The World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE) Report Database contains 130 reports on housing construction types in 43 seismically active countries. Each housing report is a detailed description of a housing type in a particular country. The description is prepared from a number of standard closed-ended questions and some narrative that have been provided by report authors. Each report has five major categories including architectural and structural features; Building Materials and Construction Process; Socio-economic Issues; Past Performance In Earthquakes, Seismic Features and Vulnerability; and Retrofit. All of the housing reports in this database have been contributed by volunteers. If you are interested in writing a housing report please contact the WHE Editorial Board.


The World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE) is a collection of resources related to housing construction practices in the seismically active areas of the world. The mission is to share experiences with different construction types and encourage the use of earthquake-resistant technologies worldwide. The technical activities of the WHE are steered by an international team of 22 professionals specializing in different aspects of seismic safety of buildings and structures. They bring relevant experience from 16 seismically active countries across the world. For more information about the World Housing Encyclopedia, visit

General Information


Report #:36
Building Type: Single-family brick masonry house
Country: Kyrgyzstan
Author(s): Ulugbek T. Begaliev
Svetlana Uranova
Last Updated:
Regions Where Found: Buildings of this construction type can be found in all parts of Kyrgyzstan. This type of housing construction is commonly found in both rural and urban areas

This housing type represents a very popular single-family housing construction ...

Length of time practiced: Less than 25 years
Still Practiced: Yes
In practice as of:
Building Occupancy: Single dwelling
Typical number of stories: 2
Terrain-Flat: Typically
Terrain-Sloped: 4





Plan Shape Irregular plan shape
Additional comments on plan shape Building plan for this housing type usually has complex plan and geometry.
Typical plan length (meters) 15
Typical plan width (meters) 15
Typical story height (meters) 3
Type of Structural System Masonry: Confined Masonry: Concrete blocks, tie columns and beams
Additional comments on structural system Lateral load-resisting system: The main lateral load-resisting system generally consists of brick masonry walls in cement mortar and reinforced concrete posts and beams provided at some locations. According to SNiP (Building Code) it is required to provide columns at the wall ends; column reinforcement is illustrated in Figure 6. SNiP requirements also include the provision of horizontal reinforcement (wire mesh) in mortar bedding joints at each 7th layer. Rigid brick masonry walls have low load-carrying capacity. Poor quality of brick masonry results in low earthquake resistance of the walls even when reinforced with welded wire mesh and steel reinforcement bars. Wall thickness is either 380 mm or 510 mm. The floor system consists of precast reinforced concrete hollow-core slabs with typical slab panel dimensions of 5.86m length x 1.2m width (see Figure 2). Reinforced concrete bond beam (belt) is constructed at the building perimeter at the floor level to provide confinement and diaphragm action for seismic load effects; belt reinforcement details are presented in Figure 5. Roof structures are made of wood or steel. Gravity load-bearing system: Gravity load-bearing structure consists of brick masonry walls, few reinforced concrete columns and beams, and floor concrete panels.
Gravity load-bearing & lateral load-resisting systems
Typical wall densities in direction 1 10-15%
Typical wall densities in direction 2 10-15%
Additional comments on typical wall densities Total wall density is 10% - 15% in each direction.
Wall Openings It is impossible to indicate the typical size of openings since it depends on the architectural requirements. Window size is around 1.2m x 1.5m and doors size is approximately 0.9m x 1.9m. Window and door areas constitute 10 to 15% of the overall wall surface area.
Is it typical for buildings of this type to have common walls with adjacent buildings? No
Modifications of buildings Buildings of this type are usually of recent construction and no modifications have been observed so far. However, some buildings have been modified by providing additional doors and windows, expanding the building size (adding new rooms) or by moving the walls.
Type of Foundation Shallow Foundation: Reinforced concrete strip footing
Additional comments on foundation Many buildings have precast concrete strip footing made up of concrete blocks.
Type of Floor System Other floor system
Additional comments on floor system Precast hollow core slab system is most commonly used.
Type of Roof System Roof system, other
Additional comments on roof system Precast hollow core slab system is most commonly used.
Additional comments section 2 Typical separation distance between buildings: 10 meters or more


