On the Importance of Historical Lessons


The reason for the discussion is sad. I'm sure everyone has heard about the tragedy in Turkey. No natural disasters

matters to political, economic and socialaspects of our lives. They are impartial. And technologically advanced states are just as susceptible to the elements as are the island hermit communities of the natives in loincloths. Suffice it to recall how often hurricanes happen in the United States, from time to time claiming many lives.

And if Turkey is in one of the most activeseismically hazardous zones in the world, and the United States is washed by two oceans and natural disasters, it would seem, a matter of time, then, for example, the Chelyabinsk region with its oldest Ural Mountains has never even been closely considered as the focus of an earthquake. However, on September 5, 2018, it quite happened to itself.

Looking at what houses in Turkey were destroyed, it became clear to me that today these terrible events were simply unavoidable. Konstantin Ivanov in "Future Friday" is very accurate noticedthat the warning system about suchcataclysm just won't work. Errors in determining the territory and time of the disaster will not allow the correct disposal of evacuation opportunities. In addition, the human factor should never be discounted. Remember the hurricane winds, as a result of which trees with stopping complexes fell on people? After these events, warning services sent warnings of danger to almost any deviation from the calm. How you will react to them after the twentieth time is a rhetorical question. Why am I talking about houses in Turkey? The fact is that they are exactly our "panels". At the same time, it was possible to see from the footage from the scene that nearby houses of the same design could fall through one. That is, technically, they were not at all designed to withstand such an earthquake, and when it happened, as it turned out, you can only count on luck.

After the news from Turkey, I remembered the trainingon TRIZ, where we were told about 40 techniques for eliminating technical contradictions. They made the professionals laugh. Mainly because the techniques were strikingly different from the established techniques for solving emerging production problems. The training itself came to mind because of the words “seismic activity”. The speaker at the seminar was very enthusiastic about the patterns of systems development and recalled a story when two builders were in a similar situation in his audience. Specifically - specialists in the installation of piles. For those who do not know, these are beams that are driven into the ground for the stability of the structure under construction. And, it would seem, what can be improved here? Well, yes, you can replace a wooden beam with a steel or concrete one, but conceptually, what to change? In response to these questions from the builders, the speaker voiced his then answer: a hinge should appear in your device. Hinge! In a pile! As he recalled, both specialists got up and left the audience. At that time, such a technical solution (it is based on the principle of "crushing") seemed absurd. However, later the “Pile foundation of an earthquake-resistant building, structure” was patented:

The upper part, indicated by position 3, ispart of the building itself, and positions 1 and 5 denote parts of the pile with convex and concave spherical surfaces forming a spherical joint. The case when an absurd, at first glance, decision turned out to be not so absurd after all.


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But today I would like to speculate about the reception,which is called the "Pillow in advance" principle. Its essence is to compensate for the relatively low reliability of the object with pre-prepared emergency means. The simplest example of the viability of this approach is a fire system. Not to be confused with fire alarms. A fire protection system is one that floods a room with water from sprinklers in the event of an alarm. Apparently, it is quite common in the US. Fires, of course, happen, but still not so often as to justify such a system in every high-rise. However, if we take into account how many floors there are in some skyscrapers, then the decision looks logical. In any case, here, as the saying goes, “it’s better to eat and not need it than to need it, but it isn’t.” By the way, about fires in skyscrapers. A Japanese designer came up with a unique device that allows you to escape a burning building. For example, if you are on the eighteenth, and three floors below are blazing. The device for controlled smooth descent is worn on the arm. When squeezing the handle, a special cuff tightly wraps around the wrist, preventing the hand from slipping out. Typically, such mechanisms are used as safety gear at climbing walls. But here he found a different, evacuation use:

What similar option could be implemented for buildings in case of an earthquake? If it concerns a country house, then the following solution is patented in the USA for such a case:

Immediately striking is the presence of a largethe number of supports. Their dimensions hint at the fact that during the construction of the house, most likely, far from concrete was used. The following illustration confirms these assumptions:

In addition to the fact that the building is as light as possible (judgingaccording to the thickness of the walls), it is also divided into blocks, as stated in the description. But the main feature is not only this. Indeed, in the event of an earthquake, the movement of the earth's surface will be carried out by shocks, not necessarily entirely by the area on which the block stands. It is quite possible that there will be only one support on the moving section. And so that the block does not fold like a book, the developers provided the following mount:

With the help of such a simple device (I remember it from the garage doors), walls and ceilings are pulled together. Thus, the whole structure of the building has a certain semblance of flexibility:

The idea of ​​block construction is taken to the extreme in the Russian utility model patent:

Of course, they came up with the idea of ​​​​building houses from containersnot in Russia, but surprising the whole world by inventing unusual technical solutions is our national pastime. The technical result of this utility model is as follows:

Ensuring design and manufacturingfully prefabricated/collapsible earthquake-proof (9 points) building up to 7 floors, increasing the speed of production, erection of the building and its round-the-clock commissioning, the possibility of putting the building into operation without the construction of stationary non-collapsible elements (monolithic foundations, corridors, entrance areas, etc.)

