The basic rules to be followed and various requirements to be satisfied for masonry construction are specified in the codes

of practice for structural masonry construction. The information in this document is based on the European structural design codes - EC6 and EC8. Eurocode 6 specifies the rules and provisions for structural masonry. Additional provisions to be considered for masonry construction in earthquake regions are outlined in Eurocode 8. The discussion in this section aims at achieving safe unreinforced masonry houses constructed from burnt clay brick units. The following main points should be followed when constructing earthquake resistant plain brick masonry:

• • • • • •

Materials for masonry construction Definition of brick masonry construction systems Mechanical properties for verification of masonry walls Planning and layout for masonry houses Simple houses Details for seismic resistance

Materials for masonry construction Masonry units EC6 gives specifications regarding the use of the following masonry units:
• • • • • • •

Fired clay units Fired clay lightweight units Calcium silicate units Concrete block units Lightweight concrete block units Autoclaved aerated concrete units Dimensioned natural stone units

The properties of masonry units should comply with the requirements of relevant European standards (EN 771-1-6). Masonry units are classified into the following types: solid, perforated unit, hollow unit, cellular unit and horizontally perforated unit- see Figure 1.

Figure 1- Types of masonry units (7) Solid masonry units are either units without recesses or units with recesses that are filled with mortar during construction, or units with up to 25% by volume of vertical holes. Considering the total volume of holes, volume of any hole, area of any hole, as well as combined thickness of webs and shells, EC6 provides the following classification (Table 1): Criteria Volume of holes (% of the gross volume)1 1 2a 2b >25-45 for >45-55 for clay units, clay units, >25-50 for >50-60 for concrete concrete aggregate units aggregate units2 <=12.5 for <=12.5 for clay units, clay units, <=25 for <=25 for concrete concrete aggregate units aggregate units2 Limited by volume (see above) Limited by volume (see above) 3



Volume of any hole(% of the gross volume)


Limited by (see below) <=2800mm2 except units with a single hole when the hole should be <=18000mm2

Area of any hole

Limited by volume (see above)

Combined thickness >=37.5 >=30 >=20 No requirement (% of the overall width)3 Notes: 1. Holes may consist of formed vertical holes through the unit or frogs or recesses. 2. If there is national experience, based on tests, that confirms that the safety of the masonry is not reduced unacceptably when a higher proportion of holes is incorporated, the limit of 55% for clay units and 60% for concrete aggregate units may be increased for masonry units that are used in the country with national experience. 3.The combined thickness is the thickness of webs and shells, measured horizontally across the unit at right angles to the face of the wall Table 1- EC 6 requirements for the grouping of masonry units

several types of mortar can be used for masonry walls: • General purpose mortar.95 1.70 1. EC 6 suggests the use of normalised compressive strength fb for design.00 0.75 0. Table 2. it should be first converted to the mean equivalent using a conversion factor based on the coefficient of variation.00 1. especially for reinforced masonry walls construction.25 1.55 >250 0.15 1.75 0. below displays shape factor δ values. 100 mm by 100 mm specimens cut from the masonry unit.75 0. the minimum normalised compressive strength of masonry unit. and than multiplied by the shape factor δ . is fb=2.95 1. which takes into account the actual dimensions of the unit.20 1. the mean value of strength is multiplied by the shape factor δ . normal to the bed face.8 MPa According to the EC 8. In the case where the strength is obtained by testing full sized units.65 0.5 MPa.5 MPa Calcium silicate units: min fb=5.15 Table 2.90 0. EC 8 provides further requirements for hollow units used for earthquake resistant masonry construction as listed: • • • The units have less than 50% holes(in % of gross volume) Minimum thickness of shells is 15mm The vertical webs in hollow and cellular units extend over the entire horizontal length of the unit In the relevant European standards (EN 771-1-6) are given minimum mean values of compressive strength of masonry units to be used for masonry walls: • • • • Clay units: min fb=2. In the case of hollow clay units and concrete block units it is recommended that the minimum compressive strength is 7.85 0.45 1.This classification is employed to select the corection factor K in cases where the characteristic compressive strength fk and shear strength fvk of the masonry are calculated on the basis of empirical formulae correlating normalised compressive strength of masonry units fb and mortar fm.45 1.8 MPa Autoclaved aerated concrete units: min fb=1.85 0.35 1.5 MPa.35 1. This is the mean value determined by testing of at least ten equivalent.0 MPa Concrete units: min fb=1.Shape factor for conversion of mean value of unit's strength to normalised value (4) Mortar According to the specification used in EC 6.80 1.15 1.70 0.10 1.10 1.25 Height [mm] 50 65 100 150 200 >250 50 0.30 1. used in joints with thickness greater than 3mm and produced with dense aggregate . Least horizontal dimension [mm] 100 150 200 0. air dried. In case the compressive stength of masonry is specified as characteristic strength.

