State-of-the-art Earthquake Protection Technology set to change the Indian Real Estate Market

June 24, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Taylor Devices, Inc., incorporated in 1955 is the world leader in providing Earthquake Protection Devices for buildings and bridges. The technology patented by Taylor Devices was at the start only used by the US defense services and the aerospace missions of NASA. In approximately fifteen years of active earthquake related applications Taylor Devices has emerged as a clear leader with over 200 projects to its credit. Taylor Devices has its operations in nearly all seismically active regions of the world; it has achieved huge success in countries like Japan, Taiwan and China and is now eyeing the emerging markets of India. India’s success story of economic growth and the projections for the immediate future, coupled with the heightened seismic activity in the region over the past few years has led Taylor Devices for launching operations in India.

The damage potential of a single great quake can exceed that of any other devastating event, many times over. It is this threat that leaves all vulnerable to Mother Nature’s might. Taylor Devices are the manufacturers of Earthquake Dampers whose function is to absorb and dissipate the energy supplied by the ground movement during an earthquake to a building. These energy dissipaters (or dampers as they are more popularly referred as) are installed in a diagonal, A or V configuration between the columns, however they are not installed between all columns, but only a very selected few and are chosen after careful study and analyses by structural consultants keeping the architectural and functional constraints in consideration. In most structures the dampers stay hidden in partition walls/ inconspicuous locations and there fore are not even visible to occupants. The earthquake dampers function as shock absorbers whenever the building is in motion, (for example during an earthquake) and prevent a building from swaying excessively thereby preventing any structural damage. The seismic energy is absorbed by the energy dissipaters, reducing the building sway. The earthquake dampers ensure that the building stays unharmed.

Douglas Taylor, CEO and President of Taylor Devices Inc. is very optimistic for their India operations. He is convinced that as in the other countries the world over, there will be many who will demand a much higher earthquake protection level than what is offered by the mandatory Indian building codes. The heightened seismic activity in the Indian sub-continent has left a sense of vulnerability amongst many, especially those whose businesses demand 24X7 operations. The Indian Seismic Code, Indian Standard -1893 (2002) is based on life-safety concept which implies that the code is so designed that it endeavors to prevent a total building collapse during a major seismic event thereby saving lives. However the buildings built as per IS-1893 will sustain structural damage during an earthquake and if the damage is more than a threshold level then the owners will have no option but to demolish and reconstruct their building. Today technology has reached a level where the building codes can be bettered to achieve no or insignificant damage even during a major earthquake. One of the ways of achieving this is by incorporating Taylor Devices earthquake dampers in buildings. Some of the benefits that the client accrue from the use of this technology are, reduced insurance premiums, easier access to banking loans and project finance, greater business opportunities especially Business Process Outsourcing where clients are much concerned for 24X7 operations and not the least peace of mind. Today Japan has reached a level where insurance companies refuse to insure high-rise buildings for earthquake protection unless the owners/developers have built in state-of-the-art earthquake protection technology. Immediate occupancy after a major earthquake is the criteria for building design which is being set by many business houses/ clients the World over to their architects and structural consultants. This level of performance cannot be achieved without the use of energy dissipaters or dampers as they are more popularly known. Buildings using earthquake dampers can have a performance enhancement of upto 400% higher than conventional structures under seismic conditions, in other words the building becomes 400% stronger or will perform 400% better when an earthquake strikes. Taylor Devices earthquake dampers come with a 35 years performance warranty. The associated costs of Taylor Devices technology is the cheapest in the world and can be optimally configured for as low as Rs.250 to Rs.350 per square foot. With the property rates soaring in India, this state-of-the-art technology works out to only a fraction of the real estate cost. Douglas Taylor is confident that there would be a huge demand for their earthquake dampers in India. It is estimated that the first year of operations would yield a turnover of approximately Rupees 100 crores.

Taylor Devices have provided customized dampers to more than 200 projects worldwide to include numerous mid and high rise buildings. The 57 storey, Torre Mayor building in Mexico has won numerous awards for its state-of-the-art Earthquake design; this was after the structural engineers monitored the building performance after an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 on the Richter scale hit just off the coast of Colima, Mexico (January 21, 2003). Substantial Shaking was felt in Mexico City and Torre Mayor performed without a scratch.

The economic superiority that India today enjoys will also force the decision making authorities to make the building code provisions more stringent for emergency response, administrative and public buildings. The earthquake dampers are specially customized by making a computer model of the building and subjecting the model to a real life earthquake which has happened in the past, the structural engineers refer to it as the time-history method of analyses. The building response is then recorded and suitable dampers are installed so as to give adequate protection to the building. Taylor Devices earthquake protection technology is considered the best and also the most cost effective in the world today. It is also suitable for all kinds of structures and can also be suitably incorporated to seismically upgrade existing buildings.

Taylor Devices Inc. have commenced operations through their representative company Taylor Devices (India). The Indian operations are being headed by Sandeep Donald Shah who has undertaken Masters in Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics from U.K. and has undertaken research on configuration of energy dissipation devices. More information can be obtained from