Devices such as isolators, dampers and tuned mass dampers are now widely used in the construction industry for earthquake engineering to reduce vibration in new and, in a few cases, existing buildings. However, the use of vibration-control devices is restricted to individual structures, and is therefore too localised to provide larger scale protection from seismic action, which remains an unsolved challenge, especially those in developing countries. Recent disasters, such as those in L'Aquila 2009, Haiti 2010 and Chile 2010 demonstrate the potential benefits that strategies based on vibration control devices could achieve in protecting historical quarters and cities.
There are many heritage buildings, critical facilities or urban housing especially in developing countries, where traditional localised solutions might be impractical. This project investigated the possibility of alternative solutions that could protect multiple existing buildings without altering them using a single device and was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (EPSRC).