PAGER - Common Building Types

Haiti

Concrete block masonry construction

This is a most common building typology that exists throughout Haiti. In this, the walls are made of Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU, also termed as hollow concrete blocks), which are generally arranged as a staggered single wythe walls but without any reinforcement. The floor/roof consists of reinforced concrete slab directly resting on load bearing walls. No mechanical connection is established either between two cross walls or between roof/slab and walls. The concrete blocks are made from poor quality construction material with little or no-adherence to quality and strength criteria. This construction type has experienced widespread damage during 2010 Haiti earthquake that lead to catastrophic collapses and casualties.

Reference: USGS PAGER Team - K. S. Jaiswal

Building Image
Concrete block masonry construction image
Concrete block masonry construction image
Concrete block masonry construction image

Confined masonry construction

This construction type is similar to infill frame construction except that a masonry wall is constructed prior to columns and beams. This helps to improving wall and column connections avoiding out-of-plane failure. This construction type has performed reasonably well in 2010 Haiti earthquake, however, practical challenges do exist, e.g., poor quality material and workmanship, thinner columns with inadequate detailing (Lang and Marshall, 2011).

Reference: USGS PAGER Team - K. S. Jaiswal

Building Image
Confined masonry construction image
Confined masonry construction image
Confined masonry construction image

Reinforced concrete frame with infill block masonry construction

These are predominantly low-rise gravity-load bearing reinforced concrete frames with hollow concrete block masonry infill walls. Various seismic deficiencies do exist in Haitian buildings of this construction type, e.g., improper ductile detailing, inadequate spacing of lateral ties, poor construction quality, material and workmanship, incremental construction, inadequate dimensions of key load resisting elements and many others (Miyamoto et al 2011, Mix et al 2011). Following the M7.1 2010 Haiti earthquake, a survey carried out by O’Brien et al (2011) found that 41% of the surveyed RC frame buildings suffered severe damage to the RC elements, and 56% of the buildings suffered severe damage to the masonry walls.

Reference: USGS PAGER Team - K. S. Jaiswal

Building Image
Reinforced concrete frame with infill block masonry construction image
Reinforced concrete frame with infill block masonry construction image
Reinforced concrete frame with infill block masonry construction image

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*Building types and their descriptions are taken from the World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE) database when available or based on additional research performed by the PAGER team. This information is provided with the understanding that it is not guaranteed to be correct or complete, and conclusions drawn from such information are the sole responsibility of the user.