Why did they remain standing?

--- 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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