This paper looks at the structural properties of adobe buildings in Cusco, Peru, for use in seismic performance and seismic risk assessment. The geometrical properties (typology) of adobe dwellings from Cusco have been established according to a building-by-building survey. Cusco has been chosen for this study as, according to the national census, around 80% of the building stock in this town is constructed with adobe. Furthermore, this region of the country is relatively seismically active and thus seismic risk assessment studies are warranted. Additional structural information of adobe buildings has been obtained from experimental tests carried out at the Catholic University of Peru. These tests have allowed the inter-storey drift capacity and the period of vibration of adobe buildings to be derived. A database containing the principal geometrical properties of 30 dwellings has been created which has allowed the mean, standard deviation and probability density functions (PDF) to be defined for each parameter such as storey height, wall length, etc. These properties are of use in a recently proposed probabilistic displacement-based earthquake loss assessment method (DBELA) which generates random populations of buildings based on this input data. The structural capacity of each random building is then predicted based on structural mechanics principles, and by comparing this capacity with the demand from earthquakes, estimates of the probability of damage can be made.