Formance SIPs and Earthquakes

Having recently conducted panel testing to measure their earthquake resistance we were anxious to see how well Formance stood up to the  powerful 7.8 earthquake that struck on 14th November 2016 . Back in September 2010 on the morning of that first severe earthquake in Christchurch we googled "earthquake proof housing" and came across panels. Two years later what started off as an anxious search for a construction solution to the horror of what we had just experienced had become an invested interest in the adoption of this technology to New Zealand conditions. Formance was born.

So how well do Formance panels withstand the forces of nature in an earthquake?  The answer is remarkably well.

Formance SIPs have two key attributes that really stand out; they have huge strength and they have great ductility. So not only do they withstand the applied force of an earthquake really really well but they have a unique ability to take the shock out of the movement by allowing some non-permanent flex in the stucture. Engineers call this ductility. Small but enough to significantly reduce the impact of the multi-directional earthquake cycle. More rigid and brittle materials like concrete tend to fail abruptly without warning and once gone they require extensive remediation or replacement. The engineers measure resistance to earthquake movement in Bracing Units and have other more technical terms for it but for the rest of us it simply means they can withstand severe earthquakes and keep us safe inside. 

How do we know this all works in real life? There is emperical evidence in earthquake events going back many years in the USA and Japan showing just how well SIPs made from Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) cope with an earthquake. The particular composition and fixing methods is what we use in Formance SIPs and is one that withstood history's worst events. Now in this recent event we have proved it for ourselves. Immediately after the 7.5 Kaikoura quake a client living within 30 minutes of the epicentre reported in to say his Formance home had passed with flying colours. Photos of this house under construction are below.

Check out the video of an earthquake test on a dedicated shake table conducted in Japan so you can see just how well SIPs work in an earthquake.