25-0.Typical prescribed composition and strength of general purpose mortars (39) Mortars to be used in masonry construction in earthquake regions should comply with EC 8. casting of bond-beams just below floor level is economic and efficient solution. filled with mortar. with non-load bearing insulation material • . the minimum compressive strength of mortar fm is set to 5 MPa.25-2. According to this standard for the construction of plain and confined masonry. respectively walls and floors. as shown on Figure 2: • • Single-leaf wall. expanded clay. which is designed for use in masonry with nominal thickness of joints 1-3mm Lightweight mortar. or partially-filled.defined as a wall constructed of two parallel single-leaf walls.25-3 times cement and lime Mortar type M2 M5 M10 M20 Table 3. In Table 3 below are shown typical composition of prescribed general purpose mortar mixes and expected mean compressive strength. The compressive strength of the mortar is calculated after averaging the strength values of six specimens.defined as a wall without continous vertical joint or cavity Double-leaf wall. Good floor to wall connection can also be achieved by designing steel ties between timber floor joists and supporting wall.defined as a wall constitued from two parallel leaves and a joint between them max 25 mm. which is made using perlite.• • Thin layer mortar. In EC6 are discussed the following types of masonry walls. The cavity between the leaves can be filled. When constructing RC slabs.50-1. expanded shale etc. The leaves can be tied together with steel wall ties to achieve solid wall cross section Cavity wall. One or both leaves can be load-bearing. The thickness of bed and head joints is recommended to be in the range 8-15mm and all head joints should be fully filled with mortar. However diaphragms alone will be inadequate unless good connection between them and the supporting walls exists. Such floors are referred to as horizontal diaphragms.25 Sand 2. Since the main service loads are applied on the floors the seismic forces will be mainly concentrated at each floor level.5 MPa 5 MPa 10 MPa 20 MPa Approximate composition in parts of volume Cement 1 1 1 1 Hydrated lime 1. Floors should be rigid in their plane to distribute the seismic load among the vertical wall elements in proportion to their stiffness.50 0. Mechanical properties of mortar are determined by testing mortar prisms 40x40x160mm (EN1015-11). Lightweight mortars typically have a dry hardened density lower than 1500kg/m3.25 0. Mean compresive strength 2.50 0-0. tied together with wall ties or bed joint reinforcement. Definition of brick masonry construction systems To beginning of document Brick masonry houses are structures defined by vertical and horizontal elements.

Plain clay brick masonry Unreinforced clay brick masonry is a traditional form for construction of low-rise houses that has been extensively practiced in almost every part of the world. At the corners and wall intersections the overlap should be min the width of the• Grouted cavity wall. and with a cavity filled with concrete.4 times the height of unit or 40 mm. masonry units should be soaked in water before the construction in order to prevent quick drying and shrinkage of cement based mortars Masonry units should be assembled together in overlapped fashion (see Figure 3 and Figure 4 ) so that the vertical joints are staggered from course to course.Cross section of a single leaf(half brick). whichever is the greater. double leaf and cavity wall Unreinforced. like confined and reinforced masonry became more common for low-rise houses. Indian Subcontinent and Latin America. improved masonry forms of construction. With the increased popularity and availability of reinforced concrete. . However traditional houses with load-bearing system of unreinforced burnt clay brick walls are still being constructed in many areas of Asia. single leaf(whole brick). This type of housing can be vulnerable to the earthquake shaking unless all rules and recommendations in this guide are followed. Figure 2. To ensure adequate bonding the units should overlap by a lenght equal to 0.defined as a wall like the cavity wall but the two leaves are spaced min 50 mm apart and are tied securely in place with steel wall ties and bed joint reinforcement. Brick masonry should be constructed following simple instructions for quality workmanship: • • In dry and hot climate.

To ensure stability of walls. the ratio of the effective wall height to wall thickness should be max 15 . it is recommended that the minimum thickness of load-bearing walls is 240 mm. . In seismic zones.Flemish bond for one brick thick wall Figure 4.Figure 3. the mortar joints thickness should be between 8 and 15 mm.English bond for one brick thick wall • • • • Same type of masonry units and mortar should be used for structural walls in the same storey Bracing walls should be constructed in the same time as the load-bearing walls The thickness of individual walls is kept constant from storey to storey In cases where general purpose mortar is going to be used.

