AFTER the recent earthquake in various parts of the country, there has been renewed focus on whether or not buildings can withstand the so-called “Big One.”

The Philippines should look to Japan, where buildings and infrastructure are adapted to withstand natural disasters, as a model. One of the biggest innovations is the earthquake vibration control technology — the Visco-elastic dampers (VCDs).

As defined, dampers are huge concrete blocks or steel bodies mounted in skyscrapers of other structures, and move in opposition to the resonance frequency oscillations of the structure through springs, fluid or pendulums.

The VCDs are used by some of the world’s tallest buildings such as Tokyo Skytree and Taipei 101.

In the Philippines, The Seasons Residences at Grand Central Park, the residential project being developed by Federal Land and Japanese conglomerates Nomura Real Estate Development Co., Ltd. and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd., is also employing this state-of-the-art technology.

“The mixed-use, lifestyle center features the marriage of Japanese innovation and design with the Philippines’ unique brand of community… One of the features highlighted was the use of the VCD system which acts as shock absorbers to ensure that residents are safe and comfortable during earthquakes and typhoons,” the developer said in a statement.

The Seasons Residences also adheres to the National Building Code to further ensure an earthquake-resistant structure.

The Japanese-inspired residential project will have four towers, namely Haru (Spring), Natsu (Summer), Aki (Autumn), and Fuyu (Winter). It is located on 8th Avenue corner 36th Street, Grand Central Park in North Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Condo units will also employ Japanese technology in other aspects like in storage solutions to maximize the available space.

This project will also house the first Mitsukoshi Mall, set to open by 2021. This will have a mix of Japanese and international brands. — V.M.P.Galang