National Earthquake Competition

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List of Frequently-Asked-Questions...

8th National Earthquake Competition


How will your models be tested on the 2-Dimensional Earthquake Simulator at Singapore Polytechnic's W515?

In the video below, you will see building models constructed by our 3rd year students from the Diploma in Civil Engineering with Business Course (DCEB). The base boards of these models were mounted onto the 2-Dimensional Earthquake Simulator. When the simulator was set into motion simulating earthquakes of different magnitudes, the models were shaken to find out which would be the strongest one to withstand these earthquake forces.



I have read the specification. And I notice there is no mention of the size of columns. Is this true?

The column size is to be decided by the participating teams. They can use any number of provided timber strips to glue them together to form a column. For example, they may use 4 timber strips to form a column.


Can we use super glue to assemble the building structure?

Absolutely no. You can only use the provided glue sticks to assemble structural members. If you finish up the glue sticks that we have provided, you may purchase the same type of glue sticks from any hardware shops yourself.


Can we use the strings as part of the structure? For example, the beams?

The cotton strings provided are for you to tie joints and strengthen structural members formed by the MDF timber strips such as columns, beams and braces. The main structural members especially beams (main beams and secondary beams), however, can not be purely made out of the cotton strings.


Is the amount of string restricted to 4m only? What is the penalty if we use more?

The 4m string is just a sample. You can use as long as you like. There will be no penalty provided you use the same type of strings.


Can we use other materials that are not provided by you?

No other material is allowed. Otherwise the model will be disqualified.


Where can we get additional materials if we have run out of the materials provided by you?

  • You may buy the cotton strings from any hardware shop or book store if you want to use more.
  • If you have finished up the glue sticks, you can buy them from any hardware shop.
  • If you really run out of the timber strips, please let us know, we can provide extra strips to you. But please take note that winning models are determined based on the ranking of ratios of shaking force to model self-weight. If more strips are used for a model, the model will certainly be heavier which may bring down the ratio of shaking force to self-weight. In fact, if you really want to try a few models to practise before making the final one, it is advisable that you may buy and use other types of timber strips and base boards from any timber shop, because it is very hard for you to find the same type of timber materials which we provide to you.


If one side of a model is braced using the below method, how do we calculate the x value for the 1st and 2nd floors?

Please click here to view the answer.


Can we use string to tie around the entire column?

Yes, you can.


For our own practice, where do we purchase the materials (timber strips and baseboards) and what is the specification of the materials?

Below are the contact details of a timber supplier recommended by us. You may also find any other timber supplier.
  • Company Name: MERAWOOD Industries Pte Ltd
  • Address: 24, Sungei Kadut Street 4 Singapore 729050
  • Tel: 63636683 Fax: 63636382
  • Email:
  • Contact Person: Nicole Mun (H/P: 91460178)
The specifications of timber strip and base board are as follows:
  • Timber type: New Zealand Medium Density Fibre (MDF)
  • Timber strip size: 900mm x 6mm x 4mm
  • Base board size: 270mm x 270mm x 6mm