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Procedia Engineering 54 (2013) 165 – 175

The 2nd International Conference on Rehabilitation and Maintenance in Civil Engineering

Investigation on Wall Crack Damage and Its Proposed Repair Method

Sholihin A , Mukahara, and M. Sukimanb
Department of Civil Engineering, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Indonesia
Postgraduate School of Rehabilitation and Maintenance in Civil Eng, Universitas Sebelas Maret , Indonesia


Some cracks appeared on the masonry wall of the two storey building of Central for Surgery
unit of Dr. Sugiri Hospital, Lamongan, Indonesia. This building is relatively new where its
construction was completed on 2009. Various patterns of those cracks were detected almost in
all its masonry walls with crack width up to 5 mm. This paper reports the investigation the crack
defects on this building and its proposed rehabilitation method. The occurred cracks were
recorded and its data of design note, soil investigation report and as built drawing were checked.
The structural evaluation and additional soil investigation were carried out in order to assess the
structural building capacity, foundation bearing capacity and soil swelling potential. The type of
rehabilitation is proposed regarding investigation results that identified the cause of cracks.
Indication that the crack was possibly caused by inadequate foundation bearing capacity,
unproper dimension of beam and column of the structure in second floor and the shrinkage of
mortar wall. The proposed repair method is to use mini pile and pile cap enlargement for
improving its foundation bearing capacity, column concrete jacketing for some parts of its
structure component and epoxy resin injection in the existed cracked wall.

© 2012
© 2013 ThePublished by Elsevier
Authors. Published Ltd.
by Elsevier Selection
Ltd. Open accessand/or
under CC peer-review under responsibility of
BY-NC-ND license.
Department of Civil Engineering, Sebelas Maret University
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of Department of Civil Engineering, Sebelas Maret University

Keywords: building repair; cracked wall; retrofitting.

1. Introduction
The Building of central for surgery unit of Dr. Sugiri Hospital in Lamongan,
Indonesia, was designed as two storey reinforced concrete structures with masonry wall.
The first floor and some part of the second floor of this building have been completed

* Corresponding author.
E-mail address: s_asad@uns.ac.id

1877-7058 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of Department of Civil Engineering, Sebelas Maret University
166 Sholihin Aa’ad et al. / Procedia Engineering 54 (2013) 165 – 175

on 2009 and served for surgery work of the hospital. However, not longer than a year,
the occurrence of crack was visually detected in several location on the building such as
wall, the wall-column joint and the wall-beam joint. Some diagonal cracks were found
near the door frame corner and the window frame corner. At several locations, the wall-
column joint and on the middle part of masonry wall experienced vertical and horizontal
cracks. After two years of building service, the appearance of cracks tends to be worse
where most of wall had already experienced cracking damage.
This case has postponed the second stage construction that is intended to complete
the second floor on April 2011 The owner needs to investigate the cause of the cracks
and to evaluate whether the building structure remains safe in supporting its service load.
This paper reports the investigation on the wall cracks defect on central for surgery
unit of Dr. Sugiri Hospital in Lamongan, Indonesia. The crack record, building material,
soil data, as-built drawing built drawing were assessed and re-analyzed in order to have
a clear information about the cause of cracks. The proposed repair/rehabilitation in
order to recover the building performance is also presented.

2. Case Overview
The structure system of central for surgery unit of Dr. Sugiri Hospital is reinforced
concrete open frame consisting of beam, column and slabs of two story height. With a
limited budget, the building had to be constructed in two stages. First stage, or recent

columns of the building. The second stage, or future construction, will finalize the
whole building with steel frame roof.
At the time of the study, most of building wall has experienced significant crack
defects. Figure 1
Their direction path can be vertical, horizontal and diagonal. Some crack penetrated the
wall and can be seen on the both side of wall surface.
The vertical crack on the joint wall and column is a dominant type of crack that was
found on the building. Its size varied from 200 mm to 2300 mm in length and 1 to 5 mm
in width. This crack width has exceeded the maximum limit that specified in the
Indonesian Standard, SNI (Purwono et al. 2007). Joint that closed to the door frame and
to the window frame is more vulnerable for the crack occurrence.
It was recorded that many cracks have initial point on the door frame corner and
window frames corner. Crack path that close to wall-column joint or wall-beam joint,
tends to connect to the one on wall-beam joint.
On the hand, some horizontal cracks were found on the wall-beam joint and on the
inner wall plane. Some were active cracks and some others were considered as dormant
Gebregziabhier (2008) defined the active crack as a growth crack that is caused by
foundation settlement, joint and expansion such as wall-column joint etc. While
dormant crack or not active crack, initially, is an active crack, however after certain
time it stops to grow and its dimension and disperse pattern were relatively constant.
This is caused by material shrinkage.
Sholihin Aa’ad et al. / Procedia Engineering 54 (2013) 165 – 175 167

