The U.S Geological Survey has been searching for more information on what happens to the built environment during an earthquake. They've recently been installing instruments and sensors on various buildings and then laying in wait for an earthquake to hit one of the buildings.
In January, Achorage, Alaska experienced a 7.1-magnitude earthquake and the USGS got a close-up on how the Frontier Building reacted. In this video, a model shows the building shaking back and forth, almost as much as five centimeters.
The USGS is hoping to use additional studies of buildings during earthquakes to make better recommendations on quake-proof building methods.