Shake don't break

Photo: Getty Images This Japanese temple is living proof that wood is an excellent building material in quake prone areas.

Lightweight and durable, wood is an excellent building material for earthquake prone areas. Wood weighs about a third of concrete, and the lighter the building the less it shakes.

Recently, US researchers exposed a two-storey building of wood to four earthquakes in a row using a quake simulator called a shake table. The house stood firmly upright.

The aim of the research is to design buildings from which residents can quickly evacuate and later move back to a damage-free home when the earthquake is over.

Need more proof?

The wooden Horyu-Ji temple in Japan built in 710 is still standing proud after multiple heavy earthquakes thanks to the material it is made of and how it was constructed.