[GSBN] earthquake-proof adobe walls

Lorenzo Robles lorobles55 at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 17 05:17:04 CDT 2009

  As I spent about 8 years living in Peru, and experienced a few severe earthquakes, there are a couple of basic aspects of relevant "good" adobe building I would report.

 Many old constructions, as remote as colonial time, 3 or 4 centuries old, stood well after all the sismic activity.  Walls were built of adobe, with a wonderful reinforcement of cane, thin bamboo,  or split bamboo . It worked with the same logic as rebar and concrete.

  Most  churches, mansions, fencing tall walls, only showed minor cracks after earthquakes.

 I saw a  very  old house in the center of Lima, that had some walls pulled down for extension purposes, showing the long, hard and flexible strips holding like a wide net the core of the adobe wall. The workers had to take brick by brick, an saw each cane to release de digged trough area. it took much more time than with simple adobe. 

 as comparison, adobe houses built without vegetal fiber inner netting , often fell down or had sever cracks after seism.  

Cane, and bamboo, are available in most places where ssmic ativity is a threat, and seems more compatibele and efficient than metalic or plastic mesh, and is obviously a better ecological option.



> Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2009 14:41:14 -0500
> From: jc10508 at windstream.net
> To: GSBN at greenbuilder.com
> Subject: [GSBN] earthquake-proof adobe walls
> Have any of you been following a thread on earthbag listserv (Yahoo groups)
> about earth-quake proof adobe walls in Peru? If so, do you have any
> comments, insights to share?
> Joyce
> --------------- 
> Joyce Coppinger
> Managing Editor/Publisher
> The Last Straw, the international journal
> of strawbale and natural building
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