Can a structure designed to be earthquake-proof be damaged by an earthquake?

Yes, contrary to what people may think.
The prevailing seismic standard (NTC 2008) provides for buildings being damaged during an earthquake. In fact, at point 3.2.1, NTC 2008 defines four limit conditions, only two of which concern common buildings:

Damage Limitation(DL): following the earthquake, the overall building, including structural and non-structural elements, the equipment relative to its function, undergoes damage such not to place the users at risk and not to significantly compromise the rigidity and capacity to withstand vertical and horizontal actions, remaining immediately usable, although in the interruption of the use of some of the equipment;
Significant Damage (SD): following the earthquake, the building undergoes breaks and collapses of the non-structural components and systems and significant damage to the structural components with which a significant loss of rigidity against horizontal actions is associated. On the other hand, the building maintains part of its resistance and rigidity for vertical actions and a margin of safety against collapse due to horizontal seismic activity;

Therefore, even for “earthquake-proof” structures, damage to the structures is to be expected in the case of seismic events.
It is therefore wrong to think that a structure defined as earthquake-proof will not be damaged by the earthquake.

Q1: What benefits does the seismic monitoring system provide?

A1: The data recorded by the BBOX seismic monitoring system allows an objective and certain quantification of the damage, permitting the inspecting engineer to take the best decision promptly.
The BBOX system therefore:
-allows production down times to be minimised, along with the related losses of turnover;
-allows operations to resume safely;
-allows the necessary resources for any restoration after the earthquake to be optimised.
- allows compensation procedures with insurance companies to be simplified and sped up.

Q2: Can the system predict earthquakes?

A2: At the present, earthquakes are entirely unpredictable events.

Q3: Can the BBOX system be applied to any building?

A3: The BBOX seismic monitoring system can be applied advantageously to any framed structure made of concrete, steel or other materials.

Q4: What is the BBOX seismic monitoring system made up of?

A4: The BBOX seismic monitoring system is made up of:
-accelerometric sensors;
-one or more data acquisition units;
-cables to connect the components.

Q5: Where are the accelerometric sensors and data acquisition units applied?

A5: The accelerometric sensors are applied at the base and top of the monitored columns and, in the case of multi-story buildings, also in correspondence to the various interstories.
The data acquisition units are positioned based on the customer's needs.

Q6: do all the columns need to be monitored?

A6: No, only some columns need to be monitored.

Q7: In what way is the BBOX seismic monitoring system useful for the engineers responsible for assessing buildings in the post-earthquake emergency period?

A7: The BBOX seismic monitoring system is a fundamental aid for the inspecting engineer assigned to assess the building after an earthquake:
-it allows the “real” shifting of the structure subjected to the earthquake to be measured;
-it allows the inspecting engineer to conduct an assessment even in the event where the structural elements are covered by secondary finishing elements;
-the inspecting engineer can count on “real” measurements in support of his or her assessments;
-it allows the inspecting engineer to take decisions much more quickly.

Q8: Does installation of the seismic monitoring system imply structural modifications?

A8: No, installation of the seismic monitoring system does not imply structural modifications.