The use of confined masonry in Colombia dates from the 1930’s and it is currently widely used for housing construction, from single-storey dwellings to five-storey apartment buildings (Garcia and Yamin, 1994).
Earthquake Performance

According to Garcia and Yamin (1994), Colombian confined masonry construction performed well in the 1983 Popayan earthquake (Magnitude 5.5). Even the buildings with tie-beams only were less damaged than unreinforced masonry buildings and suffered only minor damage in window piers, while the buildings with both tie-columns and tie-beams remained virtually undamaged. Confined masonry construction was also subjected to the 1999 El Quindio, Colombia earthquake (magnitude 6.2) (EERI, 2000). In the earthquake-affected area, confined masonry was used for low-rise single-family residential construction. In some cases, confined masonry walls were not properly tied to the confining elements (toothed connection was absent); this caused some walls to fall out of the frame. Many masonry walls experienced shear cracking.

Guidelines, Codes, and Standards