1,80 2,20 3,50 3,10 6,10 1,60

1 2 4 8 9 11 12

balok 15/25 balok 25/40

bak cuci bak cuci ruang persiapan


1,60 3,05 3,05 3,10 3,50 4,00

12 11 9 8 4 1


2,25 1,25 1,25 1,00 1,75 0,75 1,25 1,50 2,00 1,85 2,00


Figure 1 Various crack pattern occurred on wall, the wall-column joint and the wall-beam joint
168 Sholihin Aa’ad et al. / Procedia Engineering 54 (2013) 165 – 175

The cracks occurred only on wall, the joint of wall-column and the joint of wall-
beam. The column and beam did not record the crack. Besides that, no case of crack
was detected on the building floor.
Unfortunately, there is no clear information when the initial crack occurred. The
drawing, complete design note is very limited.

3. Investigation on the source of cracks

3.1 Method
From the case overview, there are many possibilities that cause wall cracks. These
could be the inappropriate building structure capacity, foundation problem such as
inadequate foundation load bearing capacity and swelling soil and shrinkage in building
material. The cause of crack can be one or combination among those factors.
This reason leads this investigation then is focusing on the assessment on the used
building material, as built drawing, the structure and the foundation capacity of existed
building and the soil behavior beneath the building.
The quality of concrete and the quality of steel bar were checked using rebound
hammer test and tensile strength test respectively. These data and as-built drawing were
used to analyze the building structure performance whether the existed structure
component was appropriate to support the service load of the building.
The soil data which comprised CPT (cone penetration test), boring log and soil
laboratory test, combined with the foundation as built drawing were used as the input
data for the foundation capacity evaluation and the soil behavior beneath the building.
The wall stress analysis using finite element program helps to figure out the possible
cause of crack.
For rehabilitation measure, the rehabilitation method regarding the expected cause
of crack is proposed.
3.2 Data assessment
The rebound hammer test of fifteen points of concrete material building component,
such as columns, beams and slab, recorded that the average compressive strength of the
building is 22 MPa. While the tensile strength test of steel bar that was applied in
reinforced concrete is 351 MPa for column and beam and 240 MPa for steel reinforced
concrete slab. Figure 2a and Figure 2b show the rebound hammer test on the column
component of building and steel bar sample that collect from the existed building.
Sholihin Aa’ad et al. / Procedia Engineering 54 (2013) 165 – 175 169

(a) Rebound hammer concrete test (b) sample of steel bar for tensile strength test
Figure 2 Building material quality assessment

The as build drawing and the visual inspection showed that the upper structure of
building were supported by 250 mm x 250 mm of column size. The columns were
connected with three types of beams size; 250 mm x 600 mm, 250 mm x 400 mm and
150 mm x 250 mm for beam span of 7950 mm, 3000 mm and 3000 mm respectively.
The thickness of concrete slab of the second floor was 120 mm.
Some soil data have been collected in order to evaluate the soil layer and the
foundation performance of the building. The five meter depth of boring log taken from
the building design note showed that the soil strata was gray silt with sandy materials up
to 4 meter below the surface and after that the black silt layer dominated the soil layer.
The plasticity index of soil ranged from 18% to 20%. Two Dutch Cone Penetration
Test (DCPT) data indicated that the soil strata up to eight meter depth was soft soil with
CPT cone resistance of 20 kg/cm2. Figure 3 shows the cone penetration resistance of the
soil layer.

