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Huge steel discs protect Apple Park from earthquakes

That the Apple park, headquarters of Ma in Cupertino (California), a work of engineering certainly no doubt. The famous “spaceship” (or, for some people, a “donut”) took more than three years to erect, and despite the imposing construction we see on the ground, we can imagine that something must be as incredible beneath it as well.

It was exactly the engineering of the Apple Park that the The New York Times investigated in its most recent report, highlighting a tremendous (literally) characteristic of possible earthquake damage.

More precisely, California has the so-called San Andreas Fault, which leaves it with seismic aftershocks (they occur in the lower layers of the earth's crust); There are even theories which suggest that if a strong earthquake hits the site, the damage would be incalculably catastrophic.

Back to Ma's efforts to prevent such earthquakes from affecting the structure of its headquarters, the NYT found that Apple Park has a “base insulator” consisting of 692 stainless steel discs Huge plots located up to 0.6m below ground level, being one of the few Silicon Valley companies to have any earthquake resistance, according to structural engineer Evan Reis.

With this structure, in the event of a possible earthquake, the disks can move up to 1.2 meters in either direction, reducing the impact caused by movement of the earth's surface.

Apple Park Bottom Steel DiscsApple Park Steel Disc | Image: Jim Wilson /The New York Times

This protection system was chosen by Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs and company design chief Jony Ive. To his adoption, the executives were inspired by Japanese buildings that, due to their high seismic activity on the island, use the same technique so that such disks move as a counterbalance to surface movement.

Jobs was so concerned that, according to Ive, he spent four years renovating his own home in San Francisco to protect against earthquakes, and might consider it "tougher than some of the city's skyscrapers."

Worrying or not, this is certainly a worthwhile investment, especially as it is one of the largest corporate headquarters in the world.

via AppleInsider