Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 391–411 | Cite as

Increasing the lateral capacity of dry joint flat-stone masonry structures using inexpensive retrofitting techniques

  • Ming Wang
  • Kai LiuEmail author
  • Hongfei Lu
  • Hima Shrestha
  • Ramesh Guragain
  • Wen Pan
  • Xiaodong Yang
Original Research


This paper presents an experimental investigation of various seismic retrofitting techniques for dry joint flat-stone masonry. During post-earthquake reconstruction in Nepal, it is suggested that flat stone buildings are retrofitted by considering the local economy and material availability. However, effective seismic design of dry joint flat-stone masonry buildings is needed to ensure that these buildings will be safer during future earthquakes. Five retrofitting schemes are proposed using locally available and affordable materials. Cyclic in-plane testing was performed for both unreinforced and reinforced specimens. The behavioural characteristics of the specimens are evaluated with the failure mode, load–displacement response, and hysteretic energy dissipation. The experimental results show that the use of wooden/gabion wire bandages and gabion wire jacketing can significantly increase the seismic performance of a dry joint flat-stone masonry building in terms of its energy dissipation and ductility. This study provides scientific support and engineering guidance for development and revision of guidelines and standards for stone masonry structures in Nepal and other developing countries.


Dry stone masonry Seismic retrofit In-plane cyclic testing Guidelines 

List of symbols


Load at the occurrence of the first crack


Displacement at the occurrence of the first crack


Maximum lateral force during test


Displacement at the maximum lateral force


Load at the structural failure


Displacement at the structural failure

\( \upxi \)

Equivalent viscous damping ratio

\( E_{hys} \)

Hysteretic energy dissipated during one cycle of the inelastic system

\( E_{ela} \)

Elastic deformation energy of the system

\( E_{pos} \)

Elastic deformation energy at the positive side in the hysteresis diagrams

\( E_{neg} \)

Elastic deformation energy at the negative side in the hysteresis diagrams


Yielding strength


Displacement at yielding strength


Displacement at 60% of yielding strength


Displacement at 85% of maximum force


Effective lateral stiffness

\( \upmu \)

Structural ductility



The research for this article was supported by the National Key Research and Development Plan (2017YFC1502902) and International Center for Collaborative Research on Disaster Risk Reduction (ICCR-DRR) (Grant RETROFIT PROJECT). The financial support is highly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kai Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hongfei Lu
    • 2
  • Hima Shrestha
    • 3
  • Ramesh Guragain
    • 3
  • Wen Pan
    • 4
  • Xiaodong Yang
    • 4
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Ministry of EducationBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency ManagementMinistry of Civil Affairs and Ministry of EducationBeijingChina
  3. 3.National Society for Earthquake Technology-NepalKathmanduNepal
  4. 4.School of Civil EngineeringKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina

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