ELT & Associates
Seismic Engineering of Earthen Buildings
Serving California and the World Since 1984
Telephone: (510) 295-4299
Getty Seismic Adobe Project
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Getty Seismic Adobe Project
  • Getty Seismic Adobe Project (GSAP), 1991-2006
GSAP was directed by the Getty Conservation Institute as a multi-year,
multidisciplinary investigation of seismic retrofit strategies for historic adobe
program.    The first phase included development of a theoretical framework
understanding the seismic performance of adobe buildings; research on
currently used retrofit technologies; a survey of existing historic adobe
buildings in the Southwestern United States; development of a testing
program plan that included materials, analytical computer modeling, and
shake table tests; and, the first draft of conservation principles that would act
as planning guidelines for retrofitting historic adobe buildings.
The second phase was the beginning of the testing program. It included tests
on 1:5 scale adobe walls and simple four-wall buildings. The walls of the
buildings had different height to thickness ratios and had been retrofitted
using different techniques.
The third and final phase included completion of the testing program and the
final draft of the Planning Guidelines. The Engineering Guidelines were
finalized after the large-scale testing program at IZIIS (see below) was
The 1994 Northridge earthquake also occurred during the project, which
allowed for investigation of actual damage to adobe structures. This
additional investigation led to another publication the details of which can be
Front Cover of Getty Seismic Adobe Project Report