Mezzanine floors to be banned in Istanbul amidst quake panic

Mezzanine floors to be banned in Istanbul amidst quake panic

Mezzanine floors to be banned in Istanbul amidst quake panic

Amid the quake panic in the country’s largest metropolis of Istanbul, which has a population of 16 million, the city’s municipality is taking measures to ban mezzanine floors in accordance with the new zoning regulation to make the city more quake-resistant.

Explaining the regulation, Istanbul Municipality Deputy Secretary General Buğra Gökçe said that the amendment was prepared in line with the opinions of experts.

If the proposal is passed by the parliament, basement floors will also be mandatory for buildings with more than two floors in Istanbul.

Gökçe stated that mezzanine floors are one of the factors that can cause a building to collapse in the event of an earthquake, as they disrupt the symmetry of the building and create a short-column effect.

“We witnessed in the earthquake that a significant part of the buildings collapsed because shops, banks, markets, galleries and bakeries on the ground floor damaged the buildings’ loadbearing capacity. This was also seen in new buildings. That is why we are planning to ban mezzanine floors,” he said.

He explained that a basement floor is one of the vital things that strengthen the integration of a building with the ground.

If passed by the city council, earthquake containers will be mandatory in lots with more than 100 independent sections or larger than 2,000 square meters.

In assembly areas in the event of a disaster, it will be mandatory to install infrastructure for basic needs, such as toilets, sewage, septic tanks and clean water.

Buildings built before August 2001 that do not comply with the Turkish Building Earthquake Regulation will not be granted occupancy permits.

Risky buildings will be renovated through retrofitting or transformation. All kinds of construction will be subject to a building license, and a renovation license will be mandatory as well.