Research body the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has called for changes to building codes to protect against earthquake damage.

At a conference in Dubai this week, the council urged the international community to follow Japan and China by adopting a “performance-based” approach to seismic design. This would require plans to be tested using a series of computer-simulated earthquakes.

The CTBUH, which published a draft set of recommendations for seismic design in March, said current building codes would lead to “inefficient and potentially unsafe construction”.

David Scott, the organisation’s chairman, said: “We are now in an era where sophisticated computer analysis can predict how a building will behave in extreme earthquakes with reasonable confidence.”