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European Journal of Environmental and


Civil Engineering
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Mesh type seismic retrofitting for


masonry structures: critical issues and
possible strategies
a
Navaratnarajah Sathiparan
a
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University
of Ruhuna, Galle, Sri Lanka
Published online: 24 Feb 2015.

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To cite this article: Navaratnarajah Sathiparan (2015): Mesh type seismic retrofitting for masonry
structures: critical issues and possible strategies, European Journal of Environmental and Civil
Engineering, DOI: 10.1080/19648189.2015.1005160

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European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering, 2015
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19648189.2015.1005160

Mesh type seismic retrotting for masonry structures: critical issues


and possible strategies
Navaratnarajah Sathiparan*

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Ruhuna, Galle, Sri Lanka
(Received 22 August 2014; accepted 5 January 2015)
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The tremendous loss of life that resulted in the aftermath of recent earthquakes in
developing countries is mostly due to the collapse of non-engineered building struc-
tures. It has been observed that these buildings cannot withstand the lateral loads
imposed by an earthquake and often fails, in a brittle manner. This underscores the
urgency to nd simple and economic solutions to reinforce these buildings. Different
conventional retrotting techniques are available to increase the strength and/or duc-
tility of unreinforced masonry walls. Recent years, several researches work on mesh
type retrotting for masonry structures to delay or prevent the collapse of buildings
and reduce the number of lives lost during devastating earthquake events. This paper
reviews and discusses the state-of-the-art on seismic retrotting of masonry walls
with emphasis on the mesh type retrotting techniques include retrotting
procedures, cost, improvement in structural performance and limitations.
Keywords: earthquake; masonry; seismic retrotting; meshes

1. Introduction
Natural disasters are causing tremendous loss of life and property with earthquakes
being the most serious risk. As shown in the Figure 1 (Guha-Sapir, Hoyois, & Below,
2013; Guha-Sapir, Vos, Below, & Ponserre, 2011, 2012; Hoyois, Scheuren, Below,
Guha-Sapir, & Ponserre, 2007; Jha, Duyne Barenstein, Phelps, Pittet, & Sena, 2010;
Rodriguez, Vos, Below, & Guha-Sapir, 2009; Scheuren, Le Polain de Waroux, Below,
Guha-Sapir, & Ponserre, 2008; Vos, Rodriguez, Below, & Guha-Sapir, 2010), in last
two decades, about 96% of the fatalities attributed to earthquakes are caused in
developing countries or least developing countries. Figure 2 shows the breakdown of
the fatalities due to earthquakes in the period of 19001999 to different causes. About
75% of the fatalities attributed to earthquakes are caused by the collapse of buildings
and the greatest proportion is from the collapse of masonry buildings (Coburn &
Spence, 2002).
The result of earthquake damage investigations and studies conducted in earthquake-
prone regions has revealed that the masonry constructed type buildings would collapse
within a few seconds during earthquake movement, and does become a major cause of
human fatalities. Major types of problems and basic damage patterns observed during
earthquakes in this type of buildings are summarised in Figure 3.

*Email: sakthi@cee.ruh.ac.lk

2015 Taylor & Francis


2 N. Sathiparan

Figure 1. Disaster fatalities by of disaster between year 1991 and 2012 (left) and earthquake
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disaster fatalities in type of countries between 1991 and 2012 (right).

Figure 2. Breakdown of fatalities attributed to earthquake by cause (period 19001999).

Figure 3. Building damages during Sichuan 2008 earthquake (a) lack of structural integrity, (b)
out-of-plane failure, (c) in-plane failure.
European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering 3

1.1. Lack of structural integrity


Lack of structural integrity is one of the principal sources of weakness responsible for
severe damage leading to collapse. Lack of interlocking units between external and
internal wythes of the wall sections and the lack of connection between crossing walls
give rise to possibility of out-of-plane behaviour, as their formation increases net length
of the walls. An addition to the connection between orthogonal wall, the exibility of
the roof/oor diagrams and their connection to the masonry walls are main factors to
take into account for capability to distribute the seismic loads. Also, roof placed directly
on the walls without bond beams does not provide a diaphragm and due to free end at
the top of walls, probability of out-of-plane failure mechanisms increases.

