EMSB1- single storied brick masonry house generally with GI roof, Bangladesh

From World Housing Encyclopedia

1. General Information

Report: 91

Building Type: EMSB1- single storied brick masonry house generally with GI roof

Country: Bangladesh

Author(s): Mehedi Ansary

Created on: 3/17/2003

Last Updated: 7/11/2004

Regions Where Found: Buildings of this construction type can be found in all parts of Bangladesh. This type of housing construction is commonly found in both rural and urban areas.

Summary: This is a one-story brick masonry house of fired bricks with cement or lime mortar; roof is either GI sheet or other material. These houses can be seen all over Bangladesh. During the 1918 Srimangal, 1930 Dhubri and some recent earthquakes, these type of houses suffered heavy damage. Houses with a continuous lintel suffered less.

Length of time practiced: 76-100 years

Still Practiced: Yes

Building Occupancy: Single dwelling

Typical number of stories: 1

Are buildings of this type typically built on flat or sloped terrain?: Flat

Comments: Not provided

2. Features

Plan Shape: Rectangular, solid, L-shape

Additional comments on plan shape: Mostly L-shaped, sometimes rectangular.

Typical plan length (meters): 3-5

Typical plan width (meters): 2-4

Typical story height (meters): 2.8

Type of Structural System: Masonry: Unreinforced Masonry Walls: Brick masonry in lime/cement mortar

Additional comments on structural system: The vertical load-resisting system is earthen walls. Traditionally, 10 inch wall is used as load bearing walls. But sometimes poor people use 5 inch wall. Poorer construction do not have any kind of plaster. The lateral load-resisting system is earthen walls. Sometimes there is a continuous lintel, sometimes none. In earthquake prone areas like Chittagong, Sylhet etc. approximately 50% private housing units have continuous lintel. But on the government buildings, the percentage is much lower.

Gravity load-bearing & lateral load-resisting systems: Tie columns are not used.

Typical wall densities in direction 1: 15-20%

Typical wall densities in direction 2: 15-20%

Additional comments on typical wall densities: The typical structural wall density is up to 20 %. 15 - 20%.

Wall Openings: At least three for a single room (two windows and one door). The buildings generally comprise of two to three rooms. The inner and outer rooms have at least two doors. Opening per wall is around 20%. Doors and windows are located in the middle of the wall.

Is it typical for buildings of this type to have common walls with adjacent buildings?: No

Modifications of buildings: Not provided

Type of Foundation: Shallow Foundation: Wall or column embedded in soil, without footing

Additional comments on foundation: Stepped brick foundations with cement mortars are used. Generally foundation bottom lies 2 to 3 ft below GL.

Type of Floor System: Other floor system

Additional comments on floor system: Not provided

Type of Roof System: Roof system, other

Additional comments on roof system: GI roofs with purlins.

Additional comments section 2: In the villages this type of housing may be located several 100 meters apart. When separated from adjacent buildings, the typical distance from a neighboring building is 2 meters.

3. Building Process

Description of Building Materials

Structural Element Building Material (s) Comment (s)
Wall/Frame Brick, cement mortar 1:4 (cement: sand)
Foundations Brick, cement mortar 1:4 (cement: sand)

Design Process

Who is involved with the design process? Owner

Roles of those involved in the design process: Owners are the architect and masons are the engineer for this type of housing.

Expertise of those involved in the design process: They do not have a large role, but masons can be trained by the engineers according to the code guideline for construction.

Construction Process

Who typically builds this construction type? Mason

Roles of those involved in the building process: The house owners hire masons to build these houses. Sometimes masons live in similar houses.

Expertise of those involved in building process: No formal training. Masons are trained by their seniors.

Construction process and phasing: - trench line is planned - excavate 2 to 3 ft deep trench - 6 inch thick sand layer - lay brick and use cement mortar to join them The construction of this type of housing takes place in a single phase. Typically, the building is originally not desig

Construction issues: Not provided

Building Codes and Standards

Is this construction type address by codes/standards? Yes

Applicable codes or standards: This construction type is addressed by the codes/standards of the country. Bangladesh National Building Code. The year the first code/standard addressing this type of construction issued was 1993. BNBC 1993.

Process for building code enforcement: There is no enforcement of building codes for this type of construction.

Building Permits and Development Control Rules

Are building permits required? No

Is this typically informal construction? Yes

Is this construction typically authorized as per development control rules? No

Additional comments on building permits and development control rules: There are no guidelines for this type of housing. No prior approval is required.

Building Maintenance and Condition

Typical problems associated with this type of construction: Not provided

Who typically maintains buildings of this type? Owner(s)

Additional comments on maintenance and building condition: Not provided

Construction Economics

Unit construction cost: Total project: US Dollar 50/sq m.

Labor requirements: The labor requirements for a typical house of about 30 to 50 sq.m are about 100 to 120 man-days.

Additional comments section 3: Not provided

4. Socio-Economic Issues

Patterns of occupancy: As the joint family tradition is strong in the rural areas, an extended family occupy the housing unit. Typically, the families comprise of a father and two-three sons. As the family further expands, the sons families occupy independent units.