This section is included in cases where engineered building is required. Mechanical properties for verification of masonry walls To beginning of document This part of the document explains the mechanical properties of masonry for verification of masonry walls. horizontal racking loads are imposed on walls. Bending. Hence if the stress state within the wall exceeds masonry strength. However. 2:1 bending failure can occur due to small vertical loads.a wall loaded with significant vertical load as well as horizontal forces can fail in shear. Earthquake resistance of masonry walls In the event of an earthquake.5) Shear. In this mode of failure the masonry panel can rock like a rigid body (in cases of low vertical loads). Masonry walls resisting in-plane loads usually exhibit the following three modes of failure: • • Sliding shear. apart from the existing gravity loads. Nevertheless. rather than high shear resistance. This is the most common mode of failure. in cases of big vertical load.a wall with poor shear strength. For bigger aspect ratios ie. Shear failure can also occur for panels with bigger aspect ratio ie. 2:1. loaded predominantly with horizontal forces can exhibit this failure mechanism. and should be confined and/or reinforced whenever possible. Aspect ratio for such walls is usually about 1:1.Openings in plain masonry walls should be limited to ensure load bearing capacity.this type of failure can occur if walls are with improved shear resistance. Therefore the length of a structural wall should be at least 1/2 of the greater clear height of the openings adjacent to the wall. Therefore unreinforced masonry walls are vulnerable to earthquakes.Failure modes for masonry walls subject to in-plane loads Mechanical properties . low-rise residential plain masonry construction limited to the specifications provided in this document and including certain earthquakeresistant details can still be safe. followed by possible collapse of the wall and the building. • Failure modes for masonry walls subject to in-plane loads are shown on Figure 5 Figure 5. Aspect ratio for such walls is usually 1:1 or less (1:1. the unreinforced masonry behaves as a brittle material. brittle failure occurs.

Thus the measured compressive strength can be increased by the following factor: t/(t-δ ).G The ductility factor. the following mechanical properties for the masonry needs to be determined: • • • • The compressive strength. the characteristic compressive strength of plain masonry made with general purpose mortar may be calculated on the basis of normalised compressive strength of masonry units fb and compressive strength of mortar fm as follows: fk = K*(fb0.fx The stress-strain relationship. In cases where the masonry specimen is slender(height/thickness>20). In cases where the measured mean compressive strength f of masonry is different from the one of its constituents( masonry units and mortar) by 25% the value of f is modified. as an equivalent to shear strength.45 for group 2a masonry units in a wall with longitudinal mortar joint. whichever is the smaller. .fv The bending strength.4-2. 0. Mechanical characteristics of masonry are determined by testing standard specimens of masonry wallets and walls according to code EN 1052. boundary conditions etc). 0.E The shear modulus. The characteristic compressive strength of masonry fk is determined as the smaller value of either fk=f/1.In order to estimate the resistance of masonry walls. The slenderness can be taken into account using the measured value for this displacement δ and the thickness of the wall t.0-1. and fm is less than 20 MPa or 2fb.µ Other essential mechanical characteristics of masonry: • • • • The ductility factor is determined only for a specific structural element(specific proportions.50 for group 2b masonry units in a wall without longitudinal mortar joint.25) [MPa]. provided the increase is not more than 15%. The value of constant K depends on the classification of masonry units into groups as per Table 1.55 for group 2a masonry units in a wall without longitudinal mortar joint.f The shear strength.65)*(fm0. It cannot be determined for the masonry itself.2 or fk=fmin. σ -ε The tensile strength.5 units length and 3 units height or by testing walls of 1. According to EN 1052-1 three identical specimens are tested and the results evaluated. 0. and for group 1 masonry units in a wall with longitudinal mortar joint. When verifying load bearing masonry and test data is not available. Below are shown recommended values for K: • • • • 0.7 m height.fv The modulus of elasticity.60 for group 1 masonry units in a wall without longitudinal mortar joint.ft. lateral displacements at the mid height of the wall are measured. Compressive strength Compressive strength is determined by testing masonry specimens of at least 1.8 m length and 2.

τ = H/Aw . This property is determined according to EN 1052-3 by testing a triplet specimen such that only shear stresses develop in the mortar to masonry unit contact planes. and for group 3 masonry units Shear strength Shear strength of masonry is defined as a combination of initial shear strength under zero compressive load and increase in strength due to compressive stresses perpendicular to the shear plane. ie. homogeneous and isotropic material. are : σ c = SQRT((σ o/2)2+(b*τ )2)+σ o/2 . The minimum acceptable value of fvko is 0.2 Mortar M10-M20 M2. where the meaning of symbols in the above equations are as follows: σ o = N/Aw .3 0. The characteristic shear strength of plain masonry is then calculated as follows: fvk = fvko+0.15 Table 4.Shear strength at zero compression fvko and limiting values of characteristic shear strength fvk (4) Another approach exists for determining the shear resistance of plain masonry walls.2 0.5 1.03 MPa.H. Thus the value of the principal tensile stresses. Masonry unit group 1 clay 1 other 2a clay 2a other 2b clay Limiting fvk [MPa] 1. The shear strength can be determined by reducing the masonry wall to a structural element from elastic. is caused by the principal tensile stresses. .average compressive stress due to vertical load N.2 0.5*ARCTAN(2*τ /σ o).5-M9 fvko [MPa] 0. the shear failure of masonry wall. According to this approach. are shown typical values of initial shear strength at zero compression fvko and limiting values of characteristic shear strength fvk .2 1. The value of σ d should be greater than 0.• 0. And the plane of the principal stresses is defined as follows: φ c = φ t = 0.4*σ d.15 0.7 1.2 0. respectively that develop in the middle section of the wall.7 1. where σ d is the design compressive stress perpendicular to the shear plane.average shear stress due to lateral load H.065fb and a limiting value specified in EC 6 depending on masonry unit's group and mortar quality.4 1. In Table 4.40 for group 2b masonry units in a wall with longitudinal mortar joint. diagonal cracking of the wall.2 0. For this purpose are evaluated the principal compressive and tensile stresses. that lead to virtually same results.3 0. defines the tensile strength.5-M9 M10-M20 M2. ft. Initial shear strength at zero compressive stress is denoted with fvko. experiencing plane stress state. The equations for principal compressive and the principal tensile stresses in plain masonry wall panel under vertical load. σ t = SQRT((σ o/2)2+(b*τ )2)-σ o/2 .4 1.N. measured when the wall panel is loaded in shear at failure. A minimum of five triplets are tested. and lateral load.5-M9 M10-M20 M2.5 1.5-M9 M10-M20 M2.

20 Unit [MPa] 10 15 7.5 5 5 5 3 Table 5.5 Group 1 .Hmax is called the tensile strength of masonry: ft = σ t = SQRT((σ o/2)2+(b*τ Hmax )2)-σ o/2 . One possibility is to use monotonic diagonal compression test. Table 5 shows values of characteristic tensile strength of masonry -ftk correlated with values for the initial shear strength at zero compressive stress.clay 2a .w = Aw*(ft/b)*SQRT((σ o/ft)+1) When the resistance envelope is bilinear relationship.5 2.clay 2a .10 0.clay 2a .5 .04 0. the above equation is multiplied by a factor of 0.fvko Strength [MPa] ftk fvko 0.5 15 15 7.5 2 2.18 0. Hmax .w should be correlated with the design seismic action.5 7. If the design value of the shear resistance Hsd.15 0.Correlation between experimental characteristic tensile strength ftk and initial shear strength fvk0 of masonry (14) By analysing test results it has been established that the ratio between the tensile and compressive strength of any type of masonry varies in the following margins: 0.other 2a .18 0. The effect of compressive stresses in the masonry is taken into account in these tests. The bending strength parallel to bed joints (see Figure 7) is denoteed with fx1 and the bending strength perpendicular to bed joints (see Figure 6) is denoted with fx2.15 0.20 0. b .5 7. According to EC 6 the .5.09fk Bending strength In cases where the masonry needs to be verified for out-of-plane loads the bending strength is the governing factor.10 0.the shear stress distribution factor.03fk <= ftk <= 0.the average shear stress in the wall at the attained maximum resistance Hmax The lateral resistance Hs. depending on the geometry of the wall and N/Hmax ratio.30 0. in the above equation take part the characteristic value of tensile strength and a material partial safety factor : Hsd.27 0.clay 2a . b=1.12 0.w of a plain masonry wall panel.w = Aw*(ftk/χ M*b)*SQRT((σ dχ M/ftk)+1) There is currently no standard testing procedure for evaluating the shear strength fv or tensile strength ft.the maximum resistance of masonry wall The principal tensile stress that develop in the wall at the moment of maximum resistance.clay 1 . Another test is subjecting the wall panel to monotonic or cyclic racking load.10 0. In the above equation ft is the tensile strength of masonry and τ Hmax.Aw . For a wall with geometrical aspect ratio height/length=1.20 0.20 0.27 0.9. loaded in shear is evaluated by : Hs.other 2b .clay Mortar [MPa] 0.the horizontal cross section area of the wall.

Vertical orientation of failure plane and corresponding bending strength normal to bed joints Figure 7.value of fx1 should be taken as zero when evaluating seismic resistance.Horizontal orientation of failure plane and corresponding bending strength parallel to bed joints . Figure 6.

