In the wake of recent devastating earthquakes and tsunamis, a Japanese company has reconceptualized home design for danger zones. They have developed a levitation system with airbags that are triggered by seismic activity, which lift homes up to protect them from damage.
Spoon & Tamago reports that the technology from Air Danshin Systems involves installing a set of mechanisms around the building and a sensor that responds within one second of an earthquake. This activates a compressor, forcing air under the house and pushing it up to 3cm from the shaking foundation. A valve controls the air and keeps the building steady as it levitates, before it slowly lowers back onto the reinforced concrete.
This system is said to be 1/3 cheaper than other earthquake-proofing technologies and it requires little maintenance. It is currently being installed in 88 homes across Japan and the company hopes to install it in larger structures like government buildings and office blocks.