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Re: Seismic Upgrades of Unreinforced Masonry -Reply

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** High Priority **

Mr. Martin;

There are a number of accepted codes in regards to the seismic upgrade
for existing unreinforced masonry buildings which entails the testing of
the existing masonry for shear strength etc.  A couple of potential design
problems with these types of structures is A) foundations are inadequate
to sustain the new and or existing gravity loads, B) the diaphragms often
are needed to be strengthened for the revised loads.  Care must be taken
with regards to the connections of the new floor to the walls, vs. the
braced frame with the relative stiffness ratio of the two elements. 
Depending on  the test results of the existing masonry and existing
foundations, etc, costs will many times exceed the budget.  I would
suggest having the testing and observation done to determine the extent
of upgrade to the building so that the client will be aware of the potential

Dave Puskas
BSW International