1.2. In-plane shear cracking


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In-plane lateral loads induce shearing deformations in masonry walls. This deformation
elongates one diagonal, including tension, and shortens the other, including compression
perpendicular to the tension. Since masonry materials have much lower strength in
tension than compression, in-plane forces typically induce diagonal cracking perpendicu-
lar to the tension axis. It is very common for seismic loading to induce X cracking in
masonry structures, resulting from in-plane loading in alternate directions, as shown in
the Figure 3(c).

1.3. Out-of-plane wall collapse


Out-of-plane wall collapse is one of the major causes of destruction of masonry
buildings, particularly in buildings with exible oors and roofs. For walls, which carry
light gravity loads, out-of-plane loading typically induces a stability failure where a wall
burst outward or topples over. The inadequacy of connections between the cross walls
and long walls is one of the key factors inuencing out-of-plane wall collapse.
Out-of-plane wall collapse is common in buildings with exible roofs and oors, and
where wall-to-roof connections are inadequate (Bothara & Brzev, 2011).

1.4. Roof collapse


When the walls are not connected to the roof, collapse is often caused. Roof collapse
can also be caused by the collapse of walls subjected to shear forces and gravity loads.
Heavy roofs also contribute to the seismic vulnerability of masonry buildings.

2. Retrotting methods for masonry


In order to reduce damage on these masonry buildings during earthquakes, which could
happen anywhere in the world, it is important to examine at the early stage how to
improve and upgrade the earthquake resistance of an existing masonry construction and
to propose a concrete countermeasure method. Walls are the primary gravity load as
well as lateral load resisting elements in these structures. Therefore, the primary focus
of most of the strengthening techniques is to enhance the integrity and capacity of the
walls. Numerous techniques, used to retrot seismically efcient or damaged masonry
buildings, may be broadly classied into the three categories on the basis of their effect
on structural performance, namely (i) improving the existing masonry strength by
4 N. Sathiparan

repairing process, (ii) improving the in-plane strength of the wall by local member retro-
tting and (iii) Improving the structural integrity of the whole structure (Sivaraja &
Thandavamoorthy, 2014).

2.1. Repair
The main purpose of repairs is to bring back the architectural shape of the house and
immediate occupancy of residents is resumed quickly. The repair does not pretend to
improve the structural strength of the house and can be vulnerable to future earthquake.

2.2. Restoration
The main purpose of restoration is to carry out structural repairs to load bearing
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elements. The existing methods of restoring un-reinforced masonry buildings include

 Surface treatment using shotcrete.


 Ferrocement.
 Stitching and grout/epoxy injection.
 Re-pointing with ordinary Portland cement.

2.3. Strengthening
Strengthening methods, unlike repair or restoration, should not be limited to increasing
the strength of members that have been damaged, but should consider the overall behav-
iour of the structure. Therefore, strengthening methods improve the ductility capacity
and energy dissipation capacity of the masonry structure. Arya, Boen, and Ishiyama
(2012) reported strengthening procedures should aim at one or more of the following
objectives:

 Increasing the horizontal strength.


 Unifying the structure by providing a proper connection between its resisting
elements.
 Avoiding the possibility of brittle modes of failure by proper reinforcement and
connection of resisting members.

Researchers assessed the feasibility of applying the various strengthening methods


for existing masonry structures in developing countries; it is difcult to make direct
comparisons regarding the structural performance of the techniques. The existing meth-
ods of retrotting un-reinforced masonry buildings currently under research or early
stages of application, including

 External reinforcement: Bamboo, Seismic Wallpaper.


 Post-tensioning using material such as rubber tyres.
 Mesh reinforcement: Steel mesh cage, Polymer mesh, Polypropylene band
(PP-band) mesh, Bamboo mesh, Plastic Carrier Bag Mesh.

For the seismic safety of the structure, good connections between walls and oors
or foundations, between adjacent walls and between walls and roof are essential.
Integrity of masonry can prevent large pieces of debris to fall out and injure inhabitants.
European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering 5

Considering these facts, recent years, several researches work on mesh type retrotting
for masonry structures to delay or prevent the collapse of buildings and reduce the num-
ber of lives lost during devastating earthquake events.

