[GSBN] earthquake-proof adobe walls

Andy Horn andy at ecodesignarchitects.co.za
Mon Aug 17 06:13:56 CDT 2009

Hi Lorenzo 

Was most interested to read of the reinforcement of adobe walls. I would be
really interested if you had any pictures or drawings of this to get a
better understanding.


When traveling in Japan, where they also suffer from regular earth quakes, I
witnessed the demolition of a centuries old 3 storey wattle and daube
structure. Their system consisted of a series of timber post and beams with
a lighter meshing of split bamboo into which straw clay “cobs” were stuck
and finished with many coatings of fine fibre reinforced plaster. 



Andy Horn  



From: GSBN-bounces at greenbuilder.com [mailto:GSBN-bounces at greenbuilder.com]
On Behalf Of Lorenzo Robles
Sent: 17 August 2009 12:17 PM
To: gsbn at greenbuilder.com
Subject: Re: [GSBN] earthquake-proof adobe walls


  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
> 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
> PO Box 22706, Lincoln NE 68542-2706
> 402.483.5135, fax 402.483.5161
> <thelaststraw at thelaststraw.org>
> www.thelaststraw.org
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