100 active volcanoes under close
observation for eruption. If that were
not enough, typhoons, tsunamis,
floods and landslides also threaten
the island nation.
“Since Japan is prone to many
types of natural disasters, Japan has
a long history of resilient building
design, town planning and living,”
said Kitaro Mizuide, Ph.D., P.Eng.,
Member ASHRAE, and general manager of the mechanical and electrical engineering design division for
Nikken Sekkei Ltd.
Japan’s built industry first started
resiliency planning after a 1923
earthquake struck the main island
of Honsh including the Tokyo
area, he said. Since then, Japan has
energy for insulation and structural
reasons, he said.
Other Japanese buildings are
beginning to design for high-water
flooding and tsunami disasters. For
example, the YKK 80 building in
Tokyo has generators, fuel inlets, fuel
tanks, pumps and water storage to
ensure operation in emergency conditions, he said. The Cool Radiant
System, Inside and Out article in the
Summer 2017 HPB Magazine dis-cusses the YKK 80 Building.
Japan introduced business continuity planning (BCP)—a form of resilient design that includes providing
for several days of temporary services
such as electrical, water, shelter and
food—in 2004, according to Miziude.
Critical facilities such as hospitals,
data centers and government services
buildings always include BCP strategies, he said.
“Japanese planners think of
resilience beyond the building. Of
course, the first priority following any
disaster is human health, safety and
welfare, and building design for safe
evacuation and shelter is a big part of
that,” he said.
rebuilt cities and introduced and
revised seismic design requirements.
Building codes dictate high-wind
regions, seismic zones and structural
The city of Osaka is no exception.
The Nippon Life Insurance
Company Head Office-East Building
in Osaka has seismic isolation engi-
neering to guard against earthquake
damage. One strategy includes using
a seismic isolation joint for electric
wires by lengthening the cable to
separate the building from an earth-
quake’s effects, according to Mizuide.
The seismic-isolated structure in
the Nippon’s East Building works by
using a combination of oil dampers
and rubber bearings at the building’s
base, he said. Both devices achieve
high seismic isolation effect.
Figuring out how to dissipate
an earthquake’s energy is the key
for resilient buildings, according
One technique is attaching brackets, braces and fasteners, and spraying the cavity with polyurethane
foam, he said. The foam fights the
earthquake’s energy and also saves
LEFT TO RIGHT
The Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995
registered at 6. 9 magnitude. The earthquake affected several Japanese cities
The Nippon Life Insurance Company
Head Office-East Building in Osaka,
Japan, has seismic isolation engineering
to protect against earthquake damage.
To safeguard against the threat of earthquakes, rubber seismic isolation was
adopted in the YKK 80 Building, located
in Tokyo, Japan.
Figuring out how to dissipate an earthquake’s
energy is the key for resilient buildings.
— Joe Lstiburek, building scientist,
Ph.D., P. Eng., Fellow ASHRAE