3. Mesh type retrotting


The main objective of mesh retrotting is to hold the masonry components into a single
unit and to prevent the collapse of masonry structures. The mesh type retrotting can be
made of any ductile material, including steel cage, polymer, polypropylene band, bam-
boo meshes and plastic carrier bag as shown in Figure 4 (Meguro, Soti, Sathiparan, &
Numada, 2012; Sathiparan, Mayorca, & Meguro, 2012; Tetley & Madabhushi, 2007).
Vertical bands help to tie the wall to the foundation and to the ring beam and restrains
out-of-plane bending force and in-plane shear force. Horizontal bands help to transmit the
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bending and inertia forces in transverse walls (out-of-plane) to the supporting shear walls
(in-plane), as well as restraining the shear force between adjoining walls and minimising
vertical crack propagation. The horizontal and vertical bands should be tied together and
to the other structural elements (foundations, roof, etc.) by means of nylon string. This
attachment provides a stable matrix, which is inherently stronger than the individual com-
ponents. Figure 5 shows the construction procedure during the retrotting of the full-scale
house model using one of the mesh type retrotting methods using PP-band mesh
(National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal [NSET], 2009).
According to Sathiparan, Mayorca, and Meguro (2008), there is a trend towards a
signicant increase in cracking in masonry wall retrotted by meshes, which is
generated by the incompatibility of deformation between the masonry and meshes.

Figure 4. Various mesh type retrotting techniques used for masonry structures. (a) and (e)
reproduced from Tetley and Madabhushi (2007).
6 N. Sathiparan
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Figure 5. Procedure for mesh type retrotting (PP-band retrotting). Reproduced with permission
from National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET) (2009).

Generally mesh distributed the stress through the cracks, transferring it to the undam-
aged portions of the structure. As a result, new cracks appeared. By allowing cracking
without the loss of wall integrity, the meshes enhance structural ductility and energy
dissipation capacity while holding disintegrated structural elements together, thus
preventing collapse. In addition, the effectiveness of the retrot is highly dependent on
how tightly the mesh is attached to the structure. The tighter the mesh is attached, the
earlier its effects will be observed (Sathiparan et al., 2008).
European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering 7

3.1. Steel cage


The use of external welded wire mesh has been studied by several researchers as a
reinforcement system that could be applied both to new and existing earthen construc-
tion (San Bartolome, Quiun, & Zegarra, 2008; Tetley & Madabhushi, 2007). The mesh
is placed in horizontal and vertical strips nailed with metal bottle caps to the adobe
walls, and it is covered with a thick cement and sand mortar. Shaking table test results
show that, the steel mesh retrotted model suffered damage, but did not collapse. Steel
wire mesh retrotting proved to be effective during the 2007 Pisco, Peru earthquake
and did not suffer any damage (San Bartolome et al., 2008). Clearly the use of rein-
forcement is successful in improving seismic performance of adobe buildings, but it has
been recognised that the use of steel is problematic as it is expensive and susceptible to
corrosion problems.
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3.2. Polymer mesh


This technique uses polymer mesh (geomesh) commonly used in geotechnical applica-
tions. The advantage of this material lies in the compatibility with the earthen wall
deformation and its ability to provide an adequate transmission of tensile strength to the
walls up to the nal state. The mesh is attached to adobe walls by plastic or nylon
forming a connement and consequently preventing the total collapse. The researchers
found that it is possible for the walls to disintegrate into large blocks during severe
ground shaking; however, the mesh prevents the walls from falling apart, and collapse
can be avoided (Blondet, Torrealva, Vargas, Velasquez, & Tarque, 2006).
Research performed in recent years also indicated that varies polymer mesh retro-
tting system such as bre-reinforced polymer (Ehsani, Saadatmanesh, & Velazquez-
Dimas, 1999; ElGawady, Lestuzzi, & Badoux, 2006), polymer textile (Triantallou,
2010) and polymer carbon mesh (Bischof & Suter, 2014) are effective strengthening
solutions for masonry structures. Moreover, the use of these materials does not alter
the natural behaviour of the structure since they do not add mass. In addition, they
are removable, and they can be made either invisible or visible, in order to comply
with modern restoration requirements.

