1. Shock Absorbers
We have all heard about cars having shock absorbers. But what you didn't know is that buildings have them too. These shock absorbers work exactly the same way as the car's shock absorbers. It reduces the magnitude of the shock waves by converting the seismic wave energy into heat energy which is then transferred into hydraulic fluid. This is the reason why the shock absorbers are called dampers. The dampers for buildings have huge pistons inside of a silicone oil filled cylinder. In the event of an earthquake, the building will take the energy and transfer it to the pistons. The pistons then will push against the oil, which transfers the mechanical energy into heat energy.
2. Pendulums for Skyscrapers
This method was invented to earthquake proof skyscrapers that are already build. The technique is really simple- all you need to do is suspend a large ball of huge mass with steel cables in a fixed structure at the top of the building. So when the building starts to sway during earthquakes, the ball acts like a pendulum. Due to the inertia and counter acting force of the earthquake waves, the ball will sway the opposite direction. Thus it will stabilize the building. These pendulums are also known as tune mass dampers because the pendulums are tuned to match with the buildings frequency.
3. Seismic Invisibility Cloak
Yes, you read it right. Invisibility cloaking can save you from getting squished during an earthquake. Here's how: earthquake spreads on terrain as waves that create the vertical movement on the surface making buildings sway. To prevent this movement, some engineers place 100 plastic rings in the foundation of a building which the work as a cloak and make the waves invisible. Not as cool as you expected, right? This technology has been tested for the last few years by several structural engineers abroad and only a handful of building have implemented it.