Reconnaissance Report on Building Damage Due to Bam Earthquake of 26 December 2003

Document Type : Structural Earthquake Engineering


1 University of Tokyo

2 Department of Architectural and Building Science, Tohoku University

3 Kajima Technical Research Institute, Kajima Corporation



The post earthquake investigations of the 26 December 2003 Bam-Iran earthquake were conducted by the Joint Reconnaissance Team of the Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ), the Japan Society for Civil Engineers (JSCE), the Japan Association for Earthquake Engineering (JAEE) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in collaboration with the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES). This paper reports the results of the AIJ team on damage evaluation of the buildings around the Bam strong motion station operated by the Building and Housing Research Center (BHRC). The seismic capacity of damaged buildings was approximately estimated. The results show that many residential houses in the investigated area were seismically vulnerable structures such as adobe and simple masonry structures. Poor construction quality was also found in some of the investigated buildings designed according to the current Iranian seismic code. Moreover, good correlation between wall area ratio and damage levels was observed. Therefore, wall area ratio may be applicable for evaluating the seismic capacity and screening retrofit candidates.