PERFORMANCE OF NON-ENGINEERED STRUCTURES
UNDER WIND LOADS
33rd Our World in Concrete and Structures (OWICs) - 2008
Dwayne A Thurton, Civil Engineering Scholar, COEP, University of Pune, India
Pratap M Raval, Guide professor, COEP, University of Pune, India
Gajanan M. Sabnis*, Emeritus Professor, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA; also
Consultant, Mumbai, India
Structural performance, Non-engineered structures, Wind loads, Masonry and
During the month of May 2008, the world was reminded of just how vulnerable our
people and our physical assets are to the various forces of nature. On the second
day of May 2008, Cyclone Nargis devastated the country of Myanmar (Burma), with
winds estimated at up to a hundred and fifty miles per hour. The death toll from this
event numbered well into the tens of thousands. Several days later a massive
earthquake event measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale shook eastern China, also
killing tens of thousands and causing hundreds of millions in damages. Many of the
deaths and damages caused by these and similar natural disasters could have in
fact, been minimized if our engineering community played a more significant and
meaningful role in the construction of non-engineered structures.
This paper outlines some aspects of research work that is currently being
undertaken by the authors in the performance of those building structures that
constitute the great majority of the infrastructure in less affluent communities. These
non-engineered structures are typically built with very little, or no technical
engineering input, and are often the product of varied building traditions and cultures.
While the various methods and details utilized are vast, the research work seeks to
focus on the materials and techniques prevalent in specific zones in the east coast of
India, and the west coast of Central America.
This particular paper focuses on a few specific forms of these structures, primarily
those prevalent across the Caribbean and in particularly the country of Belize. These
include simple masonry buildings with various forms of timber framed roof systems.