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The KYO Altalia III Building, currently being constructed in Tijuana, is located near the San Andreas Fault and therefore in an area that is well known for its seismic activity. In the past, seismic protection of buildings in this part of Mexico has generally been limited to the costly option of designing the structure with enough robustness – using enough concrete and steel – to withstand even a very strong earthquake. The alternative approach of using hydraulic dampers (shock absorbers), to dissipate the enormous amount of energy that can result from the sudden dynamic loading arising in an earthquake, has been applied for a number of years in Mexico City – for instance, with mageba RESTON®SA shock absorbers installed in the Lerma Telmex Building (2014), the Ministry of Economy Building (2016), the Cibeles Tower (2018) and the Periferico 428 Building (2021). However, despite the various benefits offered by this approach – e.g. making the main structure lighter and more economical, and generally being much easier to apply in enhancing the safety of an existing building – it has thus far found little or no application outside of the capital.
In the case of the KYO Altalia III Building, in fact, Tijuana’s new construction regulations made the building project unfeasible without the use of seismic protection devices. The 18-storey concrete residential building was designed with 21 RESTON®SA shock absorbers at suitable locations throughout the superstructure. These were designed by mageba, for a sudden dynamic force of 500 kN and with a stroke of +/-50 mm, to meet the building’s specific energy dissipation needs.
The introduction of the use of these high-performance shock absorbers to building construction projects in western Mexico is sure to make a real impact on the way buildings are designed and constructed in the region, enabling the local population – and the developers who construct the buildings – to benefit as much as their compatriots in Mexico City from the safety and the economic advantages they offer.
Building designer: MCA Corporation
Contractor: MCA Corporation
Owner: KoiNOX Developers