In reality the values of shear modulus G are much lower. In order to achieve satisfactory redundancy at least to lines of load . uniform and symmetrical Redundant . Reliable G values are the one in the margin: 1000ftk <= G <= 2700ftk The discrepancy between experimental and predicted values for the mechanical properties of masonry can be explained with the composite nature of the material. Damage can be five to ten times worse in irregular buildings compared to regular ones. Reliable E values are the one in the margin: 200fk <= E <= 2000fk Theoretically and as specified in EC 6 the G modulus is evaluated as being 40% of the E modulus. interconnectivity between structural members and strength of materials.Elastic properties The modulus of elasticity E of masonry can be determined after compression tests. Thus satisfactory seismic behaviour can be guaranteed by following the requirements for regular and uniform layout both in plan and elevation. Planning and layout for masonry houses To beginning of document Surveys of earthquake damaged residential unreinforced brick masonry wall houses and its analysis proved that well tied buildings with well defined. This load level corresponds to 1/3 of the maximum vertical load. Therefore the testing of masonry is essential step in seismic resistance verification of masonry houses. Horizontal irregularities in the form of extensions. Well defined continuous load path can be achieved with regular structural layout and uniformity both in plan and elevation. The elastic modulus is defined as a secant modulus at service load condition. To summarise an earthquake resistant structural form for masonry wall structure is the one which is: • • • • Regular both in plan and elevation i. The degree of symmetry is also found to have a significant influence on earthquake resistance.capable of providing adequate resistance even after a failure of a structural member With rigid floors interconnected with walls that ensure diaphragm action Stable foundation should be provided able to transmit the maximum seismic loads from the superstructure to the foundation soil Masonry buildings with horizontal irreguliarities and lack of symmetry may have considerable eccentricity between the mass centre and stiffness centre giving rise to damaging coupled lateral/torsional response. When determined by testing E modulus value is not available the following equation may be used : E=1000fk However in the calculated value of E modulus may not be correct. On the other hand vertical irregularity in masonry building may cause stress concentration at a horizontal plane that can lead to total collapse. continuous load path to the foundations perform much better in earthquakes than building lacking such features. may cause stress concentration and local failures since these extensions are prone to vibrate separetely from the rest of the structure.e. projections etc. There are wide variety of not only masonry units but also mortars and various composition of the masonry wall itself.

another house should be built separated from the first one at min 0. Not supported masonry walls at floor level tends to separate at corners and/or fail out of their plane.Examples of regular configuration of masonry houses in plan • The length of a single portion of the building is limited to four times its width. A sufficient number of load bearing walls with approximately the same stiffness.bearing walls are required in each principal direction of the building. should be provided in both principal direction of the building -see Figure 8 Figure 8. In cases where longer building is required.Structural walls distribution in plan • The plan shape should be simple.2 m -see Figure 10 . Lack of rigid floors will prevent proportionate load transfer onto walls at each floor level as well as will not provide out of plane restraint. reentrant corners or recesses in one direction is limited to 25% of the overall dimension of the building in the corresponding direction -see Figure 9 Figure 9. for both stiffness and mass distribution.Total dimension of projections. According to EC 8 the following general criteria for structural regularity in plan and elevation should be considered: • The building structure is approximately symmetrical along each principal axis in plan. causing collapse of floor or roof.

as they distribute the vertical gravity loads more uniformly onto the masonry walls • • Plan dimensions and height or number of storeys Limitations concerning the dimensions of masonry wall houses have been set in most existing seismic codes. In cases where large openings are present in the floor. Lack of vertical regularity may lead to horizontal plane of weakness/stress concentration and collapse. On the other hand based on the experience from past earthquake as well as the existing technologies for masonry housing construction it is recommended that the height and number of storeys conform with Table 6. For such configurations the masonry bearing walls should be reinforced and the RC members should be connected into RC floors forming frames. The vertical reinforcement of the masonry shear wall should be anchored into the floor to ensure loads transfer. The floors are rigid in their plane providing diaphragm action and interconnected with masonry walls. such as for stairways the contour of the opening should be strengthened with a bond beam. the dimensions of the building are not limited by the code. In this case the dimensions of the house are determined by design calculations based on the load bearing capacity of the masonry.Irregular configurations in plan should be separated in regular portions • Vertical regularity is achieved by uniform distribution along the height of the building of stiffness and masses. Mixed structural systems. To this end the floors should be constructed in a single plane. The reinforced grouted cavity wall type of engineered structural masonry is exempted from these limitations. . Also two-way slabs are preferred to one-way slabs.Figure 10. For planning flexibility is possible combined system consisting of RC columns and masonry shear confined and reinforced masonry wall buildings which conform with the specifications for structural configuration and quality of materials. Currently EC 8 limits the construction of unreinforced(plain) masonry houses located in seismic zones with ag => 0. The building should be verified according to ultimate limit states. However for improved masonry systems.3g to only two storey houses. such as a combination of masonry structural walls in one level and RC frame in the next are not allowed.

