Essential Transformation of Mortise-and-Tenon Joints for Earthquake-Resistant Contemporary Housing (a Case Study in the Aceh Province, Indonesia)

Cut Nursaniah, Izarul Machdar, - Azmeri, Abdul Munir


Mortise-and-tenon joints reinforced with split wedges and dowels are traditional joint systems that have been the mainstay of vernacular houses for Acehnese people to endure earthquakes for centuries. This joint is no longer used now because the construction of houses uses conventional rigid frame techniques. The essential transformation of this connection in the product is urgently needed in Aceh because many conventionally landed houses experienced cracks and collapsed during several recent earthquakes. This paper aims to analyze the essential parts of mortise-and-tenon joints based on the transformation of vernacular houses in Aceh. In-depth interviews were conducted using open-ended questions with the homeowners of 18 vernacular houses in the Aceh province, who were selected using the purposive sampling method to determine the characteristics of house construction based on geographical areas. Simultaneously, direct observations were made at home (including measurements, redrawing, and photo-taking). The data collection also uses literature study techniques to examine further the principles of mortise-and-tenon joints' performance against earthquakes and obtain the latest technological information regarding joints whose performance is identical to mortise-and-tenon joints when facing earthquake forces. This paper suggests that a good alternative to conventionally constructed joint systems is an Aceh concept that uses an interlocking brick design, namely in the composition of an H-profile with a distinctive color to support the uniqueness of the interlocking shape. This interlocking design has the essential mortise-and-tenon joints of Aceh vernacular houses that are earthquake-friendly, ecological, cost-effective, and quick to build.


Essential transformation; mortise-and-tenon; contemporary housing; earthquake; Aceh province.

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