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Building classes

Residential building classes were classified based on the lateral load resisting system and its material, the ductility level and the range of number of stories. These parameters were inferred from the characteristic presented in the various census surveys, see table bellow, and based on expert judgment. There are certainly other parameters that could have been considered, such as the year of construction and structural irregularities, but the available information did not allow including these features. In addition, only the building classes that represent more than 0.1% of the total residential building stock within a country were included (an iterative process was required for defining the classes that satisfy this criteria).

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Information regarding construction practice in the region was also investigated. For example, the significant seismic activity in the Andean countries has encouraged the development of standards for seismic design and construction of structures in the region in order to prevent and reduce their vulnerability. The seven selected countries have implemented national codes for material, design and construction of buildings that meet international standards, and these codes have been updated at least in the last 10 years. Initially each country began the development of its own code based on the American building standards, and these have been adjusted over time according to local requirements. Unfortunately, despite governmental efforts on implementing these regulations, some countries still have high rates of informal construction that do not satisfy the minimum requirements, and non-engineered structures represent a large proportion of the building inventory.

As previously mentioned, the building typologies considered in the project are summarised in the following table:

The proposed classification has several assumptions behind. Experts form the region helped in the definition and significance of the selected types and a summary of the main point is presented bellow:

  • The following typologies are non ductile: all types of unreinforced masonry (MUR, MUR+ADO and MUR+STRUB/STDRE); cane material or bamboo (WBB); tapia (or tapial) that is considered as ER/ETR; and Bahareque and Quincha that are classified as WWD.
  • Despite of the fact that some of the typologies represent a small proportion in the countries, they were considered separately in order to have a better estimation of the number of building. This occurs specially for tall reinforce concrete buildings, that correspond to CR/LDUAL or CR/LWAL with 4 - 7 or 8 - 19 storeys.
  • Precast construction is scarce. Only one type of construction was considered for the case of Chile and Colombia (CR+PC/LWAL/H:1,3).
  • For Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela reinforced masonry is not a common construction type, and therefore it was neglected.
  • Stone construction is not very representative in the region. Therefore, only two typologies were considered, MUR+STDRE and MUR+STRUB between 1 and 2 storeys, even though some datasets provide additional information for inferring the number of storeys and the mortar type.
  • Bolivia and Ecuador have CR/LFLS construction system. Over the past earthquakes this construction type performed poorly, showing low ductility levels and significant damage. However, ductile and no ductile systems were considered assuming that the former system have been design according to building codes while the second system has been built without seismic provision.
  • Venezuela and Argentina have some residential building with lateral load resisting system made of steel. However, given the low proportion of this material, a unique typology S/LFM was assumed.
  • WHE construction is not very representative in the region. Therefore, only one typology was considered between 1 and 2 storeys, even though some datasets provide additional information for inferring the number of storeys.
  • For the case of Argentina, earthen buildings are not common in the country; the W+WBB typology was removed from the scheme given the scarce presence in the country (less that 0.1%), and it was considered as UNK; and MCF+ADO/DNO/H:1,2 was identified as a common construction practice.
  • For the case of Chile, the construction practice does not include reinforced concrete framed structures, and therefore only wall structures were considered.
  • For the case of Venezuela, the typologies W+WS and W+WBB were removed from the scheme given the very low presence in the country (less that 0.1%), and therefore they were considered as UNK; the wooden typologies were aggregated into a single type given that they only represent 0.13% of the portfolio, and only the WWD category was kept since by itself represent 0.5%; and stone construction was considered as UNK because it is not representative (around 0.002%).

BACK to Definition of building classes

  • risk/exposure/building_typologies.txt
  • Last modified: 2016/04/29 15:14
  • by Catalina Yepes