Figure 3 Cone Penertation Test and the cone resistance of soil layer
The soil potential swelling was also tested to check the possibility that the wall
crack was caused by soil swelling. However the result showed that there was no
indiction of the soil swelling as only 0,19% of potential swelling was recorded.
Figure 4 shows the two types of fondations that supported the building structure, the
3 meters of single and double 300 mm in dia of mini bored pile. Both foundation was
provided with 600 mm x 600 mm x 300 mm and 600 mm x 1000 mm x 300 mm of pile
cap thatwere made of reinforced concrete.
170 Sholihin Aa’ad et al. / Procedia Engineering 54 (2013) 165 – 175

- 0,80

- 0,80 - 1,20
sloop 20/35
pilecap 60/100/30
- 1,20 strouss 2Ø30-400

sloop 15/25
pilecap 60/60/30
strouss Ø30-300

- 4,20
- 5,20
0,30 0,30 0,30
0,60 1,00

a. Single mini bored pile (F1) b. Double mini bored pile (F2)
Figure 4. The mini bored pile existing foundation

3.3. Damage evaluation

Structural evaluation
The structure component capacity was calculated using SAP software program. The
calculation was conducted through three dimensional analytical modeling as Figure 5.
The material data and structural configuration collected during field investigation and as
built drawing assessment were used for more accurate evaluation of the safety factor of
the building. The actual load which comprised dead load and live load of 100 kg/m2 was
considered for obtaining the moment, axial load for evaluating the capacity of building
structure components, such as column, beam and foundation.

a. recent construction

b. future stage construction

Figure 5. Three dimensional analytical model of building
Sholihin Aa’ad et al. / Procedia Engineering 54 (2013) 165 – 175 171

Since the construction process of this building is two stages where the first stage is
the recent building and the next stage is the completion of all columns, beams and slabs
roof of the second floor, the structure component calculation is also conducted in two

The calculation results showed that for the recent building, beams and columns were
suitable to serve the service load. This reflected from the calculated strength ratio of
those elements which is more than one. However, on the completion of second stage
construction, the model indicated that some columns were inadequate to support the
Further analysis showed that the cracked moment of structure was much higher than
actual moment. Therefore, it can be concluded that the structure system is safe against
crack and the cause of crack is not a structural matter.
Sub structure evaluation

foundation were used to evaluate the actual foundation capacity. The Begmann and
Mayerhorf formula were used to calculate the existed mini bored pile foundation. The
calculated allowable bearing capacity of single mini bored pile (F1) was 77 kN while
the double mini bored pile (F2) was 162,9 kN.
7,00 2,50 7,00 2,50 7,00 3,70 4,00



P2 P2

P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1

P2 P2 P2 P2 P2
P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1



P2 P2 P2 P2 P2 P2 P2 P2 P2


P1 P2 P1 P1 P2 P1 P2 P1 P2 P1 P1 P2 P1 P1 P2 P2



P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P2 P2


P2 P2 P2
P2 P2

P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P2 P2


P2 P2 P2 P2 P2 P2 P2

P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P2 P2

4,50 2,50 4,50 3,50 4,00 3,00 4,00 3,70 4,00


The foundation is considered suitable if its allowable bearing capacity is more than
the actual load. Table 1 lists the allowable bearing capacity of some fondations of the
building and their service loads/actual loads. Six foundations indicated that they fails to
support the service load properly as its allowable bearing capacity is less than the actual
load. The position of those inadequate foundation is highlighted with red mark in Fig. 6.
172 Sholihin Aa’ad et al. / Procedia Engineering 54 (2013) 165 – 175

node point foundation type coordinate allowable bearing capacity [kN] actual load [kN] remark
20 F2 G4 162,90 176,52 inadequate
21 F2 I4 162,90 148,83
46 F2 G9 162,90 179,33 inadequate
48 F2 I9 162,90 166,26 inadequate
50 F2 L9 162,90 165,00 inadequate
53 F2 O9 162,90 207,42 inadequate
58 F1 J10 77,00 57,90
59 F1 L10 77,00 60,65
60 F1 O10 77,00 55,48
62 F2 A11 162,90 122,94
67 F2 G11 162,90 157,89
70 F2 L11 162,90 145,11
72 F2 O11 162,90 181,02 inadequate
The inadequate foundation capacity potentially causes the different settlement that
generates structure movement and affect the masonry wall stability. This indication is
supported also by the fact that the tip of minipile did not lay on the soil hard stratum
that recorded on 7 to 8 meters depth from the surface.
Since the limit time and budget for crack damage investigation, the measurement of
the expected settlement was not conducted.
As mentioned before, the soil laboratory test on soil recorded only 0,19% of volume
swelling potential which indicated that there was no swelling on substructure of the
For the substructure aspect it can be concluded that there is a possible fondation
movement in form of different settlement as indicated by inadequate bearing capacity
and there is no swelling soil on soil layer.

