Giant rooftop pendulums to cut quake shaking in Tokyo

Swingers: Can 300-ton rooftop pendulums, colored blue in this illustration of the Shinjuku Mitsui Building, reduce skyscraper shaking in quakes?

(Credit: Mitsui Fudosan )

Tokyo seems overdue for a major quake. The last one was 90 years ago, when the Great Kanto Earthquake killed more than 100,000 people, and scientists say a big one may strike soon.

Buildings are better made today, yet over 6,000 people died in the Great Hanshin Earthquake that hit Kobe in 1995.

Now, two Japanese companies want to install giant pendulums on skyscraper rooftops to reduce the swaying caused by major earthquakes by 60 percent.

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Real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan and construction firm Kajima said they have developed a 300-ton pendulum that will act as a counterweight to long-period seis… [Read more]

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