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Brace Parapets

Brick parapets are typically mounted along the tops of unreinforced masonry buildings. Parapets are heavy, brittle, and typically collapse near the centers of long walls or at corners. Parapet damage or failure is a common result of earthquakes. Parapets can be braced from the rear using steel angle braces anchored into the parapet and connected to the roof framing. Parapets can also be braced using reinforced concrete or shotcrete placed behind the parapet and anchored. Reducing the height of parapets also reduces the seismic load on the parapet by reducing the weight. 

Effectiveness:

  • Very effective.
  • Consider adding tension ties and/or shear anchors to exterior walls to increase effectiveness.

Limitations:

  • Parapet bracing will impose additional forces on roof elements of a building.

Anchor Cornices and Architectural Elements

Architectural building elements such as cornices, corbels, and spandrels often fail during a seismic event. These building elements can be anchored from the outside by installing anchors with exterior washer plates, or from the inside using either countersunk plates and/or epoxy anchors. For heavy and ornate cornice work, the cornice can be removed and reconstructed by using a lighter material such as lightweight concrete or plaster. 

Effectiveness:

  • Very effective.

Limitations:

  • Elements should be checked to ensure they can carry the seismic loads imposed by the corrective measures (See p. 37).

 

 

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Randolph Langenbach

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


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