The Open Construction & Building Technology Journal

ISSN: 1874-8368 ― Volume 13, 2019

Strengthening/Retrofitting Techniques on Unreinforced Masonry Structure/Element Subjected to Seismic Loads: A Literature Review

Chuanlin Wang1, *, Vasilis Sarhosis2, Nikolaos Nikitas3
1 Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, Shantou University, Shantou, Guangdong, P.R China
2 School of Engineering, Newcastle University, Drummond Building, Newcastle, England
3 Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, England


Masonry structures commonly exist in reality and still are popular all over the world. It has been reported and studied that these buildings are vulnerable to strong external loadings imposed by earthquake, strong wind, blast etc. In the past few decades, different seismic retrofitting and strengthening approaches for masonry structures/elements have been developed and implemented. In this paper, the previous studies on the strengthening/retrofitting techniques for Unreinforced Masonry (URM) buildings subjected to seismic and extreme loads are reviewed and summarized. The fundamental concept of strengthening/retrofitting approaches is to (i) reduce the influence of external loading, (ii) upgrade the individual element’s load-carrying capacity and (iii) improve the integrity of masonry structure. A comparison and assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of each method is presented to identify the most suitable method in different cases. It is expected that this paper will provide some helpful information and guidance for the engineers and householders in choosing an appropriate technique in strengthening/retrofitting URM structures.

Keywords: Unreinforced Masonry (URM), External loading, Strengthening technique, Numerical model.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 12
First Page: 251
Last Page: 268
Publisher Id: TOBCTJ-12-251
DOI: 10.2174/1874836801812010251

Article History:

Received Date: 7/4/2018
Revision Received Date: 24/7/2018
Acceptance Date: 12/9/2018
Electronic publication date: 26/10/2018
Collection year: 2018

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© 2018 Chuanlin Wang.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil Engineering, Schoole of Engineering, Shantou University, Shantou, Guangdong, P.R China; Tel: +(86)17708230056; E-mail:


"We greatly appreciate the efficient, professional and rapid processing of our paper by your team. The editors are so kind and professional to send us the reviewers' feedback in time. Those comments were all valuable and very helpful for us in revising and improving our paper."

Hailong Zhao
School of Civil Engineering,
Tianjin University, Tianjin,

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