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Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Program

Visual Examples of Seismic Retrofit Construction

Earthquake Caused Damage to Unreinforced Masonry Buildings

Earthquake damaged unreinforced masonry buildings causing parapets to collapse onto the sidewalk. To minimize potential damage in an event of earthquake, parapets around building perimeter should be braced and roof-to-walls should be tied together.

photo of parapets collapsing onto sidewalkphoto of parapets collapsing onto sidewalk

Roof-to-wall ties connect roof framing members to unreinforced masonry wall. These are examples of through bolts with exterior steel plates used as roof-to-wall ties.

photo of several wall tie reinforcementsdetailed photo of wall tie reinforcementphoto of beam wall tie to unreinforced wall

Non-structural objects such as these decorative precast concrete elements which may fall during an earthquake must be removed or properly stabilized.

photo of fallen wall decoration roof

An example of URM roof parapet braces for URM buildings. Steel diagonal braces secure roof parapets constructed of unreinforced masonry block, brick or hollow-clay tile that are aesthetically desirable, but at risk of breaking off and falling during an earthquake.

photo of wall anchor bracing roof parapet

An example of roof parapet bracing and roof-to-wall anchor for URM buildings. Roof-to-wall anchors tie the roof diaphragm and the URM walls together minimizing risk of potential separation of the URM walls and roof during an earthquake.

photo of wall anchor bracing roof parapet

All photos courtesy of Mehdi Shadyab.