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New Joint TMS & EERI Working Group on Confined Masonry

Good seismic performance of confined masonry (CM) buildings and significant global spread of this technology has been the main motivating factor for establishing a joint Confined Masonry working group between The Masonry Society (TMS) and the EERI in July 2018. EERI has had a long-term engagement in developing resources on CM construction through its Confined Masonry Network, which was established in 2008 (CMN, 2018). EERI has recently released a Policy Statement related to CM construction that can be used by EERI members to promote and encourage action by policy makers to reduce earth-quake risk (EERI 2018). TMS has a mission to advance masonry knowledge, its development and application and is responsible for TMS 402/602 which has been adopted by the International Build-ing Code for the design and construction of masonry.  Current activities of the TMS-EERI CM Working Group are related to a survey and analysis of global seismic design provisions for CM buildings. The other objectives of the initiative are to investigate the percentage of the global construction market built with CM and provide recommendations for future research and code provisions. Co-chairs of the group are Matt Reiter, USA (M. TMS) and Svetlana Brzev, Canada/Serbia (M. EERI and TMS), and the members are: Tim Hart, USA (M. EERI), Daniel Quiun, Peru (M. TMS), Juan José Pérez Gavilán Escalante (M. EERI), David Sommer (M. TMS), and Mark Membreño, USA (M. EERI).

EERI Board Directors Approves Confined Masonry Policy Statement

EERI has developed a set of Policy Statements that can be used by EERI members to promote and encourage action by policy makers to reduce earthquake risk.

In 2008, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) established the Confined Masonry Network to promote confined masonry construction in seismically prone areas of the world. Confined Masonry Network members have developed guidelines for the design and construction of confined masonry buildings. EERI is committed to continuing this initiative and working with partners to disseminate resources and assist in capacity-building initiatives associated with the application of confined masonry construction.

Needed Action

Multiple groups should promote the use of confined masonry in the following ways:

  1. Code bodies in various emerging economies should develop code provisions that specifically address confined masonry, based on both the experiences and codes from countries where confined masonry is constructed.
  2. More training programs and materials are needed for different stakeholders in the construction industry including architects, engineers, builders and construction labor. This also needs to be included in the curriculum in architectural and engineering colleges and universities.
  3. Aid agencies and international NGOs involved in post-disaster reconstruction work should include training sessions for local masons in the design and construction of confined masonry as integral components to their programs in seismically active areas. Further, by modeling confined masonry construction standards in their own facilities, international agencies would better insure the safety of their employees and guests during earthquakes and improve their ability to use their own facilities, whether owned or rented thereafter.
  4. EERI’s Learning from Earthquakes Program should establish a systematic data collection protocol on the performance of confined masonry after damaging earthquakes. Information was gathered after the 2010 Chile earthquake ( but opportunities have been missed to collect data from several more recent earthquakes, in particular in Mexico.

Partner organizations that can work with EERI to conduct these activities include the International Association for Earthquake Engineering, the Masonry Society, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and the International Code Council.

EERI has developed a set of Policy Statements that can be used by EERI members to promote and encourage action by policy makers to reduce earthquake risk.

More information on this policy statement can be found on the full policy white paper:
Download 3 page Confined Masonry White Paper [PDF]

Click here for more information about EERI Policy Statements