It's great, right? If the author calculated everything correctly, then such a house would not have collapsed during an earthquake of 7.5 points. The appearance of such a building, by the way, would not differ much from the traditional panel.

The Swiss undertook to continue the theme of building from blocks. True, they immediately focused on the design and attractiveness of the idea:

Here it is no longer a container, but a frame with wall panels, which are selected based on the location of such a block in the main building and the personal preferences of the customer:

Next, in fact, the assembly of the building itself. Blocks are installed crosswise. And yes, high-rise construction is also not supposed here:

The final building looks more like rooms forvacationers at the recreation center. However, if we are talking about Switzerland, then it is quite possible that this very recreation center will be somewhere in the mountains. And in the mountains there can be earthquakes and avalanches. Surviving in a container that does not collapse the ceiling, of course, is more likely.

If it seems that such block structures -these are exclusively unrealizable fantasies of inventors who skillfully use the rules of patent offices to obtain titles of protection for their crazy ideas, then do not rush to conclusions.

This is not a patent illustration at all.This is real design documentation. And it even has a building. It is called Nakagin Capsule Tower and is located in Tokyo. Its construction began in 1970:

The building consists of two concrete towers, to which 140 separate residential modules (capsules) are attached. Attaching the capsules to the tower block is carried out with just a few bolts.

The building was completed in 1972 and became a symbol of the Metabolism architectural style, which involved changing the urban space and rebuilding it.

It was not earthquake resistant, but the ideaembedded in the modular design of residential premises, is as close as possible to this goal. After all, if we consider a panel high-rise building, then in its design one can easily see an analogy with a house of cards. Moving the floor of the fifth floor moves not only at least one wall of the fifth floor, but also the ceiling of the fourth floor with at least one of its walls. And after this, the entire vertical above begins to crumble, bringing down the resting lower floors with a total weight. This is not only easy to imagine, but can also be seen in real footage. What will happen to the modules? In general, nothing. With the correct calculation of the frame design, they simply sway. The question arises: what is meant by the correct calculation?


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Recently I came across an article about howone designer suggested using a 3D printer to build buildings. Doesn't sound new at all. However, his idea was actually unusual. According to his idea, a giant printer moved in a vertically growing metal frame, which printed new rooms as the floors filled up. The extension scheme is borrowed from cranes in the construction of skyscrapers. In his imagination, the building looked something like this:

However, not only the appearance was thought out.The designer also spoke about some technical features. In particular, about the schemes for attaching capsules to each other and the location of communications. Unlike the Tokyo Capsule Tower, where they were located inside a central concrete block, pipes, cables, and ventilation ducts were supposed to be attached from the outside.

The idea with the growth of cities in the vertical directionI personally don't see it as a bad thing. The concentration of industries, leisure facilities, shopping malls, office space, etc. cannot be evenly distributed over the ever-growing areas of megacities, which is why you can often hear people's stories about a two-hour journey to their place of work. Skyscrapers would solve this problem. Frame structures would be earthquake resistant. Ideally, they would also be built with a square shape at the base for greater reliability. If the building is with a frame, then the base can be made on piles for through traffic. These houses have been around for a long time. For example, the "House of Aviators" on Begovaya Street in Moscow. Yes, cars drive nearby, but if you wish…

Taking the idea to its extreme, the wholequarters can be made interconnected. Cars could generally be moved to the lower levels of the city, and pedestrians would be moved along terraces several stories above the ground. There would be difficulties with trees, but if desired, skyscrapers can also be planted.


The point of the discussion was not so much thatin the light of recent events, try to imagine the most reliable building design, how much is to understand whether we are ready for changes at all. It's no secret that our priorities change only in critical situations like a threat to life. Now the elements have bypassed us, but what will happen tomorrow? Do we need new, fresh perspectives on the use of technology, or is it just an unconscious thickening of colors under the spur of the moment?

Spring is approaching, and the lack of vitamins is already beginning to affect. Eat plenty of fruit and don't rush into light jackets. The cold is a tricky thing.

Bold ideas, great inventions and successful products. Good luck!

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