--- Buildings collapsed and structures crumbled owing to a wide variety of causes, so what do you feel was the main factor in these buildings escaping damage?
Nakajima: The facility design of the Hotel Monterey Kobe was
completed by Kajima about five years ago, and it is situated in the
dead center of Sannomiya, an area which experienced the gravest levels
of damage which makes it very difficult to reach the hotel. However,
not a single Spanish tile nor sculpture was damaged, and this can
probably be attributed to comparatively stable plane design. The
president of the company was delighted at the careful way in which
everything was carried out. Both the design and the facility itself
were built to last.
Monterey Hotel Kobe. A broken pot can be seen in the foreground, but
the fountain remains undamaged
Another example is the distribution center of a cosmetics manufacturer
based on Rokko Island. Despite the fact that the surrounding area
experienced advanced stages of liquification and many buildings and
warehouses were damaged, apparently work was able to continue on the
day immediately following the quake. Floating engineering methods
based upon minute construction designs were employed here, and it was
apparent that structures over which care was taken survived without
damage. An anti-earthquake diagnostic laboratory was set up
immediately after the quake struck by the Design and Engineering
General Affairs Department. A pamphlet entitled Anti-Earthquake and
Strengthening Methods for Buildings was issued, distributed to
branches throughout the country and swiftly adopted to cater to
customer requirements as a part of general sales.
The Anti-Earthquake and Strengthening Methods for Buildings pamphlet
So far we have received more than 350 enquiries on anti-earthquake
measures from places outside of Kobe. This leads me to believe that Kajima's past record in super high-rise buildings is highly-rated.
--- How about civil engineering structures?
Nojiri: We carried out inspections on approximately 1,000 supports upon which damage was inflicted in accordance with requests from the Hanshin Expressway Corporation. Of the structures built by Kajima which received a certain amount of damage, not a single case of faulty installation was observed. Anti-earthquake design policies for overhead expressways were reviewed in 1971, updated to more stable design methods in 1980, and reviewed once again in 1990. It seems as if damage mostly occurred to expressways which employed outdated methods or were built prior to these reviews.
An aerial view of the damage inflicted upon the city of Kobe
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