3.3. PP-band mesh


PP-band retrotting is a simple and low-cost method that consists of conning all
masonry walls with a mesh of PP-bands. PP-bands are an inexpensive, durable, strong
and widely available material, commonly used for packing. PP-band retrotting
technique is simple enough to be understood and applied by craftsmen and homeowners
without any prior knowledge and special expertise, thus, it is expected to meet the very
critical requirement of developing countries, the easy-to-use method by this retrotting
technique. The applicability of PP-band meshes to retrot unreinforced masonry struc-
tures has been tested under static (Sathiparan, Mayorca, Nesheli, Ramesh, & Meguro,
2005), cyclic (Mayorca & Meguro, 2003) and dynamic loading (Sathiparan et al.,
2012). One-quarter scale (Meguro, Mayorca, Sathiparan, Guragain, & Nesheli, 2005)
and full-scale (Nesheli et al., 2006) models tested on a shaking table have been
reported. The testing showed how the retrot improved the house model seismic perfor-
mance signicantly, displaying increased deformation and energy dissipation capacity
before failure. PP-band mesh retrotting has had application in China, Nepal and
Pakistan (JBIC, 2007; NSET, 2009).
8 N. Sathiparan

3.4. Plastic carrier bag mesh


Thus, an innovative new method was tested, using ordinary plastic carrier bags made
into a mesh to reinforce the model (Tetley & Madabhushi, 2007). Plastic bags were cut
into 20 mm strips, these were then plaited together to make ropes. These plaited ropes
were then knotted together to make 50 mm 50 mm mesh. The mesh was wrapped
around the wall in one continuous piece and xed to the base using tacks to mimic
pegging to the ground. The surface of the wall was plastered with the adobe mortar
mixture; this was to hold it in place and for aesthetics. The addition of the carrier bags
clearly made the model more ductile. The ductile failure mechanism would mean there
would be advance warning of the collapse, which would improve the fatality rates in
earthquakes. Carrier bags are incredibly cheap and are normally sent to landll. There
has been no other research into the reinforcement of adobe using plaited carrier bags, so
there are no data for these results to be compared.
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3.5. Bamboo mesh


The bamboo-band retrotting method is based on vertical and horizontal bamboo
strips arranged in a mesh fashion and embedded in a cement mortar overlay. This
process was quite similar to the PP-band retrotting process. The prepared mesh is
installed on both outside and inside of the wall and wrapped around the corner of the
house. The inside and outside meshes are connected by the Polypropylene strings (PP
strings) which were passed through the hole. Shaking table test results have shown
that the retrotted masonry building by this method could withstand over twice larger
input energy than what non-retrotted specimen can do (Meguro et al., 2012).
However, bricks surrounding the bamboo cannot provide proper protection of bamboo
meshes. Low cost and no need for special workers are considered as the main
advantages of this method.

4. Comparison of retrotting methods


4.1. Retrotting material strength
In order to obtain the tensile strength and deformation properties of the retrotting mate-
rials, preliminary tensile testing was carried out by several researchers (Bischof & Suter,
2014; Blondet et al., 2006; Kadam, Singh, & Li, 2014; Sathiparan & Meguro, 2013).
Generally retrotting material exhibited large tensile strength and deformation capacity.
Table 1 summarised the properties of the material used for mesh type retrotting.

4.2. Material and retrotting cost


The cost of retrotting material and strengthening cost are major constraints to
implement this strengthening method. Strengthen by different type of meshes can be
done with 515% cost compares with construction cost, in many parts of the world.
Retrotting cost comparison of different strengthening methods is summarised in Table 2
(Blondet et al., 2006; Nissanka & Priyankara, 2014; Sathiparan, Sakurai, Numada, &
Meguro, 2014; Shrestha, Pradhan, & Guragain, 2012; Smith & Redman, 2009).
European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering 9

Table 1. Retrotting material properties comparison.


