Report # 11 : Gravity Concrete Frame Buildings (Predating Seismic Codes)

by Luis G. Mejia

This is typical multi-family housing construction found in urban areas of Colombia that predates seismic codes. This housing type is widely used and represents 60% of the existing housing stock. At the present time, poor people occupy buildings of this type. This construction is rather vulnerable to seismic effects due to a limited amount of transverse reinforcement (ties); this is especially true for columns. This structural system is very flexible when subjected to lateral seismic loads. The quality of materials and workmanship is typically rather poor. In many cases, buildings of this type are constructed on a very steep terrain; soil condition is often rather poor.