Back to Previous

Seismic assessment and retrofit of unreinforced masonry buildings

Jason Ingham, Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Auckland, discusses how his study on unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings has made an impact on industry practice.

The New Zealand Government funded the project, which ran from 2004 to 2010. It covered a broad range of topics associated with seismic assessment and improvement of existing buildings. Following the Canterbury earthquake sequence in 2010, the project received further funding during the recovery of the earthquakes. Jason Ingham explains that he was assigned a task in writing the national guidance documents, which saw research findings from the study incorporated into industry procedures.

For over 50 years, construction of URM buildings had been prohibited in New Zealand and many other seismically-active countries. At the time, techniques for constructing these buildings were not taught in university structural engineering courses.

In conjunction with large earthquakes that occurred in New Zealand over the last decade, the research on seismic assessment and retrofit of URM buildings has subsequently led to:

  • The authoring of a national methodology for URM detailed seismic assessment
  • Multiple training courses nationwide to upskill the professional engineering community
  • Evidence being presented at the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission
  • Contributions to the development of emergency legislation for URM façade securing

The Institution of Structural Engineers aims to discover new influential projects of any scale to celebrate the successful application of research into practice. The Research into Practice Essay Competition is open for entries until 27 September 2019.

Enter the competition.

Additional information

Format:
Case Study
Publisher:
IStructE

Tags

Blog Masonry Disaster mitigation, management & recovery Seismic & Vibration

Related Resources & Events

Guidance
<h4>The structural use of adhesives</h4>

The structural use of adhesives

Guidance for structural engineers on the use of structural and semi-structural adhesives (with a polymetric matrix) and the behaviour of adhesive joints used in structural applications.

Date - 1 January 1999
Author - Various (Institution Task Group)
Price - £25.35/£39
Guidance
<h4>The operation and maintenance of bridge access gantries and runways (Second edition)</h4>

The operation and maintenance of bridge access gantries and runways (Second edition)

Best practice guidance for bridge owners/operators, contractors, utility companies and structural designers considering the performance, function, serviceability and maintenance of new or replacement bridge access gantries.

Date - 1 October 2007
Author - Various (Institution Task Group)
Price - £25.35/£39
Guidance
<h4>Temporary demountable structures: Guidance on procurement, design and use (Fourth edition)</h4>

Temporary demountable structures: Guidance on procurement, design and use (Fourth edition)

Essential information for Event Organisers, Venue Owners, Local Authorities, Contractors, Suppliers and 'Competent persons', on the procurement, design and use of temporary demountable structures, including: grandstands; stages; fabric structures, hospitality units and fencing/barriers.

Date - 1 May 2017
Author - Various (Institution Task Group - AGOTS)
Price - £25.35/£39