Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 2 Number 3 (2010)

Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management 2010 2 3

doi: 10.3850/S1793924011000514

Development and Implementation of Low--cost Retrofitting Technology for Earthquake Disaster Reduction

Kimiro Meguro
Institute of Industrial Science, The university of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan.


Damage due to past earthquakes has shown that the collapse of vulnerable houses mainly made of masonry is the main cause of casualties. As these structures, called non-engineered structures, are constructed by local people with no engineering background using local available material without following structural code, there is no relation between their structural performance and existence and quality of the code. Therefore, establishment and/or revision of structural code cannot solve these problems. To tackle the problems considering the real situation mentioned above, I have proposed a locally-feasible system composed of technical and social approaches. For the technical approach, I have developed PP-band (poly-propylene band, a strong material commonly used for packing and cheaply available worldwide) mesh retrofitting method. This method is very inexpensive and simple and it can be performed by the house owner him/herself. For the social approach, I have developed several systems, such as 'two-step incentive system', 'micro earthquake insurance based- or micro finance based-incentive system', etc. With the proposed integrated system, house owners are encouraged to retrofit their weak structures, and structural damage and casualties due to future earthquakes would be drastically reduced. The burden which should be given to the victims by national and local governments could also be greatly reduced. Other stakeholders, such as local masons, insurance companies, microfinance organizations would also have large benefits.

Keywords: Masonry, Seismic retrofitting, PP-band, Retrofitting promotion system, Non-engineering structures, Developing country.

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