The earthquake that hit Emilia in May 2012 was a heavy blow for one of the country’s most industrialized areas and tragically illustrated the risks run by industrial buildings not in compliance with seismic requirements.
The Prada Group was aware that the choice of preferring the restoration of existing buildings to the construction of new ones meant that the Group owned many structures built before any seismic regulations existed. Therefore, immediately after the 2012 earthquake the Group commissioned three structural engineers with the delicate task of evaluating the seismic vulnerability of all the company’s manufacturing plants.
In this first phase, the commitment shown by the Prada Group went beyond legal obligations – which require assessment only for buildings with more than 200 workers – and consisted in the monitoring of all the operating plants: 21 factories extending over a total area of 163,400 m².
This survey found that most of the company’s property was exposed to seismic risk.
Despite the lack of a legal obligation to intervene on buildings constructed before the seismic regulations came into effect, in 2008, a sense of responsibility towards the people employed in their factories drove the Prada Group to identify a “road map for seismic amelioration” to improve the seismic resistance of the company’s property. The road map took into account the number of workers and the conditions of each building. The first interventions began in 2013, and euro 2.2 million were invested in 2014.
The plan set up a complex set of interventions involving both concrete and steel-frame buildings. All the works were planned so as to permit production continuity.
The project has been carried out over the last few years involving both the construction of new buildings, that comply with the most restrictive anti-seismic regulations, and the currently ongoing restructuring works, for which a substantial seismic improvement has been undertaken.
The efforts made by the Group were voluntary and exclusively aimed at defending and protecting the safety of its workers.