3.5 Masonry wall stress evaluation

The possibility of the occurrence of foundation different settlement then was
directed to evaluate the masonry wall stress. With the analytical model of SAP 2000,
the excess of different settlement was applied on masonry wall sistems. The generated
internal stress of wall is presented in Fig. 7 Most of these result meet the location of
crack occurrence.
Sholihin Aa’ad et al. / Procedia Engineering 54 (2013) 165 – 175 173

1,80 2,20 3,50 3,10 6,10 1,60

1 2 4 8 9 11 12

balok 15/25 balok 25/40

bak cuci bak cuci ruang persiapan


1,60 3,05 3,05 3,10 3,50 4,00

12 11 9 8 4 1

Figure 7. Wall stress due to expected foundation settlement

4. Repair
Following the latest analysis, some of existed foundations are inadequate in
supporting the service load. This is expected leads to raise a foundation settlement or
different foundation settlement which may cause a structure movement and results an
excessive stress on masonry wall and causes masonry wall crack.
Besides that, some cracks are dormant crack which is expected caused by wall
material shrinkage.
Base on those expected cause of cracks, the following are the proposed repair types
is considered a necessary measure in order to recover the building performance.(i) Pile
cap enlargement up to 2m x 2 m x 0.4 m is considered an better and simple way to
increase the foundation allowable bearing capacity. See Fig. 8a. Installation of two
174 Sholihin Aa’ad et al. / Procedia Engineering 54 (2013) 165 – 175

additional new mini bored pile near the old one is an alternate method of improvement
of foundation bearing performance. (ii) The epoxy resin material is needed for injecting
the existed crack. Gebregziabhier (2008) informed that the active crack repair must be
flexible and should be specially prepared so that it is adequate against the crack.
Dormant crack repair is suitable by both flexible and rigid repair material

a. Pile cap enlargement b. additional mini bored pile with transfer

Figure 8 Proposed foundation rehabilitation
(iii) The concrete jacketing is proposed for the inadequate capacity of existed column if
the owner continues second stage of construction. Additional concrete thickness of 20
mm on each column side will improve the column section capacity. The column
concrete jacketing refers to Vandoros, KG., and Dritsos SE. (2008).

5. Concluding Remarks
Investigation on the cracked damage on masonry walls of Central Surgery unit of
Dr. Sugiri hospital building indicates the findings that :
(a) on upper structure analysis, the building structure is quite suitable to support the
actual load during its recent service. Therefore the cause of cracks is not an
upper structure problem.
(b) The soil strata is not a swelling soil and the possibility of crack accurence due to
structure movement by soil swelling is considered negative.
(c) Based on the foundation bearing capacity calculation and soil test data, six
foundations are inadequate to suppert the axial load. Accordingly there
indication of the occurence foundation different settlement that leads to the
structural movement that can generate an excess stress on masonry walls. This
indication was supported by wall stress analysis and the fact that the foundation
tip is laid on soft layer; 4 m and not on hard stratum 7 m.
(d) Some cracks are dormant crack which considered is caused by the mortar
(e) For future stage of construction, some existed columns are not suitable to
support the service load.
Sholihin Aa’ad et al. / Procedia Engineering 54 (2013) 165 – 175 175

Based on those findings the following are proposed measures that should be done in
order to recover the building function and appearances.
(a) The repair or strengthening of inadequate foundation. Those can be pile cap
enlargement and installation of two new additional mini bored piled close to
old one.
(b) Epoxy resin injection for the recent cracks.
(c) Concrete jacketing for the inadequate existed column with 20 mm additional
jacket thickness of each column sides.
Gebregziabhier Tekeste Teshome (2008), Durability Problems of 20th Century Reinforced Concrete
Heritage Structures and Their Restorations, Paper, July 2008, Technical University of Catalonia,
Purwono, R. Tavio, Imran, I and Raka, I. G. P. (2007), Indonesian Concrete Code for Buildings (SNI 03-
2847-2002). With commentary, ITS Press, Surabaya.
Vandoros, KG., and Dritsos SE. (2008), Concrete jacket construction detail effectiveness when
strengthening RC columns, Construction and Building Materials 22.3 (March 2008) p.264, Gale Art
and Engineering Lite Package, Web, 19 May 2011;