well-designed and well-constructed builds. Fragile construction is generally cited as the main factor for high death rates in developing countries, where strict adherence to zoning, building codes, and disaster prevention efforts is often perceived as a luxury.

For countries that are prone to seismic activities are those positioned within proximity or directly on the boundary of the Earth’s tectonic plates, for instance, New Zealand, Indonesia, China, etc, more efforts are being invested into researching and establishing seismic-focused provisions and regulations.

The requirements for seismic protection depend on the building risk category or risk classification and the building location. The higher the seismicity of the location and greater the building occupancy, the more stringent the requirements. Building use also plays a crucial part; for example, in seismically moderate areas, military or healthcare facilities always require bracing due to the buildings’ importance to disaster recovery.

In her Universal Light #5 article, The Importance of Seismic Restraints for Lighting, Angie Ha, the Graduate Technical Engineer at Unios, discusses the quality of a seismic-resistant structure, especially the requirements for seismic-resistant mechanisms for luminaires. She also discusses the challenges currently faced within the industry when it comes to the implementation of seismic resistant mechanisms in non-structural elements.

To learn more about how the methodology and how to adopt a more strategic approach to seismic-resistant structures for the wellbeing of occupants and the public, click here.

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