Safety is a hot issue in the public eye of late. Zonneveld ingenieurs already has some 20 years experience in engineering earthquake resisting buildings. The past few years we have been intimately involved in earthquake engineering of hundreds of buildings in the Groningen area in The Netherlands. Currently, Zonneveld together with Fugro is also involved in a pilot with tilt sensors, which have been placed on several locations throughout the Groningen earthquake area. See also the website of the National Coordinator Groningen NCG.



Merckt is a project in the centre of Groningen city situated on the corner of Grote Markt. The building houses apartments and small restaurants. Because of its specific shape, the earthquake resistant engineering for the building was particularly complex. Through an NLTH-analyse, the behaviour of the structure during an earthquake was investigated, see our paper. Especially the lower levels are sensitive to earthquake loads. To make the building earthquake resistant in its present form, the apartments have been structurally 'separated' from the lower levels. This significantly reduces the forces from the apartments in case of an earthquake and enables the structure to absorb them within the present design.

We have made a short illustration with a comparison of an earthquake analysis of Merckt with and without base isolation.

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