Number of inhabitants in a typical building of this construction type during the day: <5

Number of inhabitants in a typical building of this construction type during the evening/night: 5-10

Additional comments on number of inhabitants: Not provided

Economic level of inhabitants: Middle-income class/High-income class (rich)

Additional comments on economic level of inhabitants: The middle class housing unit roughly costs USD 1,000, on the other hand the rich housing unit costs USD 1,500 to 2,000. Ratio of housing unit price to annual income: 1:1 or better

Typical Source of Financing: Owner financed/Personal savings/Small lending institutions/microfinance institutions

Additional comments on financing: Not provided

Type of Ownership: Rent/Own outright

Additional comments on ownership: Not provided

Is earthquake insurance for this construction type typically available?: No

What does earthquake insurance typically cover/cost: N/A

Are premium discounts or higher coverages available for seismically strengthened buildings or new buildings built to incorporate seismically resistant features?: No

Additional comments on premium discounts: N/A

Additional comments section 4: Not provided

5. Earthquakes

Past Earthquakes in the country which affected buildings of this type

Year Earthquake Epicenter Richter Magnitude Maximum Intensity
1885 Bogra-Sirajganj 7 8
1897 Assam 8 10
1918 Srimangal 7.6 8
1997 Bangladesh-India Border 5.6 7

Past Earthquakes

Damage patterns observed in past earthquakes for this construction type: During the 1897 Assam earthquake, almost 90% of this type of structure suffered some kind of damage.

Additional comments on earthquake damage patterns: Not provided

Structural and Architectural Features for Seismic Resistance

The main reference publication used in developing the statements used in this table is FEMA 310 “Handbook for the Seismic Evaluation of Buildings-A Pre-standard”, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C., 1998.

Structural/Architectural Feature Statement Seismic Resistance
Lateral load path The structure contains a complete load path for seismic force effects from any horizontal direction that serves to transfer inertial forces from the building to the foundation. FALSE
Building Configuration-Vertical The building is regular with regards to the elevation. (Specify in 5.4.1) FALSE
Building Configuration-Horizontal The building is regular with regards to the plan. (Specify in 5.4.2) FALSE
Roof Construction The roof diaphragm is considered to be rigid and it is expected that the roof structure will maintain its integrity, i.e. shape and form, during an earthquake of intensity expected in this area. FALSE
Floor Construction The floor diaphragm(s) are considered to be rigid and it is expected that the floor structure(s) will maintain its integrity during an earthquake of intensity expected in this area. N/A
Foundation Performance There is no evidence of excessive foundation movement (e.g. settlement) that would affect the integrity or performance of the structure in an earthquake. N/A
Wall and Frame Structures-Redundancy The number of lines of walls or frames in each principal direction is greater than or equal to 2. TRUE
Wall Proportions Height-to-thickness ratio of the shear walls at each floor level is: Less than 25 (concrete walls); Less than 30 (reinforced masonry walls); Less than 13 (unreinforced masonry walls); FALSE
Foundation-Wall Connection Vertical load-bearing elements (columns, walls) are attached to the foundations; concrete columns and walls are doweled into the foundation. TRUE
Wall-Roof Connections Exterior walls are anchored for out-of-plane seismic effects at each diaphragm level with metal anchors or straps. FALSE
Wall Openings The total width of door and window openings in a wall is: For brick masonry construction in cement mortar : less than ½ of the distance between the adjacent cross walls. TRUE
Quality of Building Materials Quality of building materials is considered to be adequate per the requirements of national codes and standards (an estimate). FALSE
Quality of Workmanship Quality of workmanship (based on visual inspection of a few typical buildings) is considered to be good (per local construction standards). FALSE
Maintenance Buildings of this type are generally well maintained and there are no visible signs of deterioration of building elements (concrete, steel, timber). TRUE

Additional comments on structural and architectural features for seismic resistance: Not provided

Vertical irregularities typically found in this construction type: Other

Horizontal irregularities typically found in this construction type: Other

Seismic deficiency in walls: Weak from earthquake point of view; sometimes there are no plaster; lack of lintel bands; no measures to strengthen the corners.

Earthquake-resilient features in walls: Not provided

Seismic deficiency in frames: Not provided

Earthquake-resilient features in frame: Not provided

Seismic deficiency in roof and floors: Not provided

Earthquake resilient features in roof and floors: Not provided

Seismic deficiency in foundation: Not provided

Earthquake-resilient features in foundation: Not provided

Seismic Vulnerability Rating

For information about how seismic vulnerability ratings were selected see the Seismic Vulnerability Guidelines

High vulnerabilty Medium vulnerability Low vulnerability
Seismic vulnerability class |- o -|

Additional comments section 5: General lack of awareness about the earthquake resistant construction practices.

6. Retrofit Information

Description of Seismic Strengthening Provisions

Structural Deficiency Seismic Strengthening
Inadequate wall resistance due to the absence of seismic provisions Covering the wall with 1 ft wide seismic belt (steel wire mesh with cement mortar) at lintel level on both sides of the wall.
Foundations Strengthening of New Construction : Provision of strip foundation
Walls Strengthening of New Construction : Provision of RC ring beams at plinth, lintel etc. levels. Provision of vertical steel reinforcement bars at the wall corners and intersections.

Additional comments on seismic strengthening provisions: Not provided

Has seismic strengthening described in the above table been performed? Proposed for the damaged buildings of 2003 Rangamati earthquake.

Was the work done as a mitigation effort on an undamaged building or as a repair following earthquake damages? N/A

Was the construction inspected in the same manner as new construction? N/A

Who performed the construction: a contractor or owner/user? Was an architect or engineer involved? N/A

What has been the performance of retrofitted buildings of this type in subsequent earthquakes? N/A

Additional comments section 6: Not provided

7. References

  • Report on “Seismic Risk of Five Selected Cities of Bangladesh” for CARE-Bangladesh, BUET. February, 2003. Project Leader Dr. Mehedi A. Ansary
  • Bangladesh National Building Code, 1993
  • Guidelines for Earthquake Resistant Non-engineered Construction IAEE


Name Title Affiliation Location Email
Mehedi Ansary PhD Department of Civil Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology Dept. of Civil Engg., BUET, Dhaka-1000 ansaryma@yahoo.com


Name Title Affiliation Location Email
Alpa Sheth
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