Quality construction is the fundamental prerequisite for earthquake stable structures
In Macedonia there is a tradition and technical regulations for the design, construction and control of buildings resistant to earthquakes. However, regulations should be fully respected to allow designed and built structures be considered seismically resistant. This is one of the conclusions of national experts participating in the discussion of the Expert forum on seismic resistance of structures organized by the Faculty of Civil Engineering from Skopje, Institute for Testing Materials and Development of New Technologies "Skopje" AD Skopje (ZIM), the Institute for earthquake engineering and engineering seismology (IZIIS) and Cementarnica Usje.
Knowledge, compliance to the standards and accountability of all parties involved in the process of planning, design and construction are critical to seismic safety of buildings. Any other approach is unsustainable; the professors of Civil Engineering in Skopje are decisive. According to them, adequate attention to the regulation concerning examining the seismic vulnerability of existing buildings is necessary, since they need a specific expertise. Furthermore, one of the fundamental prerequisites of a successful seismic design of structures is also the knowledge of the geological characteristics of the soil where it is built.
"Particular attention should be paid to the safety of the buildings for which there are ambiguities in the existing regulations, such as extensions, upgrades, reconstructed buildings and other specific complex structures", noted the director of the Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology, professor Mihail Garevski, stressing that "in the design of such buildings further analysis covering and analyzing the response of these structures to an earthquake are needed, in order to avoid damages at moderate earthquakes such as the last one in Skopje 11th September this year."
The major impact on the quality of construction as one of the segments that is most significant for seismic safety of buildings is the quality of the building materials.
"Calculations show that in the price of a residential building, the cement accounts for less than 3%. On the other hand, our cement is controlled with double quality checks, according to the highest European standards, which is why in many parameters is leading in the region. If so, then the question arises whether it is worth risking the safety of structures, by incorporating materials with a lower price, but also with lower quality. My answer is - NO, because all interior components can be replaced, but the savings in construction can have catastrophic consequences", the CED of Cementarnica USJE, Boris Hrisafov said.
The chairman of the board of the Institute for Testing Materials and Development of New Technologies "Skopje" AD Skopje, Mr. Boris Taneski agrees, stressing that “mandatory strict control of the quality of construction materials that are built in, particularly in construction, bearing elements of buildings by the competent institutions is necessary, which will further ensure their reliability at strong earthquakes." The Forum participants agreed that only through intensive expert discussion and cooperation in this matter the awareness in society about the importance of seismic resistant construction will be raised, as well as the need to further raise standards and quality of the building that will meet the needs of the contemporary living.