【7】 Preventing Building Collapse

1) Checking the Earthquake Resistance of Your Home

   Can your home withstand a large earthquake? Just like you have health checkups, it is important that you check the earthquake resistance of your residence to see if it is safe.
   The earthquake resistance of many structures built before 1981 is questionable. Having your home checked for earthquake resistance can be organized through your local government office, and costs ¥3,000, current as of 2007.

Buildings Eligible for Earthquake Resistance Testing:

※ Wooden homes of traditional Japanese design whose construction started before May 31st 1981 (free-standing houses, terraces and multi-purpose homes whose main purpose is as a dwelling)

What is Earthquake Resistance Testing?

   Earthquake Resistance Testing is a comprehensive survey of your house’s durability in an earthquake. The test looks at the state of the ground and foundations, how balanced the layout of walls is, the number of walls, and the structural integrity of the house. (If you live in rented accommodation, please talk with your landlord about taking this test)

2) Improving Earthquake Resistance

   If your home is shown to have insufficient earthquake resistance, you will need to reinforce the building. It is very important to have a detailed refurbishment plan to ensure your home is strengthened. Be sure to speak with trusted institutions, such as your local architect or a building company. (Most companies will not be able to deal with English, so please have a Japanese-speaking friend accompany you)

3) Upkeep of Buildings

   Without proper upkeep, even strong buildings will become vulnerable to earthquakes over time. Early prevention is the best policy. If any of the items below apply to your home, please contact the Housing Earthquake Resistance Center or similar body (Japanese only).

4) Checking Block-Walls

   Walls made from concrete blocks or rocks can collapse during an earthquake, trapping people underneath, blocking roads and impeding the movements of emergency services after the disaster. These structures should also be thoroughly checked.

5) Preventing Trouble when Contracting for Renovations

6) Advice is Available!

   Every local government has an earthquake resistance advice center. You may also speak with the Housing Earthquake Resistance Center. (Japanese Only)

List of Contact Details

Advice Given Name and Contact Details Hours Notes
Earthquake Resistance Testing. Free advice on renovations. Housing Earthquake Resistance Center (within the Kochi Association of Architectural Firms)
Tel: 088-825-1240
Fax: 088-822-1170
weekdays (except public holidays)
URL: http://ww.ksjk.or.jp
Earthquake resistance testing, renovations and design. Free advice about building design. Kochi Association of Architectural Firms
Tel: 088-825-1231
Fax: 088-822-1170
weekdays (except public holidays)
Please tell us what you need to discuss in advance. We will contact you with a time for you to come talk with us.
Kochi Architectural Design Supervision Association
Tel: 088-872-4901
Fax: 088-824-8107
weekdays (except public holidays)
Location: Ecoasu Umaji-mura (22-33 Minami-goza, Kochi City) Time: 2nd and 4th Saturdays every month, 13:00~15:00. Please contact us in advance.
Tel: 088-880-1812
Fax: 088-880-1815
Kochi Architects Association
Tel: 088-822-0255
Fax: 088-822-0612
weekdays (except public holidays)
Please FAX or email us with your questions in advance
Referral to builders who can do earthquake resistance reinforcement Kochi Construction Association, Architecture Division
Tel: 088-824-6171
Fax: 088-824-6173
weekdays (except public holidays)
Kochi Construction Union
Tel: 088-823-0058
Fax: 088-873-5384
weekdays (except public holidays)
Advice on loans for refurbishment Shikoku Branch, Japan Housing Finance Agency
Tel: 057-088-6035
Fax: 087-826-6454
weekdays (except public holidays)
Location: Kochi Shimbun Takasu Homes Gallery
Time: Every 2nd and 4th Sunday, 11:00~16:00
※Advice on use of housing performance indication system Kochi Prefecture Construction Technology Public Corporation
Tel: 088-850-4650
Fax: 088-892-1495
weekdays (except public holidays)
※Basic standards regarding the performance of both new and preexisting housing are stipulated by national legislation. This allows homebuyers to compare differences in durability of buildings.
※※Advice on use of housing performance guarantee system ※※Advice regarding the quality and performance of buildings carries a guarantee of up to 10 years