|Self-Help Construction of 1-Story Building (Peace Corps, 1977, 235 p.)|
|Construction in earthquake areas|
There are many ways of reinforcing buildings to resist earthquakes. The most important and least expensive techniques are listed here. But if earthquakes are a major problem in the local area, the field worker or community should consult experienced local contractors for advice.
All of the techniques listed here can help save a building in an earthquake, whether they are used alone or in any combination. They cannot guarantee that a building will survive a severe earthquake intact. But even in the worst case, they will give people more time to get outside safely, before the building collapses.
To strengthen foundations and floors, reinforce them with bamboo or iron rods.
To strengthen walls:
· place windows and doors on opposite walls;
· place inside doors as close to the middle of interior walls as possible;
· place timber posts at the ends of interior walls (see the section on window and door frames, page 96, for details of construction);
· mount exterior doors so they open to the outside (this permits faster escape during a quake);
· allow at least 1 meter of wall space between openings and corners;
Mount exterior doors
· connect all walls with interlocking wooden beams at the tops of the walls, and preferably at the floor and lintel levels too;
· reinforce wooden frame walls with cross-supports;
Wooden cross supports
· use a 'tight" bond between brick or block courses; too much mortar will weaken the wall.
No use too much mortar