This video shows a strawbale building built by PAKSBAB being subjected to a simulated earthquake. Background by Darcy Donovan:
On October 8, 2005, the northern mountainous region of Pakistan was struck by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake which killed more than 100,000 people and rendered more than 3 million homeless due to unsafe building construction. Modern conventional building methods are largely unaffordable for the poor in developing countries such as Pakistan. As a solution, Pakistan Straw Bale and Appropriate Building (PAKSBAB) is developing unique earthquake-resistant straw bale building methods that are affordable, energy efficient, and utilize locally-resourced renewable materials.
The PAKSBAB gallery shows how they are constructed: paksbab.org
The quake-resistant buildings designed by PAKSBAB (Pakistan Straw Bale and Appropriate Building) are intended to be affordable, energy efficient, and locally built with readily available materials.
Bamboo rods and nylon fishing net act as the reinforcement and tie-down system; the netting is wrapped under a soil-cement-encased gravel-bag foundation (made with old vegetable sacks), up the load-bearing baled-straw wall, and attached to the wooden top plates. The wall-tall bamboo, which also engages both the foundation and the top plate, is attached upright in opposing pairs on either side of the wall at frequent spacings and ‘sewn’ together through the bales, providing flexible resistance to out-of-plane forces. The whole assembly is covered with earthen plaster. The roofing is light corrugated steel. The hand-made structural straw bales — there are no posts or other bearing members — are smaller than those produced by automatic balers, which are rare in developing countries.
Here are some videos of adobe buildings being shaken: