The Constructor

IMPROVING EARTHQUAKE RESISTANCE OF SMALL BUILDINGS

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The earthquake resistance of small buildings may be increased by taking some precautions and measures in site selections, building planning and constructions as explained below:

1. Site Selection for small buildings:

The building constructions should be avoided on

(a) Near unstable embankments

(b) On sloping ground with columns of different heights

(c) Flood affected areas

(d) On subsoil with marked discontinuity like rock in some portion and soil in some portion.

2. Building Planning:

Symmetric plans are safer compared to unsymmetric. Hence go for square or rectangular plans rather than L, E, H, T shaped. Rectangular plans should not have length more than twice the width.

3. Foundations:

Width of foundation should not be less than 750 mm for single storey building and not less than 900 mm for storeyed buildings. Depth of foundation should not be less than 1.0 m for soft soil and 0.45 m for rocky ground. Before foundation is laid remove all loose materials including water from the trench and compact the bottom. After foundation is laid back-fill the foundation properly and compact.

4. Masonry:

In case of stone masonry:

In case of brick masonry:

In case of concrete blocks:

In general walls of more than 450 mm should be avoided. Length of wall should be restricted to 6 m. Cross walls make the masonry stronger. It is better to build partition walls along main walls interlinking the two.

5. Doors and Window Openings:

6. Roof:

7. Chejjas:

8. Parapet:

Masonry parapet wall can collapse easily. It is better to build parapet with bricks up to 300 mm followed by iron railings.

9. Concrete and Mortar:

Use river sand for making mortar and concrete. It should be sieved to remove pebbles. Silt should be removed by holding it against wind. Coarse aggregates of size more than 30 mm should not be used. Aggregates should be well graded and angular. Before adding water cement and aggregates should be dry mixed thoroughly.

10. Bands:

The following R.C. bands should be provided

(a) Plinth band

(b) Lintel band

(c) Roof band

(d) Gable band.

For making R.C. bands minimum thickness is 75 mm and at least two bars of 8 mm diameters are required. They should be tied with steel limbs of 6 mm diameter at 150 mm spacing. If wall size is large, diagonal and vertical bands also may be provided.

11. Retrofitting:

Retrofitting means preparing a structure in a scientific manner so that all elements of a building act as an integral unit. It is generally the most economical and fastest way to achieve safety of the building. The following are some of the methods in retrofitting:

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