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Eco-rubber Seismic-Isolation Foundation Systems: A Sustainable Solution for the New Zealand Context.

Abstract

The 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes proved that a shift is necessary in the current design practice of structures to achieve better seismic performance. Moreover, environmental concerns have prompted civil engineers to identify viable ways to reuse waste tyres through engineering projects. In this context, a multi-disciplinary geo-structural–environmental engineering project funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment is being carried out at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. The project aims to develop a foundation system characterised by: (a) granulated tyre rubber mixed with gravelly soils to be placed beneath the structure, with the goal of damping part of the seismic energy before it reaches the superstructure; and (b) a basement raft made of steel-fibre-reinforced rubberised concrete (SFRRuC) to enhance the flexibility of the foundation under differential displacement demand. An overview of the material properties of the gravel–rubber and SFRRuC mixtures is also presented.

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