Italian report finds many biobased building materials are seismically favorable

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In Italy, environmental organization Legambiente is advocating the use of biobased materials in future construction as a way of improving the safety of structures in the event of an earthquake.

Though a hotspot for seismic activity, most of Italy’s buildings were constructed before earthquake regulations were introduced in 1974. A recent report from Legambiente highlights numerous biobased materials that can be used to improve the safety and sustainability of Italy’s housing.

“Timber is preferred in seismic areas for its ductility, lightness and for its mechanical strength compared to other traditional materials,” Legambiente spokesperson Maria Assunta Vitelli tells Youris. “Timber, from larch and fir trees in particular, perfectly suits the so called X-Lam crossed-layer construction system, which performs better during earthquakes thanks to its strength and stiffness.” Pre-stressed cardboard and natural glues are also considered anti-seismic materials, she adds.