Data product Retrofitting buildings to withstand earthquakes and severe wind

A series of booklets that guide building owners, builders, architects and local government in retrofitting unreinforced masonry buildings to resist earthquake damage and severe wind.

Last updated:11 July 2024

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In 2022 we developed a set of three booklets on retrofitting unreinforced masonry buildings to resist earthquake damage, and a fourth about resisting severe wind.

These were developed in partnership with the Western Australian State Government including the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the University of Adelaide and the Shire of York, as a result of a project to assess the resilience of ageing buildings against earthquake hazards.

Australia doesn’t have many large earthquakes, but they do happen and they can cause a lot of damage. This is particularly the case for unreinforced masonry buildings built prior to the 1990s, when building codes were updated to include earthquake risk. These resources offer a clear guide on how masonry buildings can be retrofitted to be more resilient to earthquakes, especially heritage masonry buildings constructed prior to 1945.

Retrofitting buildings to resist earthquakes can have several benefits including improved property value, protection of heritage values, and reducing the risk of potential injury to occupants. Australia is lucky to have a large number of older buildings as part of our cultural history and heritage. These retrofit measures help to protect these buildings and keep them and their occupants safe into the future.

The resources have been tailored to meet the needs of different decision makers:

You can read the project reports that guided the development of these resources here:

Case study Assessing the resilience of ageing buildings against earthquake hazards

How our collaborations and science improved the safety of communities in York, Western Australia.

View case study

Cr. Denese Smythe

The result will not only be useful for York, they will enable the refinement and adaption of the retrofit information for wider application to similar buildings elsewhere in the State and nation.

Cr. Denese Smythe

York Shire President