Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Unreinforced Masonry Buildings

  • Fabio Taucer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_44


Unreinforced concrete block masonry (UCB) (Jaiswal and Wald, 2008); Unreinforced fired brick masonry (UFB); URM


A structure whose load-bearing system consists of an assemblage of masonry units generally made of stone, brick, or concrete blocks laid in a specific pattern and joined together with mortar.


Unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings are found all over the world and have been used since ancient times for providing shelter with a number of advantageous properties, such as thermal and acoustic insulation, fire resistance, and weather protection. URM buildings are commonly used for the construction of low-rise residential and office buildings with the floor area subdivided into a large number of spaces that repeat along the height from the foundation to the roof level (Hendry et al., 1997). This allows for a flexible arrangement of the load-bearing walls, which form the backbone of the structural system of resisting forces.

The structural performance of...

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  1. D’Ayala, D., 2010. Unreinforced Brick Masonry Construction. World Housing Encyclopedia. www.world-housing.net.
  2. EM-DAT, 2008. The International Disaster Database. CRED – Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. Brussels: Université Catholique de Louvain, www.emdat.be.
  3. Grossi, P., Del Re, D., and Wang, Z., 2006. The 1976 Great Tangshan Earthquake 30-Year Retrospective. Newark: Risk Management Solutions, Inc. www.rms.com.
  4. Hendry, A. W., Sinha, B. P., and Davies, S. R., 1997. Design of Masonry Structures. London: Chapman and Hall.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Jaiswal, K., and Wald, D. J., 2008. Creating a global building inventory for earthquake loss assessment and risk management. Open-file report 2009-1160. Reston, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ELSA Unit, Institute for the Security and Safety of the CitizenEuropean Commission – Joint Research CentreIspra (VA)Italy