Paraseismic Hospitals. The hard-bitten league.

The earthquakes & the Richter magnitude scale.
Magnitudes Earthquake

The 3 minute video report by OPB about hospitals and earthquakes like the incident at Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital in Japan or the «Shake Table» of UC San Diego to test buildings under earthquake loads leaves no doubt: hospitals and earthquakes are a burning issue for the future.

My curiosity once again brings me close to unimaginably impressive solutions.
Three glances worldwide:

1. Medical clinics built in shipping containers
> CLINIC IN A CAN, Wichita, Kansas US
«As the 20 foot All-In-One solar or diesel powered Clinic In A Can can be set directly on ground, the access to the internal medical space is unsurpassed. This benefits both the patient and medical providers reducing the potential for liability as patients are being transported for stabilization and treatment. Whether it be one unit or multiple.»
CLINIC IN A CAN_WOW hospitals blog  20foot_CLINIC IN A CAN
Key Features at a glance:
– delivered completely equipped, ready to use
– modular and expandable units
– made from steel shipping containers – to withstand extreme weather conditions, earthquakes, harsh terrain, security threats
– climate controlled; R-19 insulation, super energy efficient inverted heat pump to provide a temperature controlled work area, no matter if the temperature outside is extremely hot or cold
– infection control compliant; vinyl flooring with flash coving, plastic NRP-FR walls and ceilings, recessed electrical outlets – can be cleaned with all bacterialcidal, fungicidal and virucidal solutions
– environmental facts; recycled shipping containers and materials, Green Technology, solar system


3 sizes to choose: Small: 10 ft / 7.5m², Medium: 20 ft / 15m², Large: 40 ft / 30m2.

More via video: 30 seconds explainer and 1 minute+ explainer.

2. The rolling disks hospital
> Shonan Kamakura General Hospital (SKGH), Okamoto, Kamakura, Kanagawa JP
Shonan Kamakura General Hospital

The SKGH is a young 15-storey medical tower hospital, opened in 1988 – 619 beds and a staff of 1542. Like not many other hospitals, the hospital shows the «earthquake resitant structure» button in the «About us section»;

– base-isolated foundation to withstand a magnitude 7.9 class earthquake, remains functioning
– foundation with rolling disks on which the hospital rests – to glide in any direction in the event of an earthquake
– 171 isolators and 28 hydraulic dampers
– dampers to absorb some of the energy, reduce the shaking by some degree
– the precautionary measures are based on the great Kanto earthquake from 1923, which caused great devastation in Kanagawa
Shonan Kamakura General Hospital_earthquake

3. The innovative foundation hospital

> Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC), Loma Linda, California, US
With the «Vision 2020» the LLUMC will open a 1.4 billion USD (360 million USD via the campaign) top-class hospital at the end of 2019 – a monumental impact on the health in the local environment for and changing the future of thousands of children and their families. And – this hospital will meet state seismic standards that require a new adult hospital be in place by 2020.
More in the 2 minute explainer video (architectural resentation).Loma Linda University Medical Center2020

The new adult tower as a 16-storey building (including a separate 9-storey children’s hospital) will be the tallest building In San Bernardino County.
Medical Construction and Design via Terracon: the new buildings are designed to resist an earthquake with a potential magnitude of 7.9 and will be among the safest in the state.

Loma Linda University Medical Center_Foundation Design

– base isolation foundation system with 126 sliding bearings and dampers for lateral isolation, with more than 500 vertical shock absorbers
– orbital-shaped pedestals/«isolators» to move the building independently of the foundation in the event of an earthquake
– base isolations; built on a concrete mat – 30 feet (9.144 meters) below ground surface
–  stabilisation of shoring walls with 650 tie-backs
– the building can move a maximum of 42 inches (106.68 centimeters) horizontally with the space between building and shoring wall


To keep hospitals operational following a potentially disastrous earthquake
To protect hospitals and lives effectively against earthquakes, it is not enough to know where and how often they occur. It is also necessary to be able to assess the risks to the infrastructure. A global initiative has produced detailed maps to help poor countries in particular > Global Earthquake Model GEM (Nonprofit, Italia).

Again and again, i am really breathlessly impressed by the innovative power around the hospitals of the future. In connection with earthquakes even unusually breathless. I don’t think the right adjective for it has yet been invented.

Maurice Codourey




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