Retrotting material Type Maximum tensile strength (MPa) Cut-off strain (%)
Steel wire 850 >5
Polymer Coated carbon 1600 1.5
Tensar BX1200 372
Soft plastic fence 58
PP-band Japan 171 14.0
India 167 10.2
Pakistan 123 13.4
Iran 142 14.1
Peru 113 22.7
Indonesia 167 18.5
Bamboo 350500
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Table 2. Retrotting cost comparison for different strengthening method.


Retrotting type Mesh type Mesh cost (US$/m2) Retrotting cost (US$/m2)
PP-band Polypropylene band 1.4 2.2
Polymar Tensar BX1200 2.0 19.0
Soft plastic fence .5 4.0
Soft polymer mesh 4.5 4.0
Steel cage Steel 2.5 4.4
Bamboo Bamboo 1.5 2.5

4.3. Advantages and drawbacks of retrotting methods


Table 3 summarised the advantages and drawbacks of varies mesh type retrotting
methods (Paudel, 2010; Sathiparan et al., 2012; Smith & Redman, 2009; Tetley &
Madabhushi, 2007). Lack of exibility of steel, industrial geo-grid and bamboo makes
its application difcult, but soft polymer, PP-band and plastic carrier bag can be easily
deformed so application is easy. The major sustainability problem with these methods is
demolished and disposal of retrotting material at the end of the structural life.

4.4. Construction complexity and seismic safety


Table 4 presents a construction complexity and seismic safety comparison of various
retrotting method (Blondet, Villa Garcia, Brzev, & Rubios, 2011). The rst parameter
is related to the complexity of construction, ranging from simple to complex based on
house owners or masons experience. Complexity mainly depended on retrotting mate-
rial exibility, preparation of the mesh, amount of surface nishing required and knowl-
edge required to retrot the structures. The second parameter ranks the reinforcement
systems, according to the seismic safety they provide. The seismic safety of retrotted
structures is assessed based on the damage level of the buildings. Three levels of perfor-
mances: immediate occupancy, life safety and collapse prevention based on damage
levels described in FEMA were used (FEMA 356, 2000). The criteria for different perfor-
mance levels were taken from FEMA 356, Table C13: structural performance levels and
damage. According to Sathiparan et al. (2012), even higher intensity shaking, mesh type
retrotted structures not showed severe levels of structural damage. The objective of pro-
viding seismic retrotting of the building is to protect the lives of the building occupants,
feasibility of various retrotting techniques for application in developing communities
10 N. Sathiparan

Table 3. Advantages and drawbacks of different mesh type retrotting methods.


Method Advantages Drawbacks
Steel  High increment in lateral resistance  Lack of exibility of steel cage
mesh  Improves ductility makes installation around opening
and corner is difcult
 Steel is susceptible to corrosion
problems and disposal at the end
of the design life will be difcult

Polymer  Soft polymer mesh can be easily  Tough nature of material and lack
deformed so transportation, of exibility makes Industrial geo-
application and removal are easy grid application and removal is
difcult
 Polymer mesh requires use and
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processing of petrochemicals,
which is not sustainable unless
sourced from recycled or re-used
units

PP-band  PP-band is water proof and  PP-band is not available as mesh,


chemically stable in general, it is so preparation of mesh required
possible to use with mud mortar special equipment and time
 PP-band is light weight and can be
easily carried in the mountainous
region and so on
 Retrot is simple enough for
application by local craftsmen and
homeowners without any prior
knowledge

Bamboo  Bamboo is relatively cheap, easy  Mud plaster surrounding the


to work with and readily available bamboo will not provide adequate
in most warm climate countries protection against water intrusion
 Bamboo is highly environmental and makes maintenance/inspection
friendly than other retrotting of bamboo difcult
material. It can be easily disposed
of at the end of its design life
 Low technical requirements and
can be done any locations where
bamboo available

Plastic  The materials used are light and  It takes a very long time to
carrier exible construct the mesh, which is a
bag  Carrier bags are incredibly cheap barrier for this method unless the
 Carrier bags are normally sent to mesh manufacture can be
landll or thrown away. Reusing industrialised/streamlined in some
these bags is therefore considered a way
sustainable solution

assessing them according to seismic safety. Based on that suitability of polymer mesh
and PP-band mesh retrotting method are considered as strong option; bamboo mesh,
steel mesh and plastic carrier bag retrotting method are considered as moderate option
for application in developing communities (Smith & Redman, 2009).
European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering 11

Table 4. Construction complexity and seismic safety of retrotting methods.


