Building Technology
Non-load-bearing brick in Turkey?

Perhaps you can help me. I see that large very brittle pottery-type bricks (which are more hole than brick) are used for most buildings in Turkey.

I assume these non-load brittle bricks are used because reinforced concrete structures are normal today in Turkey?

I also assume these "bricks with holes" have reasonably good thermal qualities when an open end (showing the holes) is not exposed on the outside of a wall?

I ask because in Britain, solid load-bearing bricks/blocks are normal for walls, as are horizontal timber, steel or reinforced concrete beams for floors.

Plus, I have noticed that some late period Ottoman buildings in Turkey used solid bricks similar in shape, size and consistency to solid bricks in Britain.
Frank John Snelling
Non-load-bearing brick in Turkey?
All the buildings I have seen here use this very brittle hollow brick.

I am aware that many domestic buildings are probably built by their owners, but the blocks of apartments are not DIY.

I was in Safranbolu in Turkey for the 1999 Earthquake and still awake at 3am when the building shook for several minutes and the electric power failed.

Electric power was not restored until late afternoon and only then did we see the horrifying pictures on TV.

The traditional Ottoman houses which are timber-frame are very similar in construction to Elizabethan Tudor style in Britain; these buildings with wooden (fibre) frames are more flexible and more able to take earth movement.

Plus, wooden pit props are preferred in coal mines because they give warning of imminent collapse with cracking sounds, whereas steel under too much pressure simply snaps without prior warning.

The reason I an asking the question is that in Britain solid brick walls are used even with reinforced concrete load-bearing structures.

My concern is this: if engineering formulas for reinforced concrete structures are used straight out of British, European or American textbooks, without taking into account the fact that solid brick is not being used, then the overall structure (without the bracing effect of solid brick walls) is much weaker and therefore much more likely to fail in an earthquake.

As Dave from New Zealand has said (and I agree), diagonal bracing (wood, steel wire, steel rod, or steel reinforced concrete beams) of non-bearing walls is a very good idea in earthquake-zones.
Frank John Snelling
Non-load-bearing brick in Turkey?

Hollow bricks are used mainly to reduce the dead load on the structure and to provide a little bit of insulataion. Once you have a structural frame up (RCC/steel, etc.) these walls act only as fillers, hence need to be treated that way. Diagonal bracings are given in many structures, depending upon the need and calculations.
Chitradeep Sengupta


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