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Protect Walls by Stiffening Floors

Earthquake movement of floor systems may damage unreinforced masonry walls. Stiffening the floors by adding new plywood sheathing on top of the existing sheathing will reduce wall damage. A similar technique can be used for strengthening precast concrete floor diaphragms by placing a continuous layer of cast-in-place and steel-reinforced concrete on top of the existing floor. 

Effectiveness:

  • Somewhat to very effective, depending on pre-disaster building condition.
  • Adding tension ties and shear anchors to tie the floor system to the walls can increase effectiveness.

Limitations:

  • If interior wall partitions cannot be removed, metal clips along the base will allow the transfer of forces across the bottom plate of the partition. 

 

 

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Randolph Langenbach

M-Arch (Harvard), Dipl.Conservation (York, England)


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