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

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 9907
Abstract HTML Views: 2471
PDF Downloads: 1405
ePub Downloads: 762
Total Views/Downloads: 14545
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 4905
Abstract HTML Views: 1355
PDF Downloads: 1017
ePub Downloads: 470
Total Views/Downloads: 7747

Creative Commons License
© 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:


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.