Earthen Architecture Initiative: Seismic Retrofit Project in Peru

The SRP project in collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute, The Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Peru', Lima and the Peruvian will combine traditional construction techniques and materials with high-tech methodologies to design and test easy-to-implement seismic retrofitting techniques and maintenance programs to improve the structural performance and safety of earthen buildings while minimizing loss of historic fabric. The project, based on a detailed assessment of four heritage building prototypes, provides guidance for those responsible for implementation (e.g., architects, engineers, and conservators). The partnership is actively engaging with the ministry of Culture and local authorities to gain acceptance and to facilitate the implementation of the designed techniques. The project's results are intended to be widely applicable across Latin America.

The project objectives are to:

  • design low tech seismic retrofitting techniques-using locally available materials and expertise for Peruvian historic building types-that have potential for wider application in other countries;
  • test and obtain data that demonstrates the validity of the designed techniques;
  • acquire recognition, approval, and promotion of the techniques by local authorities,
  • develop a methodology to structurally assess earthen historic sites as a tool for decision making regarding site maintenance and interventions that has a potential for wider application;
  • produce suitable manuals for site managers describing the retrofitting techniques and their implementation;
  • develop guidelines for the conservation community to carry on site assessments and the implementation of retrofitting techniques, highlighting the significance of constant monitoring, maintenance, and repair;
  • develop a model conservation project that demonstrates the implementation of the techniques.

As a result of the project output and further damage sustained by the Ica cathedral in recent seismic events, we are now preparing a repair and retrofit project for this church.

Sponsors: Getty Conservation Institute

Epicentre Staff InvolvedDina D'AyalaCarina Fonseca Ferreira, Natalie Quinn