2 .Recommended maximum building height H and number of storeys n (14) Distance between masonry bearing walls and wall openings In EC 8 there is no requirement for maximum distance between walls.2 [g] 10 15 15 0.Recommended maximum distance between structural walls (6) Another essential factor is the structural wall continuity. However based on experience for different type of masonry houses it is recommended that the distance between walls conform to Table 7 : Design ground acceleration ag Unreinforced masonry [m] Confined Masonry [m] Reinforced masonry [m] < 0.3 [g] 6 2 12 4 18 6 Table 6. This means that the size and configuration of openings in walls should be carefully planned.4326.2 . (see Figure 11) Figure 11.0.3 [g] 8 12 12 >= 0.3 [g] 6 8 8 Table 7.3 [g] 9 3 15 5 21 7 >= 0.2 [g] 12 4 18 6 24 8 0.Guidelines for openings in external walls (3) .Design ground acceleration ag H [m] Unreinforced masonry n H [m] Confined Masonry n H [m] Reinforced masonry n < 0.0. Guidelines for openings in structural masonry walls are included in the relevant Indian Standards .

General recommendations regarding the configuration and size of openings should be observed: • • • • • • Openings should be located away from portions of the wall underneath beam supports ( of the floor or roof structure) When possible openings should be located in the less loaded walls Openings should be vertically aligned from storey to strorey The top ends of openings in the storey should be horizontally aligned Openings should not stop continuous RC bond beams (at lintel and/or roof level) Openings should be located symmetrically in the plan of the building so that not to get in the way of the uniform distribution of strength and stiffness in two orthogonal directions. Such houses are named "simple buildings" (Figure 12 ) . Simple houses To beginning of document According to EC 8 certain class of masonry housing can be exempt from seismic resistance verification provided that the quality of materials and construction rules specified in the code are met.

2 .2 [g] 3 4 5 0.Number of storeys above ground.Table 8: Design ground acceleration ag Unreinforced masonry Confined Masonry Reinforced masonry < 0. allowed for simple buildings (6) For a masonry house to comply with a simple building a number of specifications are given for the masonry walls. The structural walls should be symetrically located in plan in two orthogonal directions.3 [g] 1 2 3 Table 8. The ratio between the long to shorter side of the house is no more to four and the projections or recesses from the rectangular shape are not greater than 15% of the length of the side parallel to the direction of projection. .Simple House and bond-beams along the attic line to support gable-end walls According to EC 8 simple buildings are regular buildings with an approximately rectangular plan.3 [g] 2 3 4 >= 0.0.Figure 12. Such houses have the following limitations regarding number of storeys above ground.

3 [g] 5 4 4 >= 0. The difference in the mass of structural walls in two orthogonal directions from storey to storey should be as well maximum 20%. The minimum cross sectional area of the structural walls is also specified in EC 8. below gives the minimum horizontal structural wall cross-section : Design ground acceleration ag Unreinforced masonry Confined Masonry Reinforced masonry < 0. given as % of the total floor area above the level considered (6) To enforce reguliarity. Thus the details to provide seismic resistance can be classified in two categories: Details for complete load path • • • • • Provide wall to wall connection ie. For such buildings it is also required that 75% of the vertical load is carried from the structural walls. Table 9. Details for seismic resistance To beginning of document Concept The performance of the building subject to an earthquake motions is governed by the inter-connectivity of structural components as well as the individual component's strength.2 [g] 3 2 2 0.A minimum of two structural walls per orthogonal direction.0 m.Minimum horizontal structural wall cross-section. At every floor. Furthermore for unreinforced masonry houses the walls in one direction should be connected with transverse walls at intervals maximum 6. the area of the structural walls in two orthogonal directions is provided as a percentage of the total floor area above the level considered. the difference in structural walls cross-sectional area in two orthogonal directions from storey to storey should be maximum 20%. µ of the structural components . stiffness and ductility. The length of each wall should be greater than 30% of the length of the building in the wall plane and the distance between these walls should be maximum 75% of the size of the building in the other direction. tying of walls Provide means for walls to foundations connection Provide connection of bond beams to roof Provide connection of walls to bond beams Provide stiff in their plane floors/roofs Details to improve structural components strength and ductility • • • • Improve the compressive strength of structural components Improve the bending strength of structural components Improve the shear strength of structural components Improve the ductility.0.2 .3 [g] 6 5 5 Table 9.

