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Reinforced concrete multistory buildings

1. General Information

Report #: 115

Report Date: 2010

Country: Mexico

Housing Type: masonry

Housing Sub-Type: unreinforced

Author(s): Mario Rodriguez, Francisco G. Jarque

Last Updated: 2012

Regions Where Found: Buildings of this construction type can be found in four important regions in Mexico: 1.- Mexico City and metropolitan area, capital city of Mexico, with 30% of the total housing stock in the country. 2.- Guadalajara, Capital City of the State of Jalisco, high seismicity 3.- Monterrey, Capital City of the State of Nuevo Leon, low seismicity. 4.- Cities at resort areas of the Pacific coast, such as Acapulco, Ixtapa, Huatulco. This type of housing construction is commonly found in urban areas.

Summary: This report describes Reinforced Concrete (RC) multistory residential buildings in Mexico. This type of construction is found mostly in large cities where space limitations lead to this type of solution. Typically buildings of this type have eight or more stories. Members of the middle and upper classes are the target market for this type of construction. In areas of low seismic risk, waffle slab floor systems without structural RC walls are preferred by developers primarily due to their speed of construction. In areas of medium to high seismic risk, it is typical for this type of building to have a dual system, which combines RC moment frames and RC structural walls as the main lateral load resisting elements. The RC floor systems are constructed of waffle slabs or solid slabs. RC buildings account for about 80% of the entire housing stock in Mexico. Buildings constructed after 1985 are expected to perform well under seismic forces, especially in Mexico City, where the building construction code has been substantially updated to incorporate lessons learned during the 1985 earthquake.

Length of time practiced: 51-75 years

Still Practiced: Yes

In practice as of:

Building Occupancy: Residential, 20-49 units

Typical number of stories: 10-25

Terrain-Flat: Typically

Terrain-Sloped: Typically

Comments: Comments here

2. Features

Plan Shape: Rectangular, solid

Additional comments on plan shape:

Typical plan length(meters): 40

Typical plan width (meters): 25

Typical story height (meters): 3.2

Type of Structural System: Structural Concrete: Moment Resisting Frame: Dual system Frame with shear wall

Additional comments on structural system: The vertical load-resisting system is reinforced concrete moment resisting frame. Columns, beams and solid or waffle slabs. The lateral load-resisting system is reinforced concrete structural walls (with frame). Moment resisting frames are used in low seismic areas and dual systems (combination of frames and RC walls) are used in medium and high seismic areas. In dual systems, shear walls are usually located at the building core and moment frames are located at the building perimeter.

Gravity load-bearing & lateral load-resisting systems:

Typical wall densities in direction 1: 1-2%

Typical wall densities in direction 2: 1-2%

Additional comments on typical wall densities:

Wall Openings: Mostly 2 openings are constructed at floor levels, leaving space for elevators and stairs. These openings are commonly located at the center of floor systems and are surrounded by concrete walls, which are part of the lateral load resisting system. Their sizes vary but typical dimensions are 2 x 5 m for stair ways and 2.5 x 2.5 m for elevators. Openings for doors are also located in RC walls. These walls are usually located at the building core and is unusual to locate RC walls at the building perimeter. Partitions in RC buildings for residential construction are usually constructed with clay/concrete blocks.

Is it typical for buildings of this type to have common walls with adjacent buildings?: Yes

Modifications of buildings: A typical pattern for the modification of RC buildings is the demolition of partitions, which are not part of the lateral load system for the building.

Type of Foundation: Shallow Foundation: Reinforced concrete isolated footingShallow Foundation: Reinforced concrete strip footingShallow Foundation: Mat foundationDeep Foundation: Reinforced concrete bearing pilesDeep Foundation: Reinforced concrete skin friction pilesDeep Foundation: Cast-in-place concrete piersDeep Foundation: Caissons

Additional comments on foundation:

Type of Floor System: Other floor system

Additional comments on floor system: Structural concrete: Solid slabs (cast-in-place); Waffle slabs (cast-in-place); Flat slabs (cast-in-place); Solid slabs (precast) In most design of RC buildings for residential construction, all diaphragms are considered rigid.

Type of Roof System:

Additional comments on roof system: In most design of RC buildings for residential construction, all diaphragms are considered rigid.

Additional comments section 2: When separated from adjacent buildings, the typical distance from a neighboring building is 0.20 meters.

3. Buildings Process

Structural Element Building Material (s) Comment (s)
Wall/Frame Concretefc= 30 MPa
Foundations Concretefc= 25 MPa
Floors Concretefc= 25 MPa
Roof Concretefc= 25 MPa

Design Process

Who is involved with the design process?: Engineer or Architect

Roles of those involved in the design process:: Local building codes require that a project be designed by a registered engineer. Architects are in charge of the building space distribution and of fulfilling the owners requirements. Usually architects hire structural engineers for the design and construction of buildings.

Expertise of those involved in the design::

Construction Process

Who typically builds this construction type? Other

Roles of those involved in the building process: Typically this construction type is built by developers.

Expertise of those involved in building process:

Construction process and phasing: RC buildings for residential construction in Mexico is mostly constructed by developers. Depending on the type of soil, excavations for foundations is carried out with several types of excavator machineries. Ready-mix concrete is usually supplied for construction of these buildings. The construction of this type of housing takes place incrementally over time. Typically, the building is originally designed for its final constructed size.

Construction issues:

Building Codes and Standards

Is this construction type address by codes/standards? Yes

Applicable codes or standards: There is not a national building code and only few local codes are available; therefore, a number of regions in Mexico do not have building codes. In those cases some adaptations of the Mexico City building code are used. This code covers RC design and in most parts is based on the ACI 318 code. In some regions of the country where there is no local building code, the ACI 318 code is mostly followed. In Mexico City, the title of the current building code is “Reglamento de Construcciones del Distrito Federal” (Federal District Building Code). The year the first code/standard addressing this type of construction issued was In Mexico City the first code provisions were issued in 1920 and the 1942 building code for Mexico City was the first that had seismic provisions. The most recent building code for Mexico City was released in 2004.

Process for building code enforcement: Building has to be designed by code requirements and plans need to be approved by a registered engineer. Plans are submitted to a code enforcement agency. However, usually the structural design is not reviewed by these agencies. It is assumed that the structural design is a responsibility only of the registered engineer. Building permits in Mexico City are granted by the local agency. In other parts of the country where there are local building codes these permits are granted by the corresponding local code enforcement agency. After the permit is granted, the code enforcement agency usually does not send inspectors to the construction site.

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