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wofati in earthquake country?

 
Ryan Sharon
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Location: San Francisco/Gualala, Ca (zone 8)
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We don't just live in earthquake country, we are about 10 miles from where the San Andres fault meets the ocean.

Granted, in a big quake, nothing is likely to hold up, but I'm still curious.

I've seen the wofati videos and have a good idea of how the structure goes together, but can't wrap my brain around how it would deal with moving earth.

Would it collapse? Would the mass just roll with the rest of the area?

Physicists and geometry nerds welcome.
 
Devin Lavign
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From my understanding underground shelters tend to fair batter in earthquakes than above ground structures since the underground building will move with the earth as it is part of it while above ground structures tend to stay still and the earth moves from underneath it. One of the first suggestions for preparing a home for earthquake resilience is to tie it to the earth. While this might seem counter intuitive, especially when giant buildings are given shock absorbers to isolate them from a quake, imagine the ground under a home shifting without the home being secured to the ground. if the earth moves to the sides or drops the house is standing stationary at first and then reacts after the fact to the new conditions like dropping to meet the now lower ground, or being hit by the ground coming at it from the side. If however your home is tied to the earth (as an underground home would be) then as the earth moves so does the home. While it might not be comfortable to be in a quake in an underground home, from my understanding if built well it should be safer than standard above ground homes.
 
Ryan Sharon
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Location: San Francisco/Gualala, Ca (zone 8)
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I should be more specific: my concern is whether the roof would cave in.

Earth contact (piers or foundation) make perfect sense to me, I'm just not sure how well the beam to rafter relationship would hold up with all that mass.
 
Devin Lavign
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I suspect that would all depend on how well you design and build the roof, beams, and pillars. If only for the minimum you could get away with for supporting an earth covering, then likely you will have problems in a quake. But if you "over design" you will likely have less problems than a standard stick house. I suspect most Wofati designs are fairly over designed, at least from what I have seen. They seem designed to support a lot more weight than is actually put on them typically.

BTW I noticed this thread on the topic of Wofati and earthquakes http://www.permies.com/t/53283/greenhouses/Wofatis-earthquakes which had a good point of making sure the joints are extra secure.
 
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