1. Seismic dampers
Our Office deals particularly with the application of seismic dampers, having applied them in several projects in Greece. Dampers are very sophisticated devices belonging to “cutting edge” technologies, which are included in the structural system of new or existing buildings, usually through steel diagonal braces. During an earthquake they are pressed and stretched sequentially and these movements activate the absorption of seismic energy, which is eventually converted to heat.
This way, a percentage up to 40% of seismic energy can be absorbed, relieving at the same time the structural system of the building in a proportional manner. As the Eurocodes do not cover this subject, we use the American ones (FEMA 450 for new buildings and FEMA 356 for existing ones).
Dampers are usually used in existing buildings, achieving a great improvement of their behavior against earthquakes, due to significantly reduced seismic forces, which are finally applied to the structures.
They can also be used in new buildings, thus ensuring a more economical and much lighter structural system, with reduced sections of the structural elements, or even avoiding the use of shear walls.