Home Built Entirely of Watershed Block Survives Magnitude 6 Earthquake With No Damage.
The Watershed Materials team was shaken awake at 3 in the morning by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake located just a few miles from both the Watershed Materials headquarters factory and the first home built entirely of Watershed Block.
We are happy to report that the first home built entirely of Watershed Block, located nearly on top of the epicenter of the strongest earthquake to strike the California Bay Area in over 20 years, sustained absolutely no structural damage or any visible damage of any kind. After the strong earthquake, we witnessed absolutely no signs of damage - no cracks in the mortar joint lines, or on the faces of any blocks. Not only did the home survive the earthquake with no structural damage, there was no damage to any of the contents inside the home during the strong earthquake. Books stayed on bookshelves. The kitchen did not fall apart. We are truly amazed at the fantastic performance of this home during a strong seismic event.
Many buildings in Napa were severely damaged, and some were destroyed. Hundreds of injuries were reported, a few critical. Our sincere condolences go out to those who were injured or who's homes and businesses were damaged and in cases destroyed.
Structural performance during seismic events is high on the list of reservations about building with alternative materials including those made of earth. While more testing will be performed, we are happy to see that the first home built entirely of Watershed Block performed at and beyond expectations during a serious earthquake.
The Watershed Materials "World Headquarters" office and factory is located even closer to the epicenter of the recent earthquake in Napa. The main structure of the factory is not made of rammed earth or Watershed Block but is an old repurposed factory building. There, many of our materials samples and testing equipment were thrown to the ground. But the Watershed Materials "World Headquarters" office structure, which is made of both Watershed Block and PISE (a form of rammed earth) sustained absolutely no damage. Additionally, other Rammed Earth walls and test walls built of Watershed Block sustained no structural damage.