PAGER - Common Building Types

New Zealand

Timber Frame Construction

This is a light timber frame construction and is most commonly used for single or multifamily dwellings. It is usually a one or two-story frame with a corrugated iron roof, weatherboard or veneer wall cladding, and a strip or piled foundation. According to the report prepared by Beacon Pathway, the timber frame construction has varied over several decades and each type represents a different era of housing e.g., Villa, Bungalow, Art Deco, pre-1978 (pre-insulation). Timber frame constructions have performed exceedingly well during earthquakes of very strong shaking. Most common damages includes failure of masonry chimney, cracks in stucco or veneer, foundation failure due to liquefaction or excessive ground movement, out-of-plane failure of perimeter walls.

Reference: USGS PAGER Team - Kishor Jaiswal

Building Image
Timber Frame Construction image
Timber Frame Construction image
Timber Frame Construction image

Unreinforced Brick Masonry Construction

This is a low to mid-rise bearing wall construction type with a timber or concrete slab floor. Dwellings of this type are generally used as commercial or multi-family residential buildings. Due to usage of weak building material, lack of redundancy, and inadequate lateral load resisting capacity, these types often tend to perform poorly during earthquakes. Laws in New Zealand instated in 1968 require that local governments establish policies for retrofits of earthquake prone buildings, including URMs (EERI 2011). Tens of thousands of unreinforced masonry buildings were severely damaged or collapsed during the recent Christchurch earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011.

Reference: USGS PAGER Team - Kishor Jaiswal

Building Image
Unreinforced Brick Masonry Construction image
Unreinforced Brick Masonry Construction image
Unreinforced Brick Masonry Construction image
Unreinforced Brick Masonry Construction image

Reinforced Concrete Moment Frame with Infill Masonry

This construction type is usually over four stories, cast in place reinforced concrete (RC) frame constructed during the post-world war era (post-1960s construction). Most commercial buildings in central building districts (CBD) of the New Zealand cities are of this type. RC buildings built prior to the introduction of modern building codes (published in the mid-1970s) may have several critical detailing and reinforcing deficiencies. These are in addition to irregular configurations such as lack of joint shear reinforcement, column and beam lap-splice location, and inadequate beam-to column/wall anchorage, which could all contribute to a collapse (Kam, 2011). During the recent Christchurch earthquake of February 2011, some reinforced concrete buildings completely collapsed; others partially collapsed.

Reference: USGS PAGER Team - Kishor Jaiswal

Building Image
Reinforced Concrete Moment Frame with Infill Masonry image
Reinforced Concrete Moment Frame with Infill Masonry image
Reinforced Concrete Moment Frame with Infill Masonry 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.