PAGER - Common Building Types
Reinforced concrete frame houses
This construction type constitutes about 60 to 70% of the housing stock and is widespread throughout northern Algeria, the region of the country's highest seismic risk. Generally, these buildings are one to three stories high. The ground floor is used for parking or for commercial purposes. The structural system consists of reinforced concrete frames with masonry infill walls made out of hollow clay tiles (usually 100 mm thick). The infill walls are usually provided in the residential part of the building (upper floors). Due to the limited amount of infill walls at the ground floor level, these buildings are characterized by soft-story behavior during earthquakes. These buildings have most often been built after the development of the 1981 Algerian seismic code. However, the seismic code is not enforced in private construction and most of the buildings have been built without seismic provisions. These buildings have been severely affected by Algerian earthquakes, including the 1980 El Asnam earthquake and the 2003 Boumerdes earthquake.
Reference: EERI and IAEE\'s World Housing Encyclopedia (Report #103) - Mohammed Farsi, Farah Lazzali
Stone masonry apartment building
This is a typical residential construction type found in most Algerian urban centers, constituting 40-50% of the total urban housing stock. This construction, built mostly before the 1950s by French contractors, is no longer practiced. Buildings of this type are typically four to six stories high. The slabs are wooden structures or shallow arches supported by steel beams (jack arch system). Stone masonry walls, usually 400-600 mm thick, have adequate gravity load-bearing capacity; however, their lateral load resistance is very low. As a result, these buildings are considered to be highly vulnerable to seismic effects. These buildings were exposed to the 2003 Boumerdes earthquake. Most buildings of this type in the centre of Algiers were six-story high and suffered moderate wall damage, and in some cases, out-of-plane wall collapse.
Reference: EERI and IAEE\'s World Housing Encyclopedia (Report #75) - Mohammed Farsi, Farah Lazzali, Yamina Ait-M
Reinforced concrete shear wall construction
This construction type is commonly found in urban centers in Algeria. The floors and most interior walls are made of cast-in-place reinforced concrete, whereas the exterior walls are constructed using precast panels (Brzev, personal communication). Reinforced concrete building construction, including moment frames and shear walls, became popular after 1960s. Majority of urban dwellings built in recent decades are made of low-rise reinforced concrete construction (up to five story high). Prior to the 2003 Boumerdes earthquake, seismic design provisions of the prevalent building codes were only applied to the public buildings in Algeria, whereas the private dwelling construction were built without following any seismic code (Meslem et al 2012). This type of construction performed well in the 2003 Boumerdes earthquake. Some of the interior walls suffered extensive damage, especially walls in longitudinal walls (with lower wall density) in older buildings of this type, due to inadequate amount of reinforcement.
Reference: EERI and IAEE\'s World Housing Encyclopedia (Report #103) - Abdelghani Meslem
*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.