Retrotting method Construction complexity Seismic safety
Steel mesh Simple Moderate
Polymer mesh Simple High
PP-band mesh Moderate High
Bamboo mesh Simple Moderate
Plastic carrier bag Simple Moderate

4.5. Structural performance of retrotted structure


To assess the particular masonry construction in relation to the earthquake resistance
level, it is mainly characterised by peak load and deformation capacity with hysteric
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dissipation (Pandey, 2002). The materials used in mesh type retrotting have a relatively
low stiffness compared to the masonry walls. Because of this, they did not contribute to
increase the walls initial strength. Although some differences are observed, these are
due to: (1) mortar overlay presence, (2) bonding between mortar overlay and masonry
wall and (3) variability of masonry properties due to the workmanship effect. The
retrotting material mesh contribution was only observed after the wall cracked.
Table 5 shows the structural performance comparison for different mesh type retro-
tting method. Although these methods were not improving the initial peak strength of
the structures, but improve the residual strength, deformation capacity and energy dissi-
pation by a high margin. Because of the type of test conducted and material used were
varied, it is difcult to make direct comparisons regarding the structural performance of
the techniques. However, test results show that behaviour factor achieved by these
methods is more than the range of values of behaviour factor for reinforced masonry
construction which is proposed in the Eurocode 8 (BS EN 19981, 2004).

5. Critical issues in promote mesh type seismic retrotting


Based on ground facts, following challenges in the application of these strengthening
methods for seismic resistant masonry construction are noticeable.

5.1. Economic ability


The cost of retrotting material and strengthening cost are major constraint to
implement this strengthening method. Previous researches show that these techniques
can enhance the safety of masonry buildings, even during severe ground motion. Even
though strengthen by different type of meshes can be done with less cost compare with
construction cost, in many parts of the world, this amount of money is still unafford-
able. Table 2 summarises the approximately cost of several retrotting techniques. In
case that PP-mesh fabrication is dealt by outsourcing and mesh installation is dealt by
the house owner, then the total installation cost is around 245 US$ for houses with oor
area 72 m2 (JBIC, 2007). However, in developing countries, people living in the most
vulnerable houses are usually those with very low income, and therefore, it is
impossible for them to afford theses retrotting costs.
12 N. Sathiparan

Table 5. Structural performance comparison for different mesh type retrotting methods.
Improvement
Retrotting Performance (comparison to
methods Reference Test type parameter reference wall)
Steel mesh Tetley and Madabhushi Shaking Collapse ~2
(2007) table test acceleration
Kadam et al. (2014) Diagonal Residual 4.510
shear test strength
Behaviour 5.4
factor
Polymer Varum et al. (2014) Cyclic Shear ~1.2
shear test resistance
Deformation 1.8
capacity
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PP-band Sathiparan et al. (2008) Diagonal Residual ~3.0


shear test strength
Sathiparan et al. (2012), Shaking Shear 1.081.62
Sathiparan, Sakurai, Numada, table test resistance
and Meguro (2013), (2014) Deformation 8.5319.25
capacity
Energy 3.342.4
deformation
Behaviour 6.7
factor
Bamboo Meguro et al. (2012) Shaking Deformation ~6.8
table test capacity
Energy ~4.7
deformation
Behavior 4.0
factor
Plastic Tetley and Madabhushi Shaking collapse ~2
carrier (2007) table test acceleration
bag

5.2. Availability of material, workmanship


Key components of achieving the desired standards of retrotting methods are the
workmanship and the materials used. But, these retrotting materials are neither locally
available nor easily transportable to the local area. In case of steel mesh or industrial
geo-grid, they are only available in urban cities but not in rural areas. Also, their nature
of heavy weight and lack of exibility makes transportable to rural area difcult. The
PP-band is light weight, but it is only available as band form. So it required special
equipment such as ultrasonic welder to prepare the mesh. Bamboo also required special
treatment to prepare as mesh.

