Reinforced Masonry

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 #164: Reinforced concrete frame with lightly reinforced masonry infill

by Laura Redmond, Reginald DesRoches

This type of home is a reinforced concrete frame building with brick infill on the second story. The infill may be lightly reinforced and the first story is either left open to prevent flooding in hurricanes, or later, when the individual has more money the bottom story is often infilled with masonry (which is not tied into the frame). This construction practice may make these structures vulnerable to seismic events as the building is effectively a large mass placed on top of a very flexible soft story. Additional vulnerabilities may stem from settlement of the wood pile foundations as the soil conditions are variable and generally no formal geotechnical surveys are done in Belize.

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Report #161: Confined and Internally Reinforced Concrete Block Masonry Building

by Diego Velasquez Jofre, Lars Abrahamczyk, Jochen Schwarz

The February 1976 earthquake caused severe damage to housing and buildings in Guatemala. Because many adobe houses were destroyed during the earthquake, there was greater interest in building with reinforced concrete block masonry structures after the event. This building type can now be found throughout Guatemala. Reinforced concrete block masonry structures are primarily used for family housing, both in cities and in rural Guatemala. The main load-bearing elements are masonry walls with concrete block walls reinforced with vertical and horizontal reinforced concrete elements in addition to internal steel reinforcement bars placed in the hollow cores of the concrete blocks. After the 1976 earthquake several guidelines were published on the construction of masonry block buildings, but the first formal standard/code was established in 2000, the Recommended Structural Standards of Design for the Republic of Guatemala -AGIES. The main parameters for structural design are incorporated in chapter No. 9  Mamposteria Reforzada. Nowadays reinforced concrete block masonry houses are constructed all over the country by governmental institutions for low-income classes. Currently this type of structure is the most widely built in Guatemala.


Report # 5 : Reinforced Clay/Concrete Block Masonry Building

by Ofelia Moroni, Cristian Gomez, Maximiliano Astroza

This is a rather recent construction practice followed since 1970, and it has been widely used for dwellings and up to 4-story-high apartment buildings. Buildings of this type can be found both in urban and rural areas of Chile. The main load-bearing elements are masonry walls reinforced with vertical steel reinforcement bars and placed in the hollow cores of clay masonry units (hollow clay tiles) or concrete blocks. Horizontal reinforcement bars are placed in horizontal bed joints. Masonry shear walls are tied together at floor levels by means of reinforced concrete beams in a regular structural layout. Stiffness distribution both in plan and elevation is uniform. Prior to 1986, there was no seismic design code for this structural type. During the March 3, 1985 Llolleo earthquake, performance of buildings of this type was rather poor, mainly due to construction problems, such as partial grouting in the hollow cores with reinforcement, poor quality of the mortar, and lack of horizontal reinforcement. Following the earthquake, the Chilean Design Code NCh1928 code was published based on the U.S. Uniform Building Code (UBC-1979) and on the seismic performance of this construction type reported in previous earthquakes. Since 1993, when the last version of NCh1928 was published, and more restricted requirements were enforced, the use of this type of construction has been less frequent, in part because of economic reasons.