What are the specifications of earthquake-resistant buildings in Turkey?
Many countries follow strict building requirements to protect against natural disasters such as earthquakes, and Turkey is among the most prominent countries that have adopted strict earthquake security requirements. However, do all the requirements for earthquake-resistant structures apply to Turkey’s homes? What are the design requirements for earthquake-resistant structures?
Earthquake-resistant buildings are buildings whose style aims to reduce the impact of earthquakes on the structure and to build walls to protect them from cracking or collapsing.
Earthquake-resistant structures are created and developed based on unique studies and research, such as studying the soil quality at the construction site and choosing the most suitable products for building construction.
The design of earthquake-resistant structures also aims to select windows and doors that can withstand vibration, build walls to protect them from splitting or collapsing, and determine the optimal height for structures at each location.
What are the government measures in Turkey to protect against earthquakes?
After the 1999 Marmara earthquake, the government in Turkey started to carry out a series of activities and enact new building codes. The priorities were:
Modifying and managing the building and construction process devices to ensure their implementation under the supervision of an engineering consulting firm for design and commissioned directly by the municipality.
In 2007, a law was passed defining Turkey’s earthquake-resistant structures. All residential or commercial properties in Turkey and Istanbul were surveyed and identified when necessary.
Old residential or commercial properties in Turkey were identified according to the 3-degree severity index, in addition to developing construction solutions for low- and medium-risk buildings, but the risky buildings were quickly abandoned and demolished.
Likewise, earthquake insurance in Turkey (DASK) has been implemented, which is required even for foreigners engaged in real estate investment in Turkey to avoid losses in future natural disasters.
Specifications of earthquake-resistant buildings in Turkey:
The law in Turkey stipulates that residential or commercial properties in Turkey of all types are built according to requirements starting from the moment the building land is selected, namely:
First, the soil of the site must be examined, and a Soil Study Record issued. It contains details about soil quality and hardness, as the hardness of the ground contributes to reducing the shock of the structure at the time of an earthquake.
The registry may suggest earthquake-resistant buildings on vulnerable soils, but the site will be excluded from construction if the soil is fragile.
Seismic-resistant structures must be preserved against shocks by determining the weights that will be carried by the concrete columns and ensuring their ability to carry the roofs. The earthquake-resistant building structure with reinforced joints absorbs seismic stress. This results in much less trauma as well as better safety.
There is a limit on the height of earthquake-resistant buildings in Turkey, as modern buildings cannot exceed 50 meters. If the limit is exceeded, the building is improved with more insulation and joints on the upper floors.
What is the impact of earthquakes on real estate investment in Turkey?
Research conducted after the earthquake in Izmir (2020) indicates that 95% of the damaged buildings were 20-30 years old and were not built according to the 2007 earthquake-resistant building requirements.
The Turkish president said that 98% of the buildings that fell due to the Turkish earthquake (2023) were built before 1999. The government should start building housing units for those affected by the earthquake in early March.
The Istanbul earthquake (2019) proved that Turkey’s buildings are waterproof and safe for residents against earthquakes.
In addition, Turkish real estate sales have improved in recent years, especially in 2022, which witnessed a record number of real estate sales in Turkey.