Seismic Capacity Comparison between Square and Circular Plan Adobe Construction

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Conference Proceeding
Procedia Engineering, The Proceedings of the Twelfth East Asia-Pacific Conference on Structural Engineering and Construction EASEC12, 2011, 14 pp. 2103 - 2108
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Unreinforced adobe or mud-brick structures have in the past suffered severe damage from seismic forces and have caused a vast number of deaths. However, a number of adobe buildings located in seismic regions have performed well under several seismic events. Most of these traditional buildings shapes are symmetrical which has significant bearing on the performance of the building during strong earthquakes. This paper presents an experimental comparison between two symmetrical shapes, i.e., a square and a circular model of unreinforced adobe walls. One-third scale models were built and tested using a static tilt test for seismic performance evaluation of both structures. The adobe house models were subjected to a constant acceleration when tilted on a tilt-up table. The lateral component of model weight was used as a parameter to quantify the maximum seismic force for each model. The paper describes the configuration of both specimens and testing method. The results of these comparative experiments indicated a better performance of the circular structure. There are simple and effective solutions for construction of new adobe buildings located in seismic hazard areas which can assist in decreasing damage and death.
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