NEWS

Experts seek to buttress buildings against quakes

GIORGOS LIALIOS

TAGS: Earthquake

The Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) has prepared a series of proposals to protect the country’s buildings from earthquakes, starting with the completion of a plan – only 25 percent of which has been carried out – to assess the seismic capacity of public buildings.

“The good thing is that all school buildings constructed up until 1959, before any seismic regulations existed, have been checked,” TEE president Giorgos Stasinos told a conference in Athens Thursday, 20 years after a magnitude 6 temblor in the Greek capital on September 7, 1999, which claimed 143 lives.

TEE also called for economic incentives to be given to private building owners to bolster their properties against earthquakes, as well as advising that energy efficiency subsidies be held back until buildings have been assessed for structural vulnerability.

The experts’ most interesting proposal, however, concerned unoccupied or derelict listed buildings, which TEE says should either be demolished or rebuilt to modern standards while maintaining their original appearance.

“Restoring most of these buildings, with the same methods and materials used in their original form, is often impossible or extremely costly. But it is possible to rebuild them in a way that is extremely close to and compatible with their original form and type,” Stasinos argued.

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