Building Materials and Construction Process



Description of Building Materials

Structural Element Building Material (s)Comment (s)
Wall/Frame Wall:Brick masonry Frame: Reinforced ConcreteWall: Characteristic Strength-Tension resistance of mortar less 6.0 MPa Mix Proportion/Dimensions- Variable, from 1:8 to 1:20 cement/sand ratio Brick masonry units-dimensions 250x120x70mm Frame: Characteristic Strength- 20 MPa (cube compressive strength) 390 MPa (steel yield stress) Mix Proportion/Dimensions- various Steel - Elasticity Modulus (200,000 MPa)
Foundations ConcreteCharacteristic Strength: 5 MPa (cube compressive strength) Mix Proportion/Dimensions: various
Floors Reinforced ConcreteCharacteristic Strength: 30-35 MPa (cube compressive strength) 390 MPa (steel yield stress) Mix Proportion/Dimensions: variable Steel - Elasticity Modulus (200,000 MPa)
Roof Reinforced ConcreteCharacteristic Strength: 30-35 MPa (cube compressive strength) 390 MPa (steel yield stress) Mix Proportion/Dimensions: variable Steel - Elasticity Modulus (200,000 MPa)

Design Process

Who is involved with the design process? None of the above
Roles of those involved in the design process These constructions are built by developers and sold in the market.
Expertise of those involved in the design process This building type is not designed or constructed with the required expertise.

Construction Process

Who typically builds this construction type? Builder
Roles of those involved in the building process These constructions are built by developers and sold in the market.
Expertise of those involved in building process This building type is not designed or constructed with the required expertise.
Construction process and phasing This building type may be erected by builders or by owners. Usually only mobile crane is used for the erection and construction process. This building is not typically constructed incrementally and is designed for its final constructed size.
Construction issues The construction quality is generally very poor, and the structural design has flaws. This type of construction is expected to display poor behaviour during earthquakes.

Building Codes and Standards

Is this construction type address by codes/standards? Yes
Applicable codes or standards Some of buildings correspond to SNiP II-7-81 Design Code: Building in Seismic Regions. The code/standard addressing this type of construction was issued 1981.
Process for building code enforcement N/A

Building Permits and Development Control Rules

Are building permits required? No
Is this typically informal construction? Yes
Is this construction typically authorized as per development control rules? No
Additional comments on building permits and development control rules

Building Maintenance and Condition

Typical problems associated with this type of construction
Who typically maintains buildings of this type? Owner(s)
Additional comments on maintenance and building condition

Construction Economics

Unit construction cost For load-bearing structures about 150$/m.sq.
Labor requirements The construction of a single-family house can be completed in a period of 10-12 months.
Additional comments section 3


Socio-Economic Issues



Patterns of occupancy One family typically occupies one house.
Number of inhabitants in a typical building of this construction type during the day <5
Number of inhabitants in a typical building of this construction type during the evening/night 5-10
Additional comments on number of inhabitants
Economic level of inhabitants Middle-income classHigh-income class (rich)
Additional comments on economic level of inhabitants
Typical Source of Financing Owner financedPersonal savings
Additional comments on financing
Type of Ownership Own outright
Additional comments on ownership
Is earthquake insurance for this construction type typically available? No
What does earthquake insurance typically cover/cost
Are premium discounts or higher coverages available for seismically strengthened buildings or new buildings built to incorporate seismically resistant features? No
Additional comments on premium discounts
Additional comments section 4





Past Earthquakes in the country which affected buildings of this type

YearEarthquake Epicenter Richter Magnitude Maximum Intensity

Past Earthquakes

Damage patterns observed in past earthquakes for this construction type Maximum intensity of the Suusamir earthquake was 9, however buildings of this type were located in the regions with intensity 6-7 on the MSK scale. Buildings of this type had experienced the following wall damage patterns: diagonal "X" cracks in the piers, cracks at the wall corners, and partial destruction of the walls.
Additional comments on earthquake damage patterns

Structural and Architectural Features for Seismic Resistance

The main reference publication used in developing the statements used in this table is FEMA 310 “Handbook for the Seismic Evaluation of Buildings-A Pre-standard”, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C., 1998.

