Building Construction Materials for Earthquake Resistance

In India, most non-urban buildings are made in masonry. In the plains, masonry is generally made of burnt clay bricks and cement mortar. However in hilly areas, stone masonry with mud mortar is more prevalent. But now a day we are very familiar with R.C.C. buildings, and a variety of new composite constructions materials.

Brittle and Ductile Building Materials

Brittle and Ductile Building Materials

Construction Materials

I. Masonry

Masonry is made up of burnt clay bricks and cement or mud mortar. Masonry can carry loads that cause compression (i.e. pressing together) but can hardly take load that causes tension (i.e. pulling apart). Masonry is a brittle material, these walls develop cracks once their ability to carry horizontal load is exceeded. Thus infill walls act like sacrificial fuses in buildings: they develop cracks under severe ground shaking but they share the load of the beams and columns until cracking.

II. Concrete

Concrete is another material that has been popularly used in building construction particularly over the last four decades. Cement concrete is made of crushed stone pieces (called aggregate), sand, cement and water mixed in appropriate proportions. Concrete is much stronger than masonry under compressive loads, but again its behavior in tension is poor. The properties of concrete critically depend on the amount of water used in making concrete, too much and too little water both can cause havoc.

III. Steel

Steel is used in masonry and concrete buildings as reinforcement bars of diameter ranging from 6mm to 40mm. reinforcing steel can carry both tensile and compressive loads. Moreover steel is a ductile material. This important property of ductility enables steel bars to undergo large elongation before breaking. Concrete is used with steel reinforcement bars. This composite material is called as reinforced cement concrete. The amount and location of steel in a member should be such that the failure of the member is by steel reaching its strength in tension before concrete reaches its strength in compression. This type of failure is ductile failure, and is preferred over a failure where concrete fails first in compression. Therefore, providing more steel in R.C. buildings can be harmful even!!

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  1. #1 by ajin on September 3, 2010 - 5:19 am

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  2. #2 by Reddy on March 5, 2011 - 9:12 pm


  3. #3 by kamalkesh meena on March 13, 2011 - 6:08 am

    material used in earthquake resistant deesign

  4. #4 by kokila r on March 19, 2011 - 10:41 pm

    this page is very useful to know about earthquake

  5. #5 by Pulak Mukherjee on September 21, 2011 - 12:15 am

    I am a resident of Guwahati Assam which is a Highly seismic prone area in the world.Please suggest what type of foundation is suitable for four storied building situated in a hilly area.

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  8. #8 by Building Engineers on February 14, 2013 - 3:39 am

    It is not easy to construct a building. It requires good structural design and lots of information dealing with design, construction and maintenance of buildings, bridges etc. Thanks for providing safety tips for civil engineers on construction sites. Its really informative.

  9. #9 by Crushed Concrete on February 18, 2013 - 4:55 am

    If you want to take a look at some of the advanced earthquake resistant buildings then you should look to Japan. They have some of the most technical designs in the world.

    • #10 by ALBERT POGSON on April 22, 2013 - 12:40 am



  10. #12 by ALBERT POGSON on March 2, 2013 - 1:09 am

    Are there more than TWO maufacturers of the PENDULUM type of seismic isolator.
    Thank you in anticipation of some rsponce


  11. #13 by dr S K Sen,Ranchi on July 7, 2014 - 1:22 pm

    Kindly mention construction bars to be used and construction norm of buildings to resist sudden heavy flood as happened in kedarnath last year

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