Dhajji / Hımış

The dhajji and himis systems consist of highly subdivided timber frames with stone or brick infills. The primary structural elements are generally thinner than those of their European cousins (colombage, Fachwerk). The secondary sub-divisions are made of board-sized short pieces nailed to the primary elements. The subdivision patterns can vary from stiff cross-bracings to ever more ductile zig-zag, chevron, fishtail or random

assemblies. While the cross-bracing assembly has been well studied and modelised (importance of vertical connection/anchoring), the more ductile patterns have not received the same attention. Yet, these latter patterns make better use of the infills. In fact, the stones or bricks should be placed in mud mortar to ensure that the infill can deform and thus work as a damper dissipating energy.

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Dhajji manual NDMA-UnHabitat Pakistan 20

Dhajji construction for one and two storey earthquake resistant houses: A guidebook for technicians and artisans, by Tom Schacher and Prof. Dr. Qaisar Ali, National Disaster Management Authority NDMA Pakistan, University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, UN-Habitat Pakistan, Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera italiana SUPSI, 2009,


EdM Guide technique construction ossatur

Construction en ossature bois et remplissage en maçonnerie: bâtiments parasismiques et paracycloniques à 1 ou 2 niveaux - Guide technique , par Florie Dejeant, Entrepreneurs du monde en collaboration avec CRAterre, Haiti 2012



Lesson Dhajji SDC-UnHabitat-ERRA 2007-co

Basic training on Dhajji construction (PowerPoint lesson), by Tom Schacher, SDC, Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority ERRA Pakistan, UN-Habitat Pakistan, 2006,


Dhajji hand-arounds-coverpage.jpg

Dhajji construction "hand-around" ("hand-around" are plastified A4 pages to hand around in lessons without PowerPoint presentations, that is, in remote villlages), by Tom Schacher, SDC-Pakistan, 2006



Lesson Small scale training models SDC P

Timber joints in Dhajji construction (Instructions on how to prepare scale models of timber joints for the training in remote villages accessible only by foot), by Tom Schacher, SDC-Pakistan, 2006


Full-scale training models dhajji SDC Pa

Dhajji construction: full-scale sectionised model (to be built in training facilities or public spaces for people to see and study), yy Tom Schacher, SDC-Pakistan, 2007




Background documentation


Ahmad N., Ali Q., Umar M. (2012), Simplified engineering tools for seismic analysis and design of traditional Dhajji-Dewari structures, EQ Engineering Centre, UET Peshawar, Pakistan

Aktas Y.D., Turer A., Akyuz U (2014), Seismic performance assessment of traditional timber Himis frames by laboratory testing and capacity spectrum method, 2nd European Conference on EQ Eng, Istanbul, Turkey

Ali Q., Schacher T. et al. (2012), In-plane behaviour of the Dhajji-Dewari structural system (wooden braced frame with masonry infill), in Earthquake Spectra, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 835-858

Ali Q., Schacher T. et al. (2010), In-plane behaviour of thfull-scale Dhajji walls (wooden braced frame with masonry infill) under quasi-static loading, 9th US and 10th Canadian EQ Engineering conference Toronto

Arun G. (2012), Evolution of timber construction in Turkey, Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey

Caimi A. et al. (2014), Savoirs traditionnels et connaissances scientifiques pour une réduction de la vulnérabilité de l'habitat rural face aux aléas naturels en Haïti, in Field Action Science Reports, Revues.org

Ceccotti A. et al. (2006), Seismic behaviour of historic timber-frame buildings in the Italian Dolomites, ICOMOS International Wood Committee, 15th International Symposium Istanbul and Rize, Turkey

Cobancaoglu T. (2001), "Himis" construction system in traditional Turkish wooden houses, Dept. of Architecture, Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul, Turkey

Cóias V. (2005), The "Gaiola" construction: characterization and preservation, a contribution, 250° anniversary of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake conference, Lisbon, Portugal

Dikmen N. and Akan A.Er. (   ), Structural behaviour of traditional timber buildings against natural disasters from different regions of Turkey, Dept. Architecture, Middle East Technical University METU, Ankara, Turkey

Dogan M. (2010), Seismic analysis of traditional buildings: Bagdadi and Himis, Anadolu University Journal of Science and Technology, Eskisehir, Turkey

Doudoumis I.N., Deligiannidou J., Kelesi A. (2005), Analytical modeling of masonry-infilled timber truss-works, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Güçhan S. N. (2005), Observations on earthquake resistance of traditional timber-framed houses in Turkey, Graduate Program of Restoration, Dept. or Architecture, METU, Ankara, Turkey

Gülhan D. and Özörük Güney I. (2000), The behabiour of traditional building systems against earthquakes and its comparison to reinforced concrete frame systems; Experiences of Marmara EQ damage assessment

Gülkan P. and Langenbach R. (2004), The earthquake resistance of traditional timber and masonry dwellings in Turkey, 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, Canada

Hicyilmaz K. et al. (2011), Dhajji Dewari: Affordable seismically resistant and sustainable housing, ARUP Gulf Ltd, Dubai

Karakostas C. et al. (2004), Seismic response of structures and infrastructure facilities during the Lefkada earthquake of 14/8/2003, Inst. of Eng., Seismology & EQ Engineering, Finikas, Thessaloniki, Greece

Langenbach R. (2002), Survivors amongst de rubble: Traditional timber-laced masonry buildings that survived the great 1999 earthquake in Turkey and the 2001 earthquake in India while modern buildings fell.

Makarios T., Demosthenous M. (2005), Seismic response of traditional buildings of Lefkas Island, Greece, Institute of Engineering Seismology & Earthquake Engineering, Finikas, Thessaloniki, Greece

Schacher T. (2008), Dhajji Research Project: Report of the field visit in Pakistan,  University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland SUPSI, Lugano, Switzerland

Scibilia F. (2017), Earthquake-resistant construction techniques in Italy between 1880 and 1910: alternatives to reinforced concrete, in Construction History vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 63-82, University of Palermo, Italy

Tunçoku S. et al. (2015), Assessment of construction techniques and material usage in Izmir rural houses, in International Journal of Architectural Heritage vol. 9, pp 1005-1022, Izmir Institute of Technology, Izmir, Turkey

Vieux-Champagne F. et al. (2017), Experimental analysis of a shake table test of timber-framed strcutures with stone and earth infill, in Earthquake Spectra, vol. 33 (3), pp. 1075-1100

Vieux-Champagne F. et al. (2014), Experimental analysis of seismic resistance of timber-framed structures with stones and earth infill, University Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France

Vintzileou E. et al. (2005), Seismic behaviour of the historical structural system of the island of Lefkada, Greece, in Construction and Building materials 21 (2007), pp. 225 - 236