The total width of door and window openings in a wall is: For brick masonry construction in cement mortar : less than ½ of the distance between the adjacent cross walls; For adobe masonry, stone masonry and brick masonry in mud mortar: less than 1/3 of the distance between the adjacent cross walls; For precast concrete wall structures: less than 3/4 of the length of a perimeter wall.
Structural/Architectural Feature Statement Seismic Resistance
Lateral load pathThe structure contains a complete load path for seismic force effects from any horizontal direction that serves to transfer inertial forces from the building to the foundation.FALSE
Building Configuration-VerticalThe building is regular with regards to the elevation. (Specify in 5.4.1)FALSE
Building Configuration-HorizontalThe building is regular with regards to the plan. (Specify in 5.4.2)FALSE
Roof ConstructionThe roof diaphragm is considered to be rigid and it is expected that the roof structure will maintain its integrity, i.e. shape and form, during an earthquake of intensity expected in this area.TRUE
Floor ConstructionThe floor diaphragm(s) are considered to be rigid and it is expected that the floor structure(s) will maintain its integrity during an earthquake of intensity expected in this area.TRUE
Foundation PerformanceThere is no evidence of excessive foundation movement (e.g. settlement) that would affect the integrity or performance of the structure in an earthquake. TRUE
Wall and Frame Structures-RedundancyThe number of lines of walls or frames in each principal direction is greater than or equal to 2.TRUE
Wall ProportionsHeight-to-thickness ratio of the shear walls at each floor level is: Less than 25 (concrete walls); Less than 30 (reinforced masonry walls); Less than 13 (unreinforced masonry walls);TRUE
Foundation-Wall ConnectionVertical load-bearing elements (columns, walls) are attached to the foundations; concrete columns and walls are doweled into the foundation.TRUE
Wall-Roof ConnectionsExterior walls are anchored for out-of-plane seismic effects at each diaphragm level with metal anchors or straps. TRUE
Wall OpeningsTRUE
Quality of Building MaterialsQuality of building materials is considered to be adequate per the requirements of national codes and standards (an estimate). FALSE
Quality of WorkmanshipQuality of workmanship (based on visual inspection of a few typical buildings) is considered to be good (per local construction standards).FALSE
MaintenanceBuildings of this type are generally well maintained and there are no visible signs of deterioration of building elements (concrete, steel, timber).FALSE

Additional comments on structural and architectural features for seismic resistance
Vertical irregularities typically found in this construction type Torsion eccentricity
Horizontal irregularities typically found in this construction type Other
Seismic deficiency in walls - Poor quality of brick masonry; - Different wall rigidity; -The complex building geometry, including the nonsymmetrical wall layout, results in significant torsional effects during earthquakes due to the eccentricity between the centre of mass and centre
Earthquake-resilient features in walls
Seismic deficiency in frames
Earthquake-resilient features in frame
Seismic deficiency in roof and floors
Earthquake resilient features in roof and floors
Seismic deficiency in foundation
Earthquake-resilient features in foundation

Seismic Vulnerability Rating

For information about how seismic vulnerability ratings were selected see the Seismic Vulnerability Guidelines

High vulnerabilty Medium vulnerabilityLow vulnerability
Seismic vulnerability class |- o -|

Additional comments section 5

Retrofit Information


Description of Seismic Strengthening Provisions

Structural Deficiency Seismic Strengthening
Poor seismic resistance of walls #NAME?
Non- symmetrical location of walls with different rigidity #NAME?

Additional comments on seismic strengthening provisions Seismic strengthening provisions presented in the above table are recommendations of the authors of this contribution.
Has seismic strengthening described in the above table been performed? No.
Was the work done as a mitigation effort on an undamaged building or as a repair following earthquake damages? N/A
Was the construction inspected in the same manner as new construction? N/A
Who performed the construction: a contractor or owner/user? Was an architect or engineer involved? N/A
What has been the performance of retrofitted buildings of this type in subsequent earthquakes? N/A
Additional comments section 6



Seismic Hazard and Buildings Vulnerability in Post-Soviet Central Asia Republics. Edited by Stephanie A. King, Vitaly I. Khalturin and Brian E. Tucker. Kluwer Academic Publishers, P.O. Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands. (Proceeding of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Earthquake Risk Management Strategies for Post-Soviet Central Asian Republics. Almaty, Kazakhstan, 22-25 October 1996)

Building and Construction Design in Seismic Regions. Handbook. Uranova S.K., Imanbekov S.T#KyrgyzNIIPStroitelstva, Building Ministry Kyrgyz Republic.Bishkek.1996.

SNiP II-7-81* Building in seismic regions. (Building Code). Moscow, 1981.


Name Title Affiliation Location Email
Ulugbek T. Begaliev Head of Department KNIIPC Vost Prom Zone Cholponatisky 2, Bishkek 720571 Kyrgyz Republic
Svetlana Uranova Dr., Head of the Laboratory KRSU Kievskai 44, Bishkek 720000 Kyrgyz Republic


Name Title Affiliation Location Email
Ravi Sinha Professor Civil Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay Mumbai 400 076, India