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Concrete Building System Withstands Aftershocks In Turkey
Rita F. Catinella Copyright 2000 Architectural Record

After Turkey's devastating earthquake last August, Tony Ruiz of Simple Building Systems (SBS) in San Diego got a call from Douglas Layton of Servant Group International, a Nashville-based organization that coordinates the construction of buildings for disaster relief. Layton wanted SBS, which manufactures low-cost concrete and steel building systems, to donate materials to help the disaster victims. So last October, Ruiz not only sent an estimated $80,000 of supplies, but also joined a team of American volunteers who worked 12 to 14 hour days to build two 2,000 square-foot school buildings in Yalova, Turkey. "Layton asked if it was possible to finish the job in 13 days," explains Ruiz, "I said yes."

Ruiz used his company's ThinCon system of precast or poured-in-place concrete studs and plates. Walls and roof panels were poured face-up (so the top surface faced the outside) over expanded polystyrene molds, resulting in monolithic 9-foot-high walls. Since lumber is expensive in Turkey, the team used the building slabs as casting surfaces for most of the panels, which allowed them to be simply tilted up near their places.

Ruiz used his company's ThinCon system of precast or poured-in-place concrete studs and plates. Walls and roof panels were poured face-up (so the top surface faced the outside) over expanded polystyrene molds, resulting in monolithic 9-foot-high walls. Since lumber is expensive in Turkey, the team used the building slabs as casting surfaces for most of the panels, which allowed them to be simply tilted up near their places.


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