Photo/IllutrationA one-ton wrecking ball hits the iron frame of a house in a Panasonic Homes Co. plant in Higashi-Omi, Shiga Prefecture, on April 11. A conventional brace, foreground, got bent. But the vibration control equipment, background, developed by the company suffered no problems. (Yoshikatsu Nakajima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

HIGASHI-OMI, Shiga Prefecture--A major housing manufacturer is touting its iron frame for houses that can withstand shocks four times greater than those suffered by houses in Kobe during the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake.

On April 11, Panasonic Homes Co. conducted a test in its plant here for the media, in which a one-ton iron ball struck the iron frame of a house.

Although a conventional brace was bent, the vibration control equipment developed by the firm suffered no problems. The equipment is utilized in vibration control technologies used in high-rise buildings.

The frame will be installed in houses to be put on sale on April 13 under the name “Bousai-Jizokuryoku o Sonaeru Ie” (House equipped with enduring strength against disasters).

The houses will also have storage batteries and a water storage tank that can hold three days of drinking water for a family of four.

In addition, the houses will be equipped with “Home X” functions that connect household electric appliances and housing devices with the Internet. As a result, for example, shutters will be automatically shut when violent wind warnings are issued.

For a house with a total floor space of 120 square meters, the construction costs will be about 29 million yen ($259,200), excluding tax.