Unburned clay masonry may be constructed, reconstructed, stabilized or rehabilitated subject to this chapter. Alternative approaches which provide an equivalent or greater level of safety may be used, subject to the concurrence of the enforcing agency.
Provisions shall be in-place to protect adobe structures from deterioration due to moisture penetration. Adobe shall be maintained in reasonably good condition. Particular attention shall be given to moisture content of adobe walls. Unmaintained walls or ruins shall be evaluated for safety based on their condition and stability. Additional protection measures may be appropriate subject to the concurrence of the enforcing agency.
Unreinforced new or existing adobe walls meeting these criteria need not be evaluated for out of plane failure. Where existing dimensions do not meet these conditions, additional strengthening measures, such as a bond beam, may be appropriate. Existing sod or rammed earth walls shall be considered similar to the extent these provisions apply.
- One-story adobe load-bearing walls shall not exceed a height-to-thickness ratio of 6.
- Two-story adobe buildings or structures' height- to-thickness wall ratio shall not exceed 6 at the ground floor and 5 at the second floor, and shall be measured at floor-to-floor height when the second floor and attic ceiling/roof are connected to the wall as described below.
Nonload-bearing adobe partitions and gable end walls shall be evaluated for stability and anchored against out-of-plane failure if necessary.
Where provided, a bond beam or equivalent structural element shall be located at the top of all adobe walls, and at the second floor for two-story buildings or structures. The size and configuration of the structural element shall be sufficient to provide an effective brace for the wall, to tie the building together and to connect the wall to the floor or roof.
Repair or reconstruction of wall area may utilize unstabilized brick or adobe masonry designed to be compatible with the constituents of the existing adobe materials.
Existing adobe may be allowed a maximum strength level of twelve pounds per square inch (82.7 kPa) for shear.
Mortar may be of the same soil composition as that used in the existing wall, or in new walls as necessary to be compatible with the adobe brick.