Flood, fire, blizzards, and ice storms are among the major natural disasters having an impact on the built environment in Canada. Among the least-discussed, and most misunderstood, are seismic events. Yes, there are regular earthquakes in this country, and, yes, they can be significant enough to have negative effects on buildings and occupants.
To understand the principles of seismic design, one must first understand the nature of seismic forces. Initiated by the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates, they take the form of waves that travel either in the body of the planet or at its surface.