Glossary

Acceleration: A measure of how fast a moving object is gaining or losing speed in a particular direction.

Base isolation: A technique of protecting a structure from horizontal earthquake shaking by separating the structure from the ground so that it doesn’t move with the ground underneath.

Beam: A member supported at each end and used to carry loads applied between the supports.

Bracing: Diagonal members usually forming an x that are used to strengthen a frame under horizontal forces.

Column: A long vertical member used to carry loads.

Concrete: A building material made of sand, stone, and water. This material is strong when squashed but weak when pulled apart.

Earthquake: Violent shaking of the ground caused by sudden movement of a part of the earth's crust.

Fale: Samoan word for house/building.

Floor slab: A flat, wide, but relatively thin, sheet of reinforced concrete used as a floor.

Footprint: The area on the ground covered by a building.

Force: A push or pull in a specific direction.

Frame: A combination of beams and columns.

Liquefaction:  Occurs when certain types of wet soil liquefy during earthquake shaking,  causing a loss of strength of the ground to support any structures above it.

Magnitude: For earthquakes: A measure of how strong an earthquake is based on the amount of energy released.

Modular (for design):  A design approach where a system is made up of independent components which can be connected together in a variety of different arrangements.

Pressure: Forces acting over an area rather than a single point.

Resilient: The ability to quickly recover from a disaster.

Reinforced concrete: Concrete with metal bars placed inside to combine the best qualities of concrete and metal.

Scale: To reproduce an object either larger or smaller than the original but where the proportions remain the same.

Shake Table: A man made machine used to simulate earthquake shaking.

Tolerance: Allowance for a specific variation in size and geometry of a part.

Tsunami: A very large surge of seawater caused when an undersea earthquake moves a part of the earth’s crust vertically underwater.

Whare: Māori word for house/building.