Details of cast in-situ RC slabs with bond beams Maximum vertical distance between bond-beams is 4 m. EC8 specifies the following minimum requirements: • • • • Concrete of class 15 should be used Cross section size should be not less than 150x150 mm Four mild steel rebars with total area 240 mm2 To ensure integrity of the bond beam the longitudinal rebars at corners and wall intersections . Bond-beams contribute to the lateral resistance in a number of ways: • • • • • Improves the in-plane stiffness of floors to provide diaphragm action Transfers the horizontal load from the diaphragm to the structural walls Connects the structural walls and provides out-of-plane support Forms confined masonry shear walls in combination with tie-columns Connects the RC tie-columns In order to achieve satisfactory performance of bond-beams a number of structural measures should be followed. Typical examples of monolithic cast in-situ RC bond beams with RC slabs are shown below on Figure 13. Bond-beams should be cast on top of all walls. The minimum bond beam's cross section is recommended to be 150x250. The bigger dimension being the thickness of the wall. Figure 13.Bond beams Bond-beams should be constructed in-situ from reinforced concrete and cast simultaneously with the slab( in the case of RC floors).

φ 12 mm 4 bars. Number of storeys 2 4 4 6 6 6 Position (storey) 1-2 1-2 2-4 1-2 3-4 5-6 Low: < 0.Detail of RC bond beam showing splicing of rebars at wall corners According to EC 8 the resistance of the RC bond-beam should not be taken into consideration in the design calculations. φ 12 mm 4 bars. φ 8 mm 4 bars.3 [g] 4 bars. φ 14 mm 4 bars.2 . φ 10 mm 4 bars.2 [g] 4 bars. φ 12 mm 4 bars. φ 10 mm 4 bars. φ 8 mm 4 bars. φ 8 mm Moderate: 0. Consequantly there is no mandatory design through calculation for the bond-beams.0. φ 16 mm 4 bars.should be spliced a length of 60φ • Transverse reinforcement-stirrups rebars φ 6 @ 200 mm intervals Figure 14 illustrates bond beam reinforcement at corners Figure 14. φ 14 mm 4 bars. In Table 10 the members reinforcement can be determined based on the seismicity of the location the number of stroreys and position. As was discussed in the confined masonry section the design parameters are determined on empirical basis. φ 12 mm 4 bars. φ 12 mm Table 10 Recommended reinforcement of horizontal RC bond-beams (9) . φ 10 mm High: >= 0. φ 10 mm 4 bars. φ 14 mm 4 bars. φ 10 mm 4 bars.3 [g] 4 bars. φ 12 mm 4 bars.

Solid strutting inline or staggered can be incorporated between joists in addition to nailing of boarding to stiffen the floor. to improve wall-to-wall conection. However. ie. Other than plywood timber planks can also be nailed to joists to form continous boarding as shown on Figure 15. Timber joists can be directly anchored to the RC bond-beam in the case when steel ties are placed into position in the formwork and cast together with the bond-beam. The boarding can be from plywood sheets and can be nailed to joists at the top and/or the bottom surface depending on access. currently are predominantly used RC slabs for floors in residential masonry construction. In EC 8 it is specified that the floor and roof structure can be constructed in timber or reinforced concrete. Twisted steel anchors anchored in the masonry can be used to tie the joists to the walls. Floor systems made of prefabricated RC elements and cast in situ topping are not recommended. . used for tying together the walls of existent masonry buildings. Apart from developing diaphragm action and transfer of the seismic forces onto the walls the floors and roof should support the walls out of their plane. The anchoring of the timber floor joists to masonry walls may be more difficult to achieve.Floors and roofs Traditionally the masonry buildings had a timber floor and roof. as well as steel wall ties. Details for anchorage of timber floor joists to walls with steel ties. To find out more about this technique visit Repair and Strengthening of brick/block masonry houses. When floors are constructed in timber special detailing is required both to ensure diaphragm action and to restraint the walls out-of-plane. all structural walls should be restrained at floor/roof level. The construction of monolithic RC slabs is recommended. In the case of RC slab the connection is provided by constructing RC bond beam onto the structural walls. provided a diaphragm action can be achieved. In the case of a timber joist floor the floor joists should be tied to the walls by means of steel ties. The slabs are cast together with the bond beams.

Stiffening of timber floors by nailing boards or planks Common roof systems constructed in timber for low-rise masonry housing are the joist-rafter roof and the truss roof. See Figure 16 . Therefore a collar beam attached to rafters is required. Vertical cross bracing in the longitudinal ridge plane( perpendiculiar to the joists) is also required.Figure 15. Only the perimeter joists and rafters may be included in bracing and blocking. The joist-rafter roof system tends to spread and overturn masonry walls. To achieve a satisfactory restraint on the walls the ceiling joists should be anchored to the provided RC roof bond beam by means of steel strap placed in position in the bond-beam's formwork before casting of the bond-beam. To ensure diaphragm action bracing and blocking should be constructed both in the plane of the joists and in the plane of the rafters in two othogonal directions.

