The Big One

If you like to worry, here’s something else to add to your list: Those new condo towers might not hold up so well in the event of an earthquake.

Many recently constructed highrise buildings in British Columbia could topple or crumble in a major earthquake, according to a new study made public on Wednesday.

The University of British Columbia Earthquake Lab study found buildings made with six-inch concrete support walls aren’t as resistant to earthquakes as previously believed, despite being fully compliant with building codes.

The news comes on the 311th anniversary of one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded on North America’s Pacific Coast, in 1700. About 460,000 B.C. residents marked the anniversary by participating in the country’s largest simultaneous earthquake preparedness drill ever executed.

In his study, UBC’s Prof. Perry Adebar looked at the devastating 8.8-magnitude Chilean earthquake in 2010, comparing it to what could happen if a quake hit B.C. He found many of Chile’s older buildings stayed intact, while newer buildings were more likely to crumble.

The use of thinner walls has become popular in Chile and North America – where building codes are very similar – in order to fit more spots in underground parking garages and create more interior space.

Put on your helmet and read the full story over at CTV.

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blueskies
Guest
blueskies

speaking of shaky grounds garths'

"greater fool" column on CMHC

is a must read today…….

we.are.so.screwed!

asia man
Guest
asia man

its very sad. I have lived here in earhtquake land (Japan) for a long time, they really are advanced in this area (construction, etc.), and its too bad Canada cant learn from them. When house hunting in Canada I was utterly shocked at how bad the construction standards are and the weak/non-existant laws that inspect and enforce them. Once saw a house in Victoria with cinder bricks holding up the foundation. The inspector stuck a foot long screwdriver into one of the supporting posts like it was butter. blew me away, I was so naive then…not now though…insane housing prices are one thing, but this stuff gets people killed. Makes me sick to my stomach.

jesse
Member

@blueskies: Garth is rightly calling out the practice of appraisal streamlining. It was one of the contributing factors of the US market blowing up.

We have already heard stories of people trying to game the robot appraisers and succeeding. The case I remember was in Calgary.

Even without this, marking appraisals to market is yet another elephant in the room. If it's any consolation Gov. Carney has criticized this practice. He should know, having worked for GS and all.

LY
Guest
LY

good I am out of Richmond after renting there for 5 years.

I hate to think what will happen to those new condo buildings along the periphery of the transit if the big one comes. The news might create some panic but eventually it will be forgotten few weeks later and condo buying craze will continue.

Renting
Guest
Renting

Many recently constructed highrise buildings in British Columbia could topple or crumble in a major earthquake

Just another risk to owning and another reason owning should come at a discount to renting.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

Would Richmond disappear in a major earthquake?

vreaa
Member
Anonymouse
Guest
Anonymouse

@Best place on meth:

"Would Richmond disappear in a major earthquake?"

No.

Anonymouse
Guest
Anonymouse

@Renting:

"Just another risk to owning and another reason owning should come at a discount to renting."

Very funny. You've obviously never heard of "insurance". And if your building happens to collapse while you're inside it, it really makes no difference if you're an owner or a renter.

superduperbulltime
Guest
superduperbulltime

Just like housing crash scientist wrongly predict earthquake just around corner. Bear and scientist both same kind of prediction maker : dead wrong. Difference is scientist make money off government teat and bear serve the coffee.

Joshua
Member
Joshua

@Anonymouse: Earthquake insurance, eh? Wonder how much that costs… I wouldn't know, my landlord pays it. He also bought me a new stove.

Renting rules!!

Anonymus
Guest
Anonymus

Anonymouse Says:

"Very funny. You’ve obviously never heard of “insurance”. And if your building happens to collapse while you’re inside it, it really makes no difference if you’re an owner or a renter."

ha-ha-ha, bravo …i spilled my coffee when i read this. Sometimes bears write such dumb things. They are totally consumed about crash. Thanks for the laugh buddy.

Anonymus
Guest
Anonymus

Joshua Says: "I wouldn’t know, my landlord pays it."

Your personal belongings in rented unit are not covered. your life is not covered. You as rennter have to get and pay for that insurance.

VANCOUVER_RE_SUCKS
Guest
VANCOUVER_RE_SUCKS

when the bears can't get houses. they distribute FUD.

The grape you can't get always taste sour.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

@Anonymouse:

Insurance is great if you can get it.

In Richmond you can't get flood insurance.

WFT?
Guest
WFT?

@Anonymouse:

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think that there is any incident in human history wher a city has disappeared due to soil liquifaction. Just as there is has been no time in human history where a real estate bubble has not gone bust.

Threfore, I think that the Richmond will sink theories are bunk.

VanRant
Member
VanRant

@Best place on meth: With a disaster of this magnitude, the insurance will be bankrupt as fast as you can sneeze so good luck collecting.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Anonymouse:

Try getting earthquake insurance and flood insurance in Richmond. In fact I think it's impossible to get flood insurance in Richmond. Correct me if I'm wrong

DaMann
Member
DaMann

Whoops, last one was me

LY
Guest
LY

It's not Richmond, the land, that will sink. It's the buildings on top of the land that will sink. Some will topple over while others become leaning towers of Richmond. The second floor can become an instant flooded basement floor. That is why there are no cemeteries in Richmond. The dead will be floating around if the big one hits and dikes broke. I did not buy any property while I was in Richmond because of this fear. Have warn some friends but was ignored and they bought. Hope the big one won't happen in their lifetime.

Anonymouse
Guest
Anonymouse

@Best place on meth:

"In Richmond you can’t get flood insurance."

But you can get earthquake insurance?

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

@LY:

Floating corpses are bad for property values.

Very, very bad.

Unlucky too.

Anonymouse
Guest
Anonymouse

@Joshua:

"Earthquake insurance, eh? Wonder how much that costs"

Almost nothing when added as part of an existing policy.

Junius
Guest
Junius

#10 superduperbulltime,

The similarity is that both the scientist and the bear are correct. The difference is that "imminent" in respect to the earthquake could still mean decades whereas "imminent" in the housing crash is months.

Junius
Guest
Junius

I guess is begs the question, "What if an earthquake hits and people die in Richmond as a result?"

Will the Chinese population vacate because it is now Bad Luck to live there?

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