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Re: Seismic Design in Guatemala

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Richard,

Welcome back.

I have a name of someone who may be able to be helpful to you.  The
reference is from 1990, in the proceedings of the 6th International
Conference on the Conservation of Earthen Architecture.  I hope that the
address is still good.
The person may have knowledge of structures beyond the subject of the
Conference.

Maria Elena Molina Sete de Garcia
Docent, Patrimonio Cultural Arquitectonico
Facultad de Arquitectura USAC Y CNPAG
Ciudad Universitaria Zone 12
Guatemala

phone: 766192-761373

[Presented a paper on Seismic  damage to buildings constructed in Guatemala
since 1918.]


-----Original Message-----
From: richard lewis <rlewistx(--nospam--at)juno.com>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Date: Wednesday, September 06, 2000 6:13 AM
Subject: Seismic Design in Guatemala


>Greetings,
>
>I have been off of the list server for several months as I changed
>employers.  It is good to be back.
>
>I have a question of seismic design for those with experience designing
>in Latin American.  I am working on the design of a one story residence
>building for a children's orphanage.  It is located about 20 miles from
>Guatemala City.  The NAVFAC publication classifies Guatemala as Zone 4
>seismic activity.
>
>My understanding is that typical construction in Guatemala is to use
>concrete block made from volcanic ash.  The appearance of the block is
>that it is not a structurally sound as concrete block made in the USA.  I
>not sure of the proper way to says this without potential offending
>someone, but from the perspective of a USA engineer who use used to sound
>concrete block, this type of block is very poor.  Along with the concrete
>block a type of cast-in-place concrete system is used.  The block wall is
>constructed first, leaving vertical chases about 8 inches wide for a
>concrete column to be poured later.  Then concrete beam is cast on top of
>the wall to tie the columns together.  The roof framing will be designed
>by a local supplier.  I am not sure if it will be wood trusses or light
>gage metal.
>
>My concern is with seismic design.  An 8 inch concrete column can't be
>detailed for proper seismic reinforcing.  I have not talked to a
>Guatemala engineer, but I get the impression that they do not consider
>seismic forces in their design, but maybe I am wrong.  Since this
>building will be used to house children I would like to include seismic
>detailing in my design.  Does anybody have experience and can give me
>insight into seismic design and detailing in Guatemala?  Can the volcanic
>ash block be reinforced and grouted to provide a sound shear wall for
>seismic design?  If so, do I need the additional cast-in-place concrete
>system?  If there is another method of construction I should consider,
>please let me know.
>
>If someone can only answer in Spanish, please send me a private message
>and I will get someone to translate it for me.
>
>Thanks for your help.
>
>Rich Lewis
>rlewistx(--nospam--at)juno.com
>
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