Figure 16.Timber roof anchorage to bond beam RC roofs can be also constructed. They can be both flat RC slabs or sloped systems cast together with the roof bond beam. In cases where the distance is bigger the lintels can be cast separately(Figure 17) and care should be taken to bond the RC lintels to the masonry of the adjoining wall through horizontal rebars. In order to reduce seismic loads light roofs are favoured. Light roof cover( tiles) should be used preferably. timber and reinforced masonry. In seismic zones cast insitu RC lintels are recommended.Requirements for lintels in seismic zones (9) . Lintels and cantilever elements Lintels are load-bearing elements which support the weight of the wall and floor above opening. Figure 17. Lintels can be made from in-situ reinforced concrete. If the distance between the top of the opening to the top of the floor above is less than 600 mm the lintel can be cast simultaneously with the bond beam and floor slab as shown on Figure 17. These roofs can provide diaphragm action and wall restraint however their mass is much higher.

and 0.5 m2. The partition walls are usually confined in vertical direction by the floors through cement based mortar joints. Out-of-plane failures of gable end walls are common during strong earthquakes and therefore require special consideration. According to EC 8 when verifying a portion of the structure on the vertical component of seismic motion a partial model is adequate including the cantilever element and taking into account the stiffness of the adjacent elements to ensure realistic boundary conditions. The faced wall is built with different masonry units bonded together to achieve common action under loading. can cause casualties and structural damage.Where the area of the opening is more than 2. It is recommended that masonry gable end walls and attics higher than 0.50 m for cantilever slabs anchored into the bond-beams without the continuity with the floor slab Design of bigger cantilevers is possible however a rigorous analysis is required accounting for the vertical component of the seismic motion. The load applied to veneered wall is assumed to be carried by the backing leaf only which is designed on the basis of no structural contribution from the veneer. the triangular area formed by the sloping ends of the roof can be filled with masonry forming a gable end wall. For architectural purposes external solid walls can be constructed as faced or veneered walls.5s the ordinates of the spectrum are multiplied by 0.5 m are anchored to the uppermost floor bond-beams.5 Non-load bearing elements Failures of non-load bearing elements. The reinforcing can be by means of rebars φ 4 to φ 6 placed in the masonry bed joints every 500 mm.15s < T < 0. It is also recommended that lintels should be embedded in the walls a minimum of 250 mm. intermidiate bond-beams should be added not more than 2m apart. but not bonded to the backing leaf. The lintel width should be equal to the wall thickness and should not be less than 150 mm. The reinforcement of lintels should be anchored into the rc tie-columns.7 For periods 0.20 m for cantilever slabs cast continuously with the floor slabs. In order to reduce vertical motion of balconies.15s the ordinates of the spectrum are multiplied by 0. Cantilever structural elements in masonry houses like balconies and various forms of overhangs are vulnerable in an event of an earthquake. As discussed in the confined masonry section the maximum distance between vertical confining elements is 4 m. These portions of the structure are iinherently flexible in vertical direction( out-of-plane) and are prone to vibrate separately from the rest of the structure during an earthquake. chimneys. overhangs and other cantilever elements the following limitations are set: • • 1.7 and 0. In cases where the height of the gable end wall is more than 4 m. such as partition walls.5s a linearly interpolated value between 0. tie-columns are required on both sides of opening. etc. The gable end walls should be confined by a bond beam running along the roof line. The usual partition walls thickness is about 100 mm and they can be plain or reinforced. The veneer can be anchored by means of steel ties to the backing masonry . In horizontal direction the partitions are confined from RC tie-columns or structural walls through steel anchors or just bond. In order to prevent failure and fall-downs of masonry non-structural elements their out-of-plane stability to seimic loads should be verified by calculation according to EC8. architectural details. Partition walls are made of most types of masonry units including solid ones.5 For periods T > 0. When constructing timber ridged roof. masonry veneer. Veneered walls has facing attached. According to EC 8 the response spectrum as defined in previous section is applicable but with the following corrections: • • • For periods T < 0.

In the case of reinforced masonry chimney the rebars should be anchored into the top floor. etc. The out-of-plane behaviour should be verified by calculation according to the guidance provided for partition walls. vertical or horizontal cantiliver projections. Heavy masonry chimneys and ventilation stacks represent a considerable hazard in the event of an earthquake. No specific requirements can be found in EC 8 however its stability can be verified using the formulaes applied to out-of-plane stability of partition walls.wall. should be reinforced and anchored into the main RC strucure. Architectural details.. If the chimney is not built of reinforced masonry an effective solution might be to deconstruct it and complete it in reinforced masonry or replace it altogether with a lighter metal chimney. To beginning of document . like cornices.

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