Key building design and construction lessons from the 2023 Türkiye–Syria earthquakes
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This is an editorial which explores the key lessons from the 2023 Türkiye–Syria earthquakes in relation to building design and construction. The conditions of vulnerability were created primarily because of the type and quality of the buildings. Initial estimates indicate nearly 40,000 buildings were severely damaged or collapsed, about 10–20 per cent of the building stock in four of the most affected provinces.
The author highlights that most of the affected buildings were multi-storey with reinforced concrete roofs, frame structures, and unreinforced masonry infill walls. Generally, concrete provides compressive strength and is strong under pressure, but it can disintegrate when exposed to lateral stress such as that caused by seismic movement or shaking. On the other hand, steel reinforcing bars (or rebars) have a high tensile strength and can effectively resist lateral stress. The combination of concrete and rebars, that is, reinforced concrete (RC) brings stability to a building structure via a balance of compressive and tensile strength.