PAGER - Common Building Types

China

Multistory base-isolated brick masonry with reinforced concrete floors and roof

Since 1990, base-isolated brick masonry buildings with reinforced concrete floors/roof are widely used in China. These are typically 5- to 8-story brick masonry buildings with commercial enterprises on the ground floor and residences above. Brick masonry has been used for construction in China for thousands of years, and it is a widely accepted construction practice due to easy construction technique and low cost. However, due to its brittle behavior, unreinforced brick masonry buildings have suffered severe damage and collapse of many buildings, and thousands of deaths in past earthquakes in China and other countries. A typical base-isolated building consists of an isolation system, superstructure, and substructure. The base-isolation system consists of laminated rubber bearings located either near top of the walls or columns in the basement or at the ground floor level of a building without a basement. The superstructure consists of conventional multi-story brick masonry walls and reinforced concrete floors/roof. The substructure is beneath the isolation system and it consists of the basement and the foundation.

Reference: EERI and IAEE\'s World Housing Encyclopedia (Report #9) - Fu L. Zhou, Zhong G. Xu, Wen G. Liu

Building Image
Multistory base-isolated brick masonry with reinforced concrete floors and roof image
Multistory base-isolated brick masonry with reinforced concrete floors and roof image

Hybrid masonry with reinforced concrete floors and roof

This is a common construction technique (also known as ‘Brick-concrete structure’) in Wenchuan region of China and it is used for buildings with commercial (business or storage or mix use) occupancies. The ground floor construction is generally framed structure made of reinforced concrete beams and columns whereas the upper stories are made of load bearing masonry walls of clay tiles or bricks with reinforced concrete floors and roof. The relatively stiff bottom frame with weaker upper stories introduces vertical irregularity in the structure and thus they are susceptible to severe damage or collapse during earthquake shaking. Brick-concrete structures used as school or hospital buildings, built in late 1980s, were severely damaged or collapsed during 2008 Wenchuan China earthquake (Yifan and Baitao 2008).

Reference: EERI and IAEE\'s World Housing Encyclopedia (Report #9) - Kishor S. Jaiswal

Building Image
Hybrid masonry with reinforced concrete floors and roof image
Hybrid masonry with reinforced concrete floors and roof image

Reinforced concrete frame with infill walls

Reinforced concrete frame construction is one of the most popular building typology commonly found in urban and semi-urban areas of southern China. The construction type is generally used for multi-family residential occupancy. In Sichuan province, the design and construction practice vary according to era of construction as well as the seismic provisions/fortification levels demarcated for different regions. Critical seismic detailing is often lacking in most structures leading to catastrophic performances as seen during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Typical forms of damage consists of infill wall cracking, out-of-plane failure of infill walls, shear failure of concrete columns due to improper detailing, soft story failure of ground floor leading to collapse, etc. Yifan and Baitao (2008) notes that large number of buildings designed according to intensity VII specifications performed relatively well during 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Authors found that among the surveyed buildings located in the region at and above intensity IX, approximately 28% of RC framed structures experienced catastrophic collapses, and about 23% experienced severe structural damage during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.

Reference: EERI and IAEE\'s World Housing Encyclopedia (Report #9) - Kishor S. Jaiswal

Building Image
Reinforced concrete frame with infill walls image
Reinforced concrete frame with infill walls 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.