5.3. Technology
Self-construction is a major practice in developing countries (Dixit, 2004), it is
necessary to propose a simple method to understand and easy to implement retrotting
schemes. These strengthening methods are more complicated for implemented in the
local sites than during laboratory testing. Special care has taken into consideration
during foundation level, roof level and closer to opening.
European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering 13

5.4. Architectural disturbance


By the nature of these strengthening methods include additional mass added to the wall
and requirement surface nishing after strengthening with the retrotting materials. This
leads to disturbance to the building occupants during retrotting procedure, and loss of
usable space due to the strengthening application.

5.5. Initial strength reduction


Mesh retrotting can increase the deformation capacity of structural system by releasing
energy through crack propagation. It can hold well even for an intense shaking, but
cannot increase the original shear capacity. In addition to that, these retrotting proce-
dures required hole in the wall to connect the mesh from both sides of the wall. But in
existing structures, making a hole by driller may reduce the strength considerably.
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5.6. Demolition after end of building life


End of retrotted structural life, it is difcult to separate the retrotting materials from
masonry wall, especially when surface nishing applied to the building. Although retro-
tting material is almost never recycled into new products, so it can damp together with
other building materials and put into landlls. But it is dangerous to the environment
and soil.

5.7. Disaster awareness


Even if technically attractive retrot method is developed, if peoples disaster imagina-
tion capability is poor, retrot of weaker houses cannot be popular. It is impossible for
human to prepare well for unimaginable situations, especially in moderate seismic
regions.

6. Possible strategies to overcome limitations


6.1. Retrot subsidisation programme
Mesh type retrotting is specically aimed at the lowest income communities in
developing countries. However, such lowest income communities may struggle to meet
basic needs, and so retrotting for earthquake safety still cannot be afforded without
additional subsidy. To overcome this issue, Meguro et al. have proposed several systems
for subsidising seismic retrots including the two-step incentive system and new
micro-earthquake insurance based or micro nance based incentive system, etc. (Iritani,
Mayorca, & Meguro, 2007; Meguro, 2008). It was found that if this system would have
been implemented before the 2003 Bam, 2005 Kashmir and 2006 Java earthquakes, the
costs spend by government and house owners could have been dramatically decreased.
Consequently, the number of casualties could have been reduced (Iritani et al., 2007).

6.2. Workshop for house owners and masons


In past years, there are several workshop and training programmes were conducted for
local masons and house owners (Dixit, 2007; DMMC, 2012; NSET, 2009; Rajendra &
Rupal, 2009). The aim of the workshops was to provide hands on training to the
14 N. Sathiparan

masons in constructing hazard resistant buildings with special reference to earthquakes.


Figure 6 shows the one this type of mason training programme was conducted by NSET
in Nepal (Dixit, 2007). Following the workshop and training programmes, feedback
from the masons was that they were motivated by the need for earthquake safety, very
positive to be armed with simple rules-of-thumb that can be implemented easily but
have an impact and keen to learn more about the retrotting techniques.

6.3. Public demonstration


It is important to increase disaster imagination of the people to understand the impor-
tance of seismic retrot of weaker houses. By improving peoples disaster awareness,
house owners are encouraged to retrot their own weaker houses by themselves. For
this purpose, demonstrations at earthquake affected areas have been carried out by sev-
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eral organizations (JBIC, 2007; Meguro, 2010; Numada, Watanabe, Kuroda, & Meguro,
2013). Figure 7 shows the public demonstration at Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, one of the
most hit areas during 2005 Kashmir earthquake (Meguro, 2010). The main feedback
from the community after the demonstration was that community members were also
motivated by the need for earthquake safety, keen to retrot their homes but concerned
over the cost of retrotting. This type demonstration may improve peoples disaster
awareness.

