ELT & Associates
Seismic Engineering of Earthen Buildings
Serving California and the World Since 1984
Telephone: (510) 295-4299
In the 20th century alone, nearly 3 million people have been killed by the
destructive force of earthquakes. The collapse of unreinforced or lightly
deaths. Masonry is the world's most common building material and masonry
buildings are the most vulnerable to severe damage during seismic events.
Low-strength masonry (LSM) is a general classification for weak, primarily
unreinforced masonry buildings. The three major types of LSM materials are
fired brick, adobe (unfired brick), and stone. Of the three materials, adobe is
the most readily available and inexpensive. Thus, adobe is perhaps the most
common and often used material by the poorest sector of the population.
Because occupants of these houses are poor, proposed techniques to improve
the seismic behavior of adobe buildings must be both inexpensive and easy to
With this goal in mind, Mr. Tolles and ELT and Associates has been involved
in research and implementation of seismic strengthening methods for rural
housing in Iran and El Salvador.
More information regarding the seismic risk to rural housing and efforts to
reduce the risk can be found at the following sites.
Quake Safe Adobe.