A. H. AL-JOLAHY (1), A. H. ALWATHAF (1) and A. A. AL-MANSOUR (2)
Department of Civil Engineering, Sana’a University, Sana’a, Yemen
(1) Associate Professors, (2) Structural Engineer
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Up-to-date, masonry minarets with traditional architectural style are still, the most popular type of mosque minarets in Sana’a, the capital city of Yemen, and surrounding areas. Their design and construction principles are based on conventional practice. Unfortunately, this practice lacks formal documentation, i.e. technical guidelines, and structural assessment of the minaret performance against various loading conditions. This paper introduces the construction practice of the Yemeni traditional minarets and investigates their structural performance analytically under gravity and seismic loadings using a three-dimensional (3D) Finite Element (FE) model. Based on a field survey, a typical minaret, 41 meters high built with a mix of local stone and kiln-baked brick masonry, was selected to serve the purpose of this study and to demonstrate the features of the construction materials. A linear-elastic dynamic analysis is conducted for the minaret model utilizing spectra characteristics of the Uniform Building Code (UBC 97 ) for the specific seismic zone. The analysis results indicate the dynamic response of the minaret in terms of deformations, shape modes, and stresses. The most vulnerable regions in the minaret and susceptibility to damage are also predicted.