The Seismic Retrofitting Project (SRP) seeks to combine traditional construction techniques and materials with high-tech methodologies to design and test easy-to-implement seismic retrofitting techniques and maintenance programs to improve the structural performance and safety of earthen buildings while minimizing loss of historic fabric.
The SRP will provide guidance for those responsible for the implementation of seismic retrofitting projects (e.g., architects, engineers, and conservators), and work with authorities to facilitate the implementation of the designed techniques. The project's results are intended to be widely applicable across Latin America.
During the 1990s, the Getty Conservation Institute carried out a major research and laboratory testing program, the Getty Seismic Adobe Project (GSAP), which investigated the performance of historic adobe structures during earthquakes and developed cost-effective retrofit methods that preserve the authenticity of these buildings. Results of this research have been disseminated in a series of publications, both in English and Spanish.

In 2006 the Earthen Architecture Initiative convened two meetings: the Getty Seismic Adobe Project Colloquium and New Concepts in Seismic Strengthening of Historic Adobe Structures. Held at the Getty Center, the meetings focused on implementation of the Getty's seismic research and on identification of further research needed in the study of historic earthen architecture in seismic zones. Papers presented at the GSAP colloquium, as well as the main conclusions of colloquium's round table discussions are available online.

The Project
While participants in the 2006 colloquium concluded that the GSAP methodology was excellent and effective, they felt its reliance on high-tech materials, equipment and professional expertise was a deterrent to it being more widely implemented. To address this, the GCI initiated in 2009, the Seismic Retrofitting Project (SRP) with the objective of adapting GSAP techniques to better match the equipment, materials, and technical skills available in many countries with earthen sites. Using four Peruvian historic earthen buildings representing typologies across Latin America, the GCI — in collaboration with the Ministerio de Cultura del Perú, the Escuela de Ciencias e Ingeniería of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, and the University of Minho — is designing, testing, and implementing seismic retrofitting techniques and maintenance programs with locally available materials that will improve the structural performance and safety of earthen buildings while minimizing loss of historic fabric. The Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath and the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at University College London have been also SRP partners from 2010 to 2012 and from 2013 to 2014 respectively.

The design and testing of the seismic retrofitting techniques and maintenance programs by the SRP builds upon the work of GSAP as well as conclusions drawn from the Pisco, Peru 2007 earthquake assessment, and detailed construction assessment of Peruvian historic earthen buildings.


Design effective seismic retrofitting techniques using locally available materials and expertise for Peruvian historic building types that have potential for wider application in other countries

Obtain data, based on rigorous scientific research and testing, that demonstrates the validity of the designed techniques

Acquire recognition, approval, and promotion of the techniques by local authorities

Develop guidelines and manuals for the conservation community and site managers who implement retrofitting techniques, highlighting the significance of constant monitoring, maintenance, and repair

Develop model conservation projects that demonstrate the implementation of the techniques.

The project's activities can be divided in four components: 1) feasibility and construction assessment, 2) testing and modeling, 3) implementation and, 4) dissemination.

Page updated: March 2016