It is clear that the structural material resisting lateral loads is wood, but the type of wood construction is
unknown. The wood structure may be hidden, or information about it is unavailable.

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Wood house, Christchurch, New Zealand (W. Clark)

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Wood house, Tajikistan (J. Niyazov)

Examples include a wooden floor with a balast fill (earth or other material) covered by clay tiles, found in high precipitation regions around the world. Another example of heavy covering is stone tiles, which are used for roofing and flooring.

Floor structure with wooden beams and planks, balast fill, and tile flooring  (Bothara and Brzev, 2011)

Floor structure with wooden beams and planks, balast fill, and tile flooring (Improving Seismic Performance of Stone Masonry Buildings, Bothara and Brzev, EERI, 2011)

Wood floor with heavy overlay, India (S. Brzev)

Wood floor with heavy overlay, India (S. Brzev)


Wooden beams or trusses and joists, supporting heavy roof covering. Examples include a sloped wooden roof with a layer of earth covered by clay roof tiles, found in high precipitation regions around the world. Another example of heavy covering is stone tiles, which are used for roofing.

This also includes flat roofs with heavy roof covering made from mixture of clay, straw and tamped earth. New layers are added annually to the roof as a protection against rain and snow percolation. These roofs are predominantly found in single-storey buildings in rural areas of Eastern Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, as well as in the Andean highlands and other regions.

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Flat wooden roof with heavy mud and straw overlay, Iran (A. Mahdizadeh, M. Yekrangnia)

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Unreinforced masonry building in Baghlia City experienced roof collapse in the 2003 Boumerdes, Algeria earthquake; the timber roof structure supported clay tile roof covering (M. Farsi)

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Typical flat roof found in adobe buildings in Peru made of wooden (or bamboo) beams overlaid with straw, mud, and in some cases tiles or metal sheets (N. Tarque)

Wooden roof structure with stone slate tiles, Nepal (M. Schildkamp)

Wooden roof structure with stone slate tiles, Nepal (M. Schildkamp)

Wooden roof supporting clay tiles, Chile (S. Brzev)

Wooden roof supporting clay tiles, Chile (S. Brzev)

Wooden structure supporting heavy mud overlay, India (S. Brzev)

Flat wooden roof structure supporting heavy mud covering, India (S. Brzev)

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Wooden roof with a heavy mud overlay caused many fatalities in the 1993 Maharashtra, India earthquake (S. Brzev)

Wooden beams or trusses and joists, supporting light flooring, e.g. wooden planks.

Wooden beams with two perpendicular layers of wood-plank flooring, Italy (Maffei et al. 2006)

Wooden beams with two perpendicular layers of wood-plank flooring, Italy (Maffei et al., EERI, 2006)

Wooden floor structure overlaid by planks and bamboo strips, Nepal (WHE Report 74)

Wooden floor structure overlaid by planks and bamboo strips, Nepal (Y.K. Parajuli, J. Bothara, and B.K. Upadhyay, World Housing Encyclopedia Report 74)

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Wooden joists supporting light flooring, Portugal (S. Brzev)

All types of wood cladding, including wood planks, wood shingles, plywood sheets. Also includes wood construction where it also forms the exterior wall surface, such as solid wood or log construction.

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Wood plank cladding (lower level) and wood shingles (upper level), Canada (S. Brzev)

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Wood plank siding, Cuba (S. Brzev)

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Wood shingles cladding, Saint Martin (Caribbean) (S. Brzev)

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Log wood walls, USA (S. Brzev)

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Wood shingles, California, USA (S. Brzev)