Earthquake Protection of Buildings by a Double Concrete Slab Foundation.

by Charles Weber, MS, email = isoptera at


I have a suggestion that is applicable to earthquake damage control. Buildings are very strong in vertical compression. I believe it is side to side motion that is ruinous. So if a thick reinforced slab were first poured and covered with grease or oil before the actual building concrete basement floor were poured, I suspect it would eliminate side to side motion during an earthquake. Of course it would be necessary to have some kind of spring or air piston on the sides to prevent wind motion.


A building protected as above would have no covalent or valence bond links to the ground and no support from earth on the sides to support the building. So very tall buildings would seem to be vulnerable to toppling. However, in addition to the weight of the building and the weight of the upper slab, the atmosphere is pressing down with a pressure about one ton per square foot because the interface is effectively sealed. Thus there is no chance at all that a three story building would topple nor even a six story building. If the slabs were extended out to the sides and the upper one suitably thick and reinforced and buttressed, much greater than six story buildings should be safe as well. Even much higher buildings yet should be safe if the side retaining springs are attached high up.

The primary consideration would be to use an oil with a very low viscosity, since viscosity of the oil is undoubtedly the primary resistance to the top slab trying to follow the bottom slab. A silicone oil is probably the oil of choice for most buildings because of its resistance to change from temperature. Silicone coated river sand might work well also for low buildings.

One big advantage of this procedure is that it should be fairly easy to retrofit existing buildings, because it should be possible to underpin a few hundred square feet at a time. When building new, making the bottom slab a little concave upward would probably make less stiff side springs possible and somewhat easier to return the building to its original position.

There was a patent pending for this procedure. However, it had to be largely abandoned in view of a similar patent awarded in France in 1987. You may see what mine looked like looked like reproduced at the end below.


---- For a hypothesis that explains the large volcanoes of Mars and the bulges associated with them as the disruption from the antipode (opposite side of a sphere) of a huge meteor impact, see this site.
---- It has been proposed that the large lava fields were produced by disruption of the crust caused by a huge meteorite impact at its antipode (opposite side of a sphere). Several large craters have such a lava flow opposite them on both Earth and Mars.
---- Shallow earthquakes under even the longest ridge/ridge transform faults and other anomalies are strong indication that the continents do not move and low gravity and low heat transfer under ocean trench bottoms only and volcanoes over the landward side of the trenches is strong evidence that the so called subducting slab is actually a rising batholith.
---- You may see an earthquake map of the world here.


---- The Cause of the Characteristics of Quasars
---- The Cause of the Cosmological Red Shift
---- For some dramatic views of a a virtual travel to Mars and then to outer space, a trip which would take thousands of years even inside our own galaxy, but compressed into 12 minutes, see this site.


---- You may obtain a book about potassium nutrition at this site, along with the table of contents and first chapter. It discusses how food processing, diuretics, diarrhea, enemas, laxatives, corticosteroids, poisons, and disease states cause a deficiency and how potassium will cure heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and hypertension. It also discusses procedures to cope with too high a blood potassium and abnormal potassium in diabetes.

---- Strategies for CFS and fibromyalgia
---- Copper Response in Rheumatoid Arthritis.
---- Cortisol is presented as an immune hormone used to defend against diarrhea: The Purpose of Cortisol
---- Anacardic acids in raw cashew nuts may cure tooth abscesses and possibly gram positive diseases such as acne, tuberculosis, and leprosy: Cashew Nuts to Cure Tooth Abscess.
---- Diabetes may be caused by a poison in food and maybe injection timing should be different: Observations on Diabetes
---- Fluoride in city water will cause fluorosis discoloration of teeth, weakened bones, damage to the kidneys and immune system, bone cancer, and, worst of all, damage to the nerves resembling Alzheimer’s disease.
---- A proposal as to why the human species seems to be derived from a single couple: The Eve Controversy.

Contact email = isoptera at phone = 828 692 5816
Posted Feb, 2010. Updated Nov. 2010.
This page has been visited times



if a concrete slab is poured with a very smooth upper surface and coated with a grease of low viscosity, it can serve as the base of a thick reinforced concrete slab, which if made an integral part of a building built above it, will protect that building against sideways forces that are the main source of destruction during an earthquake.

----The present application relates generally to construction practice for buildings located in seismically active areas.
----Current methods are anchored firmly to the bottom slab or foundation so sideways sway can only be partially prevented such as the ball and socket of WO2001038646 A1 or the ball in cone of WO1995022012 A1 or the rubber bearing of WO1995014830 A1 or the elaborate series of plates such as US20040200156 A1, US5904010 A, US5797228 A, US5682712 A, US5490356 A, US4933238 A, JP9302983 A and US6180711 B1 or of rollers such as US20050150179 A1 or the elaborate device of US7090207 B2, US5215382 A, and US5386671 A or that is inherent in pendulum devices like US6966154 B1. JP2000080731 A permits very little lateral motion. The pin release feature does not look fail safe in JP11062310 A
----Those that are completely isolated are complicated and expensive. Such as WO2008126120 A2, which requires hundreds of steel balls at each station, or WO2008098982 A2, which requires many expensive steel and rubber plates at each station, which are expensive to construct such as US20070044395 A1 and US20060174555 A1, which are expensive and complicated such as US20030099413 A1 or are limited in isolation in lateral direction such as US5862638 A, JP2001182366 A would require very thick, heavy steel members for all but light buildings. The support footings themselves would be vulnerable to earthquake damage in EP698156 B1 and the upper support beam would require a very expensive steel structure.
----US20070261323 A1 is only useful for protecting an individual apparatus.
----Some only work in one direction so would only be useful for a structure like a bridge such as the roller of WO2005031088 A2 or that of US20040131287 A1 or that of US20030099413 A1 or that of US6971795 B2 or that of US4517778 A unless you were certain which direction the earthquake motion was coming.
----Those that depend on rubber such as US20040123530 A1, EP1590579 B1, and US4910930 A are in danger of future deterioration.
----US6289640 B1 and US4599834 A work on the same principle of sliding surfaces as my invention but are elaborate and expensive to construct. JP2003301625 A is only for small light buildings.
----An additional advantage of my method is that inertia can be greatly increased low down in the building at a low cost. Thus sidewise inertial forces would be low down where they would not contribute to toppling tall buildings.
----If a concrete slab is poured with a very smooth upper surface and coated with a grease of low viscosity, it can serve as the base of a thick reinforced concrete slab, which if made an integral part of a building built above it, will protect that building against sideways forces that are the main source of destruction during an earthquake. This will be especially affective if the upper slab is a large fraction of the total weight of the building. This should be less expensive than current isolation methods. Even with the cost of excavating a few feet deeper foundation and adding the extra base slab, this should allow for less reinforcement of the supported building and also allow for taller buildings. This is especially so since the upper slab does not have to be smooth on top and can have its weight increased by incorporating boulders, for instance. Furthermore, its efficacy can be further enhanced by sandwiching more than one slab on top of each other before the final slab that is integral with the building is reached. The most efficacious grease would be silicone grease because of its inherent slipperiness and its resistance to temperature change. If shallow bowls were placed on the bottom slab open end down before the second pour, the friction between the slabs could be decreased further if desired by decreasing the contact area between the slabs.
----It has the further advantage of being more practical for retrofitting a building since it could be installed a hundred square feet at a time and by relatively unskilled workers or manufacturers, since the top slab can easily be poured a section at a time if the reinforcing rods of each section are allowed to protrude in order to merge with the next adjacent section.. Thus the weight of the building can be supported on each section above it as the job proceeds.
----The top slab must have restraint from the sides, because otherwise strong winds would be able to move the building, such as air filled pneumatic pistons, springs, etc. Making the bottom slab slightly concave would be helpful also. This is because as the building moves sidewise it would require energy to move slightly upward and less energy for the springs, etc. to move it back.
1. ----A method of constructing a building having at least two flat masses for the base structure separated by smooth surface(s).
2. ----The method of claim 1, where the smooth surface, or surfaces, is flat.
3. ----The method of claim 1, where the smooth surface, or surfaces, is slightly concave upward.
4. ----The method of claim 1 , where all of the masses are composed of concrete (i.e. cement and aggregate rock of various sizes)
5. ----The method of claim 1, where a low friction liquid is used to separate the masses and reduce friction. Some typical liquids being grease, oil, silicone liquids, etc.
6. ----The method of claim 1, where mild restraint from lateral motion is added.
7. ----The method of claim 6, where the restraint is a perimeter bank of springs (e.g. air springs, coil compression type metal springs, leaf metal springs).