Comprehensive Evaluation of Retrofit Methods for Stone Masonry Buildings

Region: Nepal

construction of a specimen at the Bowen Laboratory

The Challenge

Retrofit options for unreinforced stone masonry buildings need to be evaluated and calibrated before they could be adopted with confidence.


The Purdue Innovation

The focus of our study is the use of steel wire reinforcement to retrofit and possible extension of stone masonry housing units.



We will build a database of masonry buildings upon surveying school buildings in three districts near Kathmandu, Nepal affected by the disastrous 2015 Gorkha, Nepal Earthquake. The database and the damage maps will be used to assess efficacy of the various retrofit techniques, and calibrate a seismic vulnerability assessment tool that can be used to rank masonry buildings.

Additionally, we will design a series of large-scale tests to evaluate systematically the toughness of masonry structures retrofitted following the guidelines being used in Nepal today.  In these tests special attention will be given to the ranges of parameters identified in field work.


The Partners

Research and fieldwork will be carried out in collaboration with the Catholic Relief Services/Nepal.

We will also interact with experts from the National Society of Earthquake Technology-Nepal.

Before and after test photos of two stone masonry wall specimens