6.4. Green wall strengthening method


The integration of vegetation on buildings, through green walls, allows obtaining a sig-
nicant improvement of the buildings efciency, ecological and environmental benets.
Several researches show the environmental and microclimatic benets of the green wall
in architecture (Perini, Ottel, Fraaij, Haas, & Raiteri, 2011); however, the potentialities
of green wall technology to retrot buildings are still not much investigated. In green
wall, by the time the roots of the plant tend to spread all over the wall surface, it ends
up forming a strong matrix, and therefore, it increases the shear and tensile capacity of
the wall against the external forces generated by the seismic activities. Since the roots
of the plant grab the wall and act as a protection layer, wall cannot be easily collapsed
into debris under those forces. Therefore, it plays fundamental role aiming to strengthen

Figure 6. Training programmes for masons. Reproduced with permission from National Society
for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET) (2009).
European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering 15
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Figure 7. Public demonstration programme in Pakistan.

the masonry structures. Initial research conducted by Nissanka and Priyankara (2014).
There has been no other research into the strengthening of masonry using plants, so
there are no data for these results to be compared to. A major disadvantage in green
walls is their aerial roots penetrate small cracks and as they grow and expand it jeopar-
dises the structural integrity of a building. Therefore, plants can alter the mortar quality
and do permanent damage to the masonry wall. Further tests would be required before
an exact gure can be placed on the value of this technique.

6.5. Composite material


Mesh retrotting can increase the deformation capacity of structural system by releasing
energy through crack propagation, but cannot increase the original shear capacity.
Umair, Numada, and Meguro (2013) proposed the new retrotting technique which is a
composite of PP-band and carbon bre reinforced polymer. Both of these materials are
applied on masonry wall system as a composite material, and this composite not only
serves satisfactory to keep integral the structural system by providing sufcient deforma-
tion and energy dissipation capacity but also increases initial shear strength. This
method overcomes the shear strength reduction problem, but retrotting cost will be
increased.

7. Conclusions
Masonry is classied as a brittle material with a fragile behaviour, in particular when
subjected to horizontal forces, like those induced by earthquakes. Masonry structures
are heavy and brittle, and during earthquakes, they may attract large inertia forces that
lead to the collapse of the adobe constructions. Several masonry seismic retrotting
methods studied by different researchers showed to be efcient, as observed in their test
results.
In recent years, several researches work on mesh type retrotting for masonry struc-
tures to improve the seismic behaviour of masonry constructions. The main objective of
mesh retrotting is to hold the masonry components into a single unit and to prevent
the collapse of masonry structures. The mesh type retrotting can be made of any
16 N. Sathiparan

ductile material, including steel cage, polymer, polypropylene band, bamboo meshes
and plastic carrier bag. Although this review has assessed the feasibility of applying the
various mesh types retrotting methods in developing countries, but data collected from
varies researchers, so it is difcult to make direct comparisons regarding the structural
performance of the techniques. It is therefore recommended that further work is carried
out on the same type of test with the same materials, which can provide some sort of
structural performance comparison of the methods discussed in this review. So, the
selection of a mesh for use in the retrotting of the adobe wall was challenging based
on the studies examined during the state-of-the art review of the meshes available in the
market and used in interventions in other constructions and on general considerations.
Generally, when selecting the particular mesh type, in addition to structural
performance, following characteristics should be considered (Figueiredo, Varum, Costa,
Silveira, & Oliveira, 2013):
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 Availability in local or in the market.


 Low cost when compared with others.
 Masonry is a material with a high water absorption capacity, therefore, meshes
should be non-corrodible.
 Mesh roughness, because it is important that the mesh surface is unpolished to
provide a good grip.
 Thickness of the mesh, without making the plaster difcult to apply.
 Flexible material, which can provide easy installation.

As mentioned earlier, the mesh type material was considered for retrotting of
masonry houses because they are affordable and notably improve the structure seismic
behaviour. But even these methods are technically attractive retrotting method, if peo-
ples disaster imagination capability is poor, retrot of weaker houses cannot be popular.
So, we should pay much attention to increase disaster imagination of the people to
understand the importance of seismic retrot of weaker houses that is the main cause of
casualty and to create some social systems by which house owners are encouraged to
retrot their own weaker houses by themselves.

Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank Mr. Ramesh Guragain and Mr. Amod Dixit, National Society for
Earthquake Technology (NSET) - Nepal, for providing the data to prepare Figure 5 and Figure 6.

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