A P RUSSELL(1), J M INGHAM(1) and M C GRIFFITH(2)
(1) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland
(2) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Adelaide
Unreinforced Masonry (URM) was a very common building material in New Zealand during the later part of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries, up until the 1931 Napier Earthquake. This paper outlines the prevalence and discusses typical details for unreinforced masonry in New Zealand. These findings are contextualised through comparison with the corresponding information from a selection of other seismically active countries. It has been found that New Zealand shares common URM structural details with Australia, the United States, Portugal and Italy. A lack of positive connection between URM walls and timber diaphragms is the most significant problematic detail common to all countries considered in this paper. The next most common detail was a lack of adequate connection between wall leaves, which can lead to out-of-plane failures under earthquake loading. New Zealand’s building practices for URM construction are most closely aligned with those found in Australia and the United States.