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Masonry Shear Wall Study

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has awarded $1.5 million to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) for Performance-Based Seismic

CP Staff

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has awarded $1.5 million to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) for Performance-Based Seismic Design Methods and Tools for Reinforced Masonry Shear Wall Structures.

Centered at the school's La Jolla lab, the three-year study targets a) innovative methodologies and improved design requirements for seismic resistance of shear walls in reinforced masonry buildings; and, b) reliable analytical tools for assessing seismic performance and wall design methods' cost-effectiveness. Current design methods and code requirements for shear walls in reinforced masonry buildings are occasionally impractical, especially for commonly encountered low-rise buildings that have walls with many openings, researchers contend. Moreover, some of the prescriptive requirements for masonry shear walls have not been fully substantiated with experimental research, they add, potentially resulting in misplaced ductