Reinforced stone masonry

Stone masonry is heavy, rarely uniform and definitely not the ideal building material for earthquake-prone areas.


Yet, thick stone walls do have other advantages: They are locally available, might offer a warmer internal climate during cold winters and "they are better against Kalashnikov bullets" as one farmer put it in some wilder parts of the world.

Stone masonry has been used for millennia, including in earthquake zones. The Incas are

famous for having built very coherent masonry with incredibly precise interlocking stones. In other parts of the world a similar result has been achieved by inserting timber beams in the masonry. 

On the following pages you will find information on traditional timber reinforced stone masonry (called Bhatar in Pakistan or Hatil in Turkey) as well as the modern gabion and jacketing techniques.

Bhatar (Pakistan), Hatıl (Turkey)

Stone masonry suffers from three major weaknesses: It doesn't resist well against out-of-plane forces, corner connections are mostly weak and three-wythe walls (with a rubble core and no through-stones) de-laminate under in-plane forces and shaking in general. Ladder-type timber reinforcements effectively deal with these issues.

Bhatar-construction 4.jpg

Various techniques with stone

A collection of documents on specific topics related to stone masonry. Though stone is not a prevalent building material in modern economies it is still very much present in remote areas where modern building materials are too expensive.

jacketing Battagram 6.jpg