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:::: Features ::  of Earthquake Resistant Building Construction using ULTRA BRICKS

Reinforcing the hollow concrete brick Masonry, by taking advantage of hollow spaces of brick. 

In Reinforced Hollow Concrete Brick Masonry, elements are designed both as load bearing walls for gravity loads and also as shear walls for lateral seismic loads, to safely withstand earthquakes. This structural system of construction is known as shear wall - diaphragm concept, which gives three-dimensional structural integrity for the buildings. 

Structural Features:
Structural Advantages
  • Masonry element is vertically reinforced with steel bars and concrete/grout fills, at corners, junctions, jams of doors, windows, and openings, through the continuous vertical cavities of ultra bricks. 
  • Similarly, masonry element is horizontally reinforced with steel bars and concrete/grout fill at plinth, sill, lintel and roof levels, as continuous RC bands, at respective levels. 
  • Grid of reinforcement can be built into masonry element without any extra shuttering and it reduces the scope for corrosion of reinforcement. 
  • As there is reinforcement bars in both vertical and horizontal directions the structural integrity in all the three dimensions is achieved.
  • In this construction system, structurally, each wall and slab behaves as a shear wall and a diaphragm respectively, reducing the vulnerability of disastrous damage to the structure/building, during the natural hazards. 

Due to the uniform distribution of reinforcement in both vertical and horizontal directions, through masonry element, increased tensile resistance and ductile behavior of elements could be achieved. Hence, this construction system can safely resist lateral or cyclic loading, when compared to other conventional masonry construction systems. This construction system has also been proved to offer better resistance under dynamic loading, when compared to other conventional systems of construction.

Constructional Advantages 
Architectural and Other Advantages 
  • No additional formwork or any special construction machinery is required for reinforcing the hollow block masonry. 
  • Only semi-skilled labour is required for this type of construction. 
  • It is a faster and easier construction system, when compared to the other conventional construction systems. 
  • It is also found to be a cost-effective disaster resistant construction system, as explained in the next section. 
  • This construction system provides better acoustic and thermal insulation for the building. 
  • This system is durable and maintenance free. 


Reinforced Hollow Concrete Block Masonry (RHCBM) is a feasible disaster resistant building construction system. 
  • The studies on comparative cost economics reveal that RHCBM is a cost effective construction system. 
  • It has additional advantages of increased floor area and lighter dead weight (i.e. it attracts lesser seismic forces). 

The extensive experimental programme has revealed that RHCBM construction technique is structurally more efficient, not only because of its higher ultimate load capacity, but also due to its improved ductility when compared to the conventional reinforced or un-reinforced brick masonry. Hence, RHCBM can be adopted as a disaster resistant construction system for box type construction.

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