Posts Tagged ‘India’
India Real Estate – Highrise Buildings : Now Earthquake Protection With Warranty
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 12:21 Written by admin Tuesday, 22 February 2011 12:21
India Real Estate – Highrise Buildings : Now Earthquake Protection With Warranty
An earthquake is the most extreme condition that any building may be required to survive during its lifetime. To survive the natures might safely and surely also poses the greatest challenge to the architects and structural engineers. However the modern day computational power and the technological advances in the earthquake protection industry has made the solution once considered un-surmountable a reality. There are numerous companies specializing only in Earthquake Protection.
Today most medium and high-rise buildings are following Life-Safety Design, more popularly referred as Earthquake Resistant Design for protection against earthquakes. However the awareness amongst people living in the seismic regions is increasing and they are now aware that for a small additional cost they can get a much higher Earthquake Protection for their buildings than what is mandatory as per the seismic codes. As the seismic codes are based on the Life-Safety / Earthquake Resistant design so they are aiming to prevent a total building collapse in case of a major earthquake, thereby saving lives. For the user/owner of the property this implies that even an Earthquake Resistant building does not provide any guarantee that it would be habitable for living / doing business after a major earthquake. The earthquake will structurally damage the building and incase the damage is above a threshold level there would be no option but to demolish and re-construct.
The architects and structural consultants are therefore are no longer designing only to meet the government building code requirements but are going by the seismic performance criteria being demanded by their clients, in addition to the mandatory requirements of the building codes. Building codes are applicable to all buildings at large belonging to all strata of society and therefore the socio-economic conditions need to be carefully looked into before formulating them. For this reason it is not possible to lay down the stringent earthquake safeguards as many would not simply be able to afford the associated cost.
The risk assessment exercises by the major insurance companies and financial institutions is another factor encouraging people to reduce risks by going in for the state-of-the-art earthquake protection technologies. Businesses want to limit the threat to their employees as well as cover their business against losses due to earthquakes. The insurance companies world over are refusing to guarantee such losses unless the buildings which house these businesses adhere to enhanced safety standards. The reduced insurance premiums and financing at lower rates of interest more than compensates for the cost of enhanced earthquake protection in the long run. Most earthquake protection devices come with a warranty of upto 35 years which can be further enhanced after a performance related test when the initial warranty period gets over. Typically the life of earthquake protection devices is greater than the life of the building per se.
In United States it is mandatory for the computer data centers mushrooming all over to be designed to withstand the severest of the earthquakes as they house the sensitive data of not one but many hundreds of businesses. The repercussions of not designing buildings to withstand earthquakes are grave. Similarly the US government has laid down very strict compliance criteria for seismic performance of hospitals; they say “you cannot have deaths due to building collapse in a place that is meant to treat earthquake victims”. Various government departments are also paying a great deal of attention on keeping essential infrastructure like public buildings, bridges and airports operational even in case of a major earthquake.
“Immediate Occupancy” and “Fully Operational” during and post a major earthquake is the criteria that is spelt out for important structures. The architects and structural consultants are then asked to meet these criteria. This design concept is also known as Performance Based Design.
As the awareness and economic prosperity is increasing, more and more people want to reduce risks. Not to forget the urge of many upwardly mobile to live in high-rise buildings away from the pollution and noise with their balconies overlooking the cityscape giving them a sense of achievement, superiority and contentment after a tiring days work. However many have started to realize the peril of staying in a high-rise, they become more vulnerable to the seismic effects. Vulnerability can be explained by taking the example of Dubai, 10 years back when high-rises didn’t exist, people use to only come to know of the earthquakes happening in Iran through Newspapers, now with numerous buildings 25 storeys and more their have been instances when the buildings have undergone evacuation because of excessive swaying even for medium intensity earthquakes happening in Iran. A major earthquake will almost certainly cause great structural damage in buildings not incorporating the safe guards.
