Hospitals require seismic isolators to ensure optimal safety during earthquakesSeismic isolators are critical for protecting hospitalized patients during earthquakes and are now required for all newly constructed hospitals. Were there any hospitals built with seismic isolators in the area affected by the Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquakes before the recent disaster?
It turns out that several hospitals, including the Malatya Maternity and Children's Hospital, the Elazığ Fethi Sekin City Hospital, the Gaziantep İnayet Topçu Hospital, and the Adana City Hospital, remained intact thanks to the use of seismic isolators.
Rönesans Holding Engineering Group President Serdar Binzet, who has overseen the engineering plans of four city hospitals employing earthquake isolator systems, explained why the Fethi Sekin City Hospital built in Elazığ was unaffected by the earthquake. Binzet stated, "When designing the building, we based our calculations on research conducted by experts, which determined that the strongest earthquake that might occur in the region will be equivalent to a force of 0.69G in the year 2475. Accordingly, we designed the hospital with 872 seismic isolators.”
The world's largest seismically isolated building with 2068 seismic isolatorsWhile highlighting that surgeries and other critical patient procedures must not be interrupted in the event of an earthquake, Serdar Binzet stated: "After the earthquake, in addition to the lack of damage in hospitals, non-structural elements such as walls, ceilings, shelves with materials and medical equipment should also be expected to continue functioning. In other words, a targeted performance during an earthquake can be referred to as operational, that is, the continuation of operations within a structure. Therefore, the most effective method when it comes to building statics is earthquake isolation, i.e., isolator systems. At Rönesans Holding, we have used this method in our hospitals constructed in high-risk earthquake zones.”
While pointing out that this system is also used in other hospitals built by Rönesans Holding, Binzet said: "İstanbul's Başakşehir Çam and Sakura City Hospital, which has 2068 seismic isolators, holds the title of "the world's largest seismically isolated building." In addition, the Başakşehir Çam and Sakura Hospital design has been awarded the REDi (Resilience-based Earthquake Design Initiative), i.e., Earthquake Resistance Platinum certificate.
One of the most important features of our structures that employ isolators is that every isolator has been tested one by one under simulated earthquake loads, even though European and Turkish earthquake codes do not require this. Tests are completed under the rigorous supervision and approval of experienced Turkish and American professors at the University of San Diego."