StonePanels International LLC

Colorado and Virginia Quakes Are Important Reminders for Builders

We’ve already discussed on our blog how the flexibility and durability of building materials, like lightweight stone cladding, is of huge importance when developers are building in seismic zones. But the recent earthquakes in both Colorado and Virginia are important reminders that the quality of building materials used, and they’re ability to endure earthquake conditions, can come into play almost anywhere.

Conventionally, in the United States, we think of the west coast when we think of seismic zones and earthquake activity. Flexible and durable materials, such as stone composite panels, that can withstand an earthquake are always at the forefront of the minds of builders and developers working near the infamous San Andreas Fault Line. But we sometimes forget that other areas of the country can be prone to seismic activity themselves, from time to time. The recent earthquakes in Colorado and Virginia are a testament to the fact that earthquakes and seismic activity should be a consideration for builders and developers everywhere.

Stone Renovation Systems Key for Older East Coast Buildings
It’s the older east coast buildings which pose the most risk in the event of an earthquake. The east coast is in a slightly different situation than the west coast is because there are so many more structures that are centuries old. This being the case, stone renovation systems and composite panels can be a realistic way for building owners to reinforce their existing structures and be prepared in the event of an earthquake.

History of Seismic Activity in Midwestern United States
Another area of the country that isn’t typically thought of when it comes to seismic activity is the Midwest. But did you know that one of the largest earthquakes in United States history actually took place in Missouri According to the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey), the earthquake that took place in New Madrid Missouri in 1811 was, “two to three times as large as that of the 1964 Alaska earthquake and 10 times as large as that of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.”

Just because these areas of the United States don’t see the same regular seismic activity as the west coast experiences, it doesn’t mean that builders shouldn’t consider how their materials will hold up to earthquake activity. Seismic activity is a possibility in almost every part of the United States and with modern-day building easily standing for decades (and sometimes centuries) it’s no longer a question of if, but when will a building’s lightweight stone cladding be tested by an earthquake on some level.

For more information on the seismic load testing that our stone composite panels have been through, visit the product testing tab on our website or contact us at 800.328.6275.