The purpose of this paper is primarily aimed at the owner-occupier or builder who wishes while repairing to his damaged building to improve its safety or to carry out strengthening works to make the structure more seismically resistant. It will also serve as a useful reference document for local engineers and other interested parties when constructing new low-rise buildings, defined as one or two storey structures plus roof. Most of the illustrations in this paper have been obtained from sources listed in the References section i, ii, iii, iv, v &vi.. The illustrations are of the repairs and strengthening works to brick and cut stone masonry walls with jack arch floors and roofs; they do not address repair and strengthening works to reinforced concrete, earthen and adobe type buildings, wooden structures and brick buildings. Assessment of building damage before carrying out repairs or strengthening by a qualified structural engineer is of utmost importance. A structural survey is essential to determine the materials which have been used in the damaged building, detailed foundation investigation and assessment of the damaged building with particular attention to vulnerable elements of the structure. Both non-structural and structural repairs might be required to a building, but the priority repairs should be to the structural components before embarking on any non-structural repairs such as cracked slabs, falling plaster from walls and ceilings, rebuilding of parapets, etc. Repair works carried out on damaged buildings are intended to restore the structural strength lost in an earthquake to the original level. Such structural repairs involve actions such as the rebuilding of cracked wall elements, stitching of walls across cracks by using steel reinforcement on wall faces and covered by cement mortar, or grouting of cracks using cement or epoxy like adhesive materials which are stronger than mortar and have tensile capacity. Non-structural repairs would also be included in this category.
A damage survey was carried out by the Building and Housing Research Centrevii on a group of 94 buildings along the main streets in the centre of Bam after the earthquake of 26 December 2003. The building stock was comprised of 24% adobe, 26% simple one storey masonry, 29% simple masonry with steel frame, 14% simple frame with steel bracing, 1% simple masonry with reinforced concrete frame, with 4% of unidentified structural type.