Project Description

Facts & the Need
  • 92% of the country is prone to Earthquakes
  • 95% of the population, 98% of heavy industry, 93% of dams are in EQ Risk
  • 58202 people died, 122096 people are injured, 411465 buildings collapsed during EQ's in the last 58 years.
  • Turkey is located in a seismically active zone. Earthquakes (EQ) are inevitable and structural damage / life losses occur.
  • Most of the EQ resistant building / seismic retrofit research is on reinforced concrete and steel structures.

  • Poor people mostly live in masonry houses, which are highly vulnerable to EQ. (Classification of Structural Systems of Turkish Low-Cost Rural Dwellings)
  • Poor people are generally under-educated preventing them to reach improved masonry house construction techniques.


Earthquake performance of masonry houses can be improved by:

  • using cheap, otherwise useless material such as "scrap-tires",
  • developing necessary techniques and conducting tests to optimize the use of cheap alternative material,
  • dissemination of (existing and developed) knowledge to poor villages in terms of printed, easy-to-understand posters.

More than two-thirds of Turkey's citizens live in very high seismic risk zones. As is often the case, the poor are most susceptible to death in the wake of earthquakes, mainly because 45 percent of the population in Turkey's four largest cities live in houses that have not been engineered to withstand major seismic forces. From 1992 to 1999, earthquakes killed some 18,000 people. Existing masonry strengthening techniques to make house less vulnerable to earthquakes are unaffordable to poor people. An inexpensive solution is necessary to prevent more houses from collapsing in the future.
Innovation / Effectiveness

Strong steel meshing inside the rubber cover of care tires have been used successfully in bridge pier reinforcement. In a novel and eco-friendly approach to improve the seismic performance of houses, this project will make use of scrap tires to reinforce the walls of houses and buildings against earthquakes. The project will retrofit walls with rubber tires and test them to make sure the houses withstand seismic forces. Moreover, the project will use a cost-efficient, "do-it-yourself" approach using easy-to-follow illustrations, instruction posters, and the internet to enable poor people to make their houses more resistant to earthquakes. The principal outcomes of this project will be reduced casualties and property losses for poor people living in Turkey's earthquake prone regions..