Seismic resistance of traditional timber-frame himis structures in Turkey: a brief overview

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Aktas Y. D.

INTERNATIONAL WOOD PRODUCTS JOURNAL, vol.8, pp.21-28, 2017 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/20426445.2016.1273683
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.21-28
  • Keywords: himis, timber-frame, vernacular architecture, connections, seismic behaviour, EARTHQUAKE, DAMAGE, MARMARA
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


Himis structures have hardly ever found as extensive a role as other traditional timber housing, such as those originating from Japan or Central Europe, within the wide discourse on the seismic performance of timber-frame architecture that has gained significant momentum in the last few decades owing to advancing testing technologies. While the himis construction technique was perhaps not born as a result of a conscious search for a seismically resistant building form, it was soon widely appreciated for its structural features advantageous under seismic loading especially from the sixteenth century when it has become a well-established construction technique in part of the Balkans and in today's Turkey. Despite widely available anecdotal information based on post-disaster studies regarding its performance under earthquakes, robust quantitative data on the seismic behaviour of these structures were practically non-existent until quite recently, and are still somewhat limited. However, we are now able to confirm that himis constructions do have intrinsic qualities that are very beneficial under seismic action. This paper aims to make a brief review of the current state of our knowledge on structural performance of himis buildings under earthquake loading, with specific emphasis on infill/cladding techniques, connection details and energy dissipation characteristics.