For enabling the architects and structural consultants to undertake Performance Based Design the client would have to spell out two parameters i.e. Peak Earthquake Intensity and Perceived Distance of the building from the earthquake epicenter. Typically a 6.5 magnitude earthquake with its epicenter 50-100 Kms away is considered good protection criteria. Some may contend with having their buildings designed to resist upto 6.5 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale where as another person would demand a structural performance even in the case of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake simply because he/she is not willing to accept the associated risk that the earthquake damage may expose him to. The structural consultant then selects an appropriate set of “earthquake time-histories” recorded from earlier earthquakes and designs the structure by undertaking “Time-History Analysis” such that the inter-storey displacements always stay in the elastic range, thereby implying No/Insignificant structural damage even during a major earthquake. Buildings not employing advanced earthquake protection will most certainly sustain high degree of structural damage as the only way the earthquake energy can be absorbed by any building is by way of causing some damage. When a building is subjected to a major quake, energy is absorbed by cracking of concrete and elongation of steel beyond the elastic limits. This damage to the structural members if beyond a threshold level can be dangerous. There does exists another way of absorbing earthquake energy i.e. Dampers.
The most efficient and cost effective way to achieve energy dissipation in buildings is by using Earthquake Dampers. Dampers are mechanical devices that look some what like huge shock absorbers. Dampers function is to absorb and dissipate the energy supplied by the ground movement during an earthquake so that the building remains unharmed, their functioning is also akin to shock absorbers. Whenever the building is in motion during a earthquake tremor they help in restricting the building from swaying excessively and thereby preventing structural damage. The earthquake energy absorbed by these dampers gets converted into heat which is then dissipated into the atmosphere. Dampers thus work to absorb earthquake shocks ensuring that the structural members i.e. beam and columns remain unharmed. There are four types of dampers i.e. Viscoelastic, Friction, Metallic Yield and Fluid Viscous. Many companies specializing in the field are making a bee-line for establishing operations in 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 many to look at India as a attractive market destination. For low-rise buildings base isolation technique is also extremely popular. In Base-Isolation the structure above ground is separated from the foundation by inserting rollers/pads between the foundation and the building. These isolators allow the structure to move independently of the shifting ground below, thereby effectively isolating it from the ground motion. Base Isolation is however not appropriate for all buildings and is suitable for only low rise buildings upto 2-3 storeys that have a much larger spread than its height.
Dampers on the other hand are most suitable for high-rise buildings and are in extensive use the world over. High-rises also happen to be the most susceptible to earthquakes. Over the years Fluid Viscous Dampers have come out as clear leaders in seismic applications. Many hundreds of projects have incorporated the technology and the count is increasing by the day. The cost effect for Fluid Viscous Dampers is in the range of Rs. 150 to 200 per square foot, other types cost less however do not come with associated warranties. Dampers manufactured by Taylor Devices have a performance warranty of 35 years which can be further enhanced after testing; however their life is considerably more as they are designed to last more than the building.
Dampers can be installed in existing and new buildings with ease. This makes them extremely versatile for retrofit projects i.e. buildings that need to be seismically upgraded to meet the Revised Seismic Codes. In India the Seismic Code IS-1893 was last revised in the year 2002 after valuable lessons learnt during the Gujarat earthquake. There are many who desire their building also needs to be upgraded to the revised standards. Dampers are ideally suited for this job as it requires minimal civil construction works and the job can be easily undertaken with the building being simultaneously in use. Incase of new buildings by installing Earthquake Dampers you can achieve a protection level much higher than the Earthquake Resistant/ Life Safety design. In most structures, the Dampers stay hidden in partition walls and inconspicuous locations and, therefore, are not visible to occupants. However there are many architects who have used the diagonal, A and V placing of the dampers to give an aesthetic appearance.
Silvertie Centre in Beijing is presently the tallest building in China and towers 63 storeys. It has dampers installed to counter the adverse earthquake and wind effects so as to preserve the structural integrity. As for the seismic susceptibility, Beijing can be compared to Indian Seismic Zones 3 & 4. There are many propagandists of high-rises who time and again have written about converting the Indian cityscape to resemble those of Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. It is important for them to realize that all of these cities fall in the Non-Seismic regions and therefore the architects and structural consultants there only take into account the wind effects while designing structures. India on the other hand falls in the seismic belt and therefore should be compared only to cities in Japan, Taiwan, China, USA ( San Andres fault line) etc. In all of these countries there exist stringent guidelines for tall buildings, it is yet to be seen how and with which regulations the authorities in India confront this issue. Some of the other high-profile buildings incorporating dampers are Sky-bridge of Petronas tower Malaysia, JR Tokai Shin Yokohama station in Japan, Jan-Ron Ritz building in Taiwan, 67 storey Park Hyatt hotel in Chicago, Yerba Buena tower in San Francisco, 55 storey Torre Mayor in Mexico, which also happened to win the award for the best seismically engineered structure in 2005 after the structural engineers monitored the building performance during and post an real life earthquake of magnitude 7.6 on the Richter scale which hit just off the coast of Colima, Mexico (January 21, 2003). Substantial Shaking was felt in Mexico City, but Torre Mayor performed without a scratch. There are hundreds in the list of buildings incorporating dampers ranging from single storey to the highest that the world has seen, a Google search would bring forth hundreds on your screen.
Fluid Viscous Damping technology is also used to protect bridges. When used in bridges the orifice of the giant shock absorbers is substantially reduced so as to get what is known as Shock Transmission Unit (STU). STUs are very widely used in all types of bridge construction as they not only help in protecting bridges from seismic effects but also reduce costs by facilitate load sharing amongst various sub and super structure components. Sutong Changjiang river bridge which also happens to be the worlds longest cable stayed bridge uses these devices extensively and so does Nanjing 3rd Crossing bridge which has the title of the second largest cable stayed bridge to its credit. A glance at the photographs/ rendering of these bridges cannot but take our minds to the striking similarity to the Bandra-Worli sea-link. It is to be seen as to what safety standards the Government insists on this project. The metro projects in Seattle and Taiwan also make extensive use of this technology i.e. Seattle Central Link Light Rail and Taiwan High Speed Rail; however we do not come across this technology being used in Delhi which lies in Seismic Zone-IV. Taylor Devices are the leading manufacturers of Fluid Viscous Dampers for the earthquake protection of buildings and Shock Transmission Units for protection of bridges and flyovers.
Article from articlesbase.com
A Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake has hit Christchurch, New Zealand, at a depth of 5 km and centred 10 km south-east of the city. There are reports of major damage to buildings and infrastructure.
Obama’s India visit is Pakistan’s wake-up call: analysts – AFP
Last Updated on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 11:29 Written by admin Tuesday, 9 November 2010 11:29
Obama’s India visit is Pakistan’s wake-up call: analysts
By Sami Zubeiri
5 hours ago
ISLAMABAD — The symbolism, trade deals and fine words of Barack Obama’s courtship of India should be Pakistan’s wake-up call to fix its economy and eradicate Islamist militancy to ward off isolation, analysts say.
The US president declared India a world power, the India-US alliance “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century” and unveiled deals worth 10 billion dollars designed to create 50,000 American jobs in an ailing economy.
Going further than any US president before, he backed India’s quest for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, although with no immediate prospect of reform and likely strong Chinese opposition, it was a largely symbolic move.
Just weeks after Pakistan’s latest round of “strategic dialogue” with the US in a bid to overcome mistrust, the warm embrace between Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stood in stark contrast.
“Pakistanis have to be more realistic on understanding India’s growing international role,” political analyst Hasan Askari told AFP.
“India is investing in the United States while our economy is in bad shape. There is no Pakistani investment in the West, very little in the Middle East. We ask for money from the United States, while India does not.”
Indian deals will funnel 10 billion dollars into the US economy, while under a US Congress bill American taxpayers fork out 1.5 billion a year for development in Pakistan with promises of another two billion dollars in military assistance.
While Obama’s visit reflects the shift in power to emerging nations since the financial crisis, Pakistan is a client state with a Taliban and Al-Qaeda presence plotting to kill US soldiers and fanning the war in Afghanistan.
Pakistan, whose status as a nuclear power still alarms the West, has been stifled by decades of military rule, recession and Islamisation.
Its security forces are fighting a Taliban insurgency in the northwest. Bomb attacks have killed thousands nationwide and its tribal belt is considered an Al-Qaeda headquarters subject to a covert US drone war.
Writing in The News daily, public policy consultant Mosharraf Zaidi said the only lesson to draw from Obama’s visit was “the deals being made”.
“While we drown in the inanities of this country’s infinite and perpetual search for identity, we are deepening our current bankruptcy, and ensuring a future of mostly begging for handouts.”
With Obama visiting Indonesia, APEC in Japan and the G20 in South Korea, Zaidi said: “The reason he is not visiting Pakistan is obvious. Pakistan does not belong on that list of countries and that is not India’s fault”.
Analysts say Islamabad should soften its foreign policy, dominated by the anti-Indian military, to avoid isolation as the United States looks to end the war against the Afghan Taliban which Pakistan helped to create.
“In today’s world, defeat can be described in one way only: international isolation… Pakistan must learn to be more objective about the crisis it is facing internally,” wrote The Express Tribune in an editorial.
“Pakistan can sort out this crisis through self-correction.”
But there was also gratitude; unlike British Prime Minister David Cameron — who sparked a diplomatic crisis when he accused Pakistan of exporting terror while in India — Obama refused to be drawn into fresh criticism of Islamabad.
He urged India and Pakistan to resolve their differences and called on Islamabad to do more against militants, but acknowledged the country was making progress against what he called the “cancer” of extremism.
Askari said in what was a nod to the US realisation that the country is indispensable to forging peace in Afghanistan, Obama did not sideline Pakistan.
“What he said about terrorist havens in the tribal areas is what the Americans have been saying before his visit… he avoided any criticism of Pakistan which the Indians were expecting,” said Askari.
Former lieutenant general-turned-security analyst Talat Masood said Pakistan was obviously concerned by US-India ties, and would remain apprehensive about India unless relations with Pakistan are normalised.
“But there is not much it can do. Pakistan has to adjust itself to the existing reality. It should improve its own domestic situation,” Masood said.
Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.
Obama trip welcomes India to high table of global influence – Christian Science Monitor
Last Updated on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 12:26 Written by admin Tuesday, 9 November 2010 12:26
President Obama left India with reassurances of his strong support for a ‘strategic partnership’ – as well as strong words about his commitment to free trade.
President Obama left India Thursday having won over the country’s leadership with a series of small deals, excellent stage management, and a symbolically significant welcome to the high table of global decisionmaking.
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In return, he got few significant commitments from the Indian government but managed to accomplish domestically significant tasks, thanks to the business community. He avoided criticisms at home over outsourcing by tallying 54,000 new jobs from Indo-US business deals, and he mended fences with America’s business community with a full-throated defense of free trade.
For the Indians, the sum was more than its parts: Obama dispelled fears here that he would go wobbly on key planks of the “strategic partnership” that his predecessor, President Bush, had struck with India.
“The most important thing was to keep momentum going under Bush,” says C. Raja Mohan, an Indian strategic analyst. “After Obama’s election, we had a lot of concerns.”
Those concerns included doubt about his commitment to Bush’s civilian nuclear pact, talk of a US push to resolve the Kashmir dispute, and an initial cozying up to China.
Obama furthered the promises of the civilian nuclear pact by lifting export controls on sensitive technologies. The US will also support India’s membership into four international export-control regimes governing nuclear and missile technologies, uranium, and armaments.
However, the pact’s commercial boon for the US nuclear power industry may be limited if India cannot resolve American business concerns over liability. Under a bill in Parliament, US suppliers could be sued for damages in the case of a nuclear accident, which is a departure from international norms. Obama appeared to win no concessions on this front.
On Kashmir, Obama agreed to stay out if that was India’s wish – despite the killing of more than 100 protesters by Indian forces this summer.
And on China, Obama said the US and India were both committed to “open and inclusive regional architecture,” meaning that they would involve themselves in East Asia to keep Beijing from claiming hegemony.
“It’s really both sides hedging against a possibility without having to commit themselves to containing China. That’s what both sides are committed to doing,” says Mr. Mohan.
Many of the actual deals were small change, including:
- US government technical help to predict the start of monsoons
- joint exploration of India’s shale gas resources
- vague talk of bringing an “evergreen revolution” to Indian agriculture
- help from the Centers of Disease Control in setting up a disease detection center
- energy cooperation, with the US and India each spending $ 25 million to research clean energy.
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With Obama’s visit, India displays new power – The Associated Press
Last Updated on Tuesday, 9 November 2010 03:26 Written by admin Tuesday, 9 November 2010 03:26
With Obama’s visit, India displays new power
48 minutes ago
NEW DELHI (AP) — For much of the last decade, New Delhi sold itself as “India Rising.” Barack Obama’s trip here delivered a new message: India has risen.
During his three day visit that ended Tuesday, the U.S. president delivered nearly everything on India’s wish list, affirming the country’s growing importance.
He endorsed India’s role in nearby Afghanistan, even though such a statement was sure to annoy India’s regional rival Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the Afghan war. He chided Pakistan for not cracking down heavily enough on anti-India militant groups operating there. He lifted export controls, allowing India to buy high-tech weaponry from the U.S., and he gave spirited support to Indian industry, maintaining it wasn’t stealing American jobs, but helping create new ones.
Most importantly for India, he backed its bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, a mostly symbolic move that affirmed its place as a new global power.
“In Asia and around the world, India is not simply emerging; India has already emerged,” Obama told the Indian parliament Monday night.
Indian commentators saw the statement as a milestone in the nation’s global image; No longer was it seen as an economic basket case, a potential dictatorship or an unstable collection of warring ethnic groups.
“It’s a very happy acknowledgment that India has turned the corner,” said Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of The Indian Express newspaper, adding the country still has a lot of work left to do.
It isn’t just Obama acknowledging India’s new clout.
In July, British Prime Minister David Cameron came here with the “core purpose” of wooing Indian business to help create jobs back home. By the end of the year, when the leaders of France, Russia and China are expected to come, India will have hosted the leaders of all the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
That landmark underscores the shift in power toward India, rooted in its skyrocketing economy, estimated to grow by about 8.5 percent this year, its enormous potential market of nearly 1.2 billion people and its new clout as a powerful player in Asia. It is seen as a possible counterbalance to Chinese influence in the region, even though its economic and military power is dwarfed by China’s.
At a time of financial distress in the West, India is finding itself a coveted stop for leaders racing to snare some of the trillion-plus dollars the country is expected to invest in infrastructure, defense and agriculture in the coming years. That doesn’t include the billions in international contracts on offer from private Indian companies.
During the Obama trip, much of the commentary on Indian television boiled down to this: “America needs us.”
This is a new position for India, a nuclear power that was nevertheless often shunted aside in global affairs for decades.
During the Cold War, when its anemic economy gave it far less clout, India angered Washington by refusing to align itself with the U.S. against the Soviet Union and by refusing to drop its nuclear ambitions.
In a sign of the tension, President Jimmy Carter, during a 1978 trip here, was so annoyed at Prime Minister Morarji Desai’s resistance to U.S. conditions on the purchase of uranium that he ordered an aide to send Desai a “cold and very blunt” letter. The remark was picked up by his microphone.
President Bill Clinton’s visit here in 2000 shattered the ice, and George W. Bush’s successful efforts to end India’s nuclear isolation has made him a hero here.
Obama charmed India as well, in part by boosting its self confidence and repeatedly treating it as an equal partner.
But some warned that India’s coming out party is a bit premature as hundreds of millions of citizens remain mired in poverty and its governing bureaucracy remains bloated and corrupt.
“I think Obama was being nice,” said Amitabh Mattoo, a foreign policy analyst. “I don’t think India has emerged, I think India is a rising power with a huge amount of potential, but there are huge problems within India.”
Mattoo branded India “a work in progress in terms of becoming a great power,” and cautioned that as it pushes forward on the global stage, the nation will have to drop its historical reluctance to taking controversial international positions.
It is an issue Obama raised as well, telling parliament that “with increased power comes increased responsibility,” and imploring India to stand up for democratic values across the world.
With the international expectations on the country rising, India will have to work especially hard to get its house in order and take its place on the global stage, Gupta said.
“This party is ours to spoil now,” he said. “India can’t afford to disappoint the world.”
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.