Archives for December 2013

Report # 173 : Brick Masonry Construction in Pakistan

by Sarosh Hashmat Lodi, Abdul Jabbar Sangi, Adam Abdullah

This report provides an overview of brick masonry housing construction, which constitutes 62.38% of the total built environment of Pakistan. Brick masonry construction ranges from typical one storey houses which are common in rural areas up to three-storey buildings (common in urban areas). Buildings of this type are generally constructed without seeking any formal engineering input. Due to inherent weaknesses in the structural load carrying system and also to the usage of poor quality construction materials, this construction type has performed extremely poorly during recent earthquakes in Pakistan. Due to the lack of specific construction guidelines and the applicable building permit laws to regulate such construction techniques, an overwhelming percentage of existing as well as newer building stock is now under an increased seismic threat.
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Report # 175 : Reinforced Clay Brick Masonry Building

by Luis Carlos Hackmayer, Lars Abrahamczyk, Jochen Schwarz

This type of single-story housing is typically built in urban areas around the Country. Nowadays also
multistory buildings up to 10 stories can be found with the same structural system and is generally
used for residential purposes; however this report focuses on single-story buildings. This type of
structure is in general earthquake resistant but the construction process should be somehow improved
in terms of controls and checks. The vertical and horizontal loads are supported by the reinforced
masonry walls. The vertical reinforcement bars are placed in the hollow cores of the clay masonry
units and the horizontal reinforcement bars in between the horizontal bed joints of the units (the
separation depends on the selected energy dissipation capacity).

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Report # 172 : Dry Stone Construction in Himachal Pradesh

by Ankita Sood, Aditya Rahul, Yogendra Singh, Dominik H. Lang

The addressed building type has been identified in Himachal Pradesh, a northern state in India. It is a
relatively recent construction typology, which can be seen prevalent in the areas where people have
been forced to leave their traditional construction practices due to scarcity of wood. Thus, this
construction style is nothing but the traditional housing style omitting the wooden elements, be it
Kath-Kunni style of the Kullu, Shimla or Kinnaur districts or Thathara style of Chamba district. Due
to the region’s heavy precipitation both in terms of rainfall (June to July) as well as snowfall (October
to March), rubble stones are preferred over the alternative locally available construction material, i.e.
mud. However, these buildings possess high seismic vulnerability due to low in-plane and out-ofplane
strength of their dry stone walls. This report identifies the main sources of seismic vulnerability
of dry stone buildings and also suggests a retrofitting scheme to reduce the seismic vulnerability of
such buildings.

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Report #171 : Mud Wall Construction in Spiti Valley

by Ankita Sood, Aditya Rahul, Yogendra Singh, Dominik H. Lang

This report describes a building type found in Himachal Pradesh, a northern state in India. It is
concentrated in the upper reaches of the state in the Lahaul and Spiti districts, which are located in a
cold-desert area with very hot days and chilling nights. Precipitation usually only occurs in the form
of snowfall with almost no to very little rainfall. This dryness of the local climate is reflected in the
architecture of this construction typology which consists of thick mud walls with small openings in
order to insulate the interior from the harsh outside climate. This style of construction which is
predominantly used for residential houses and temples is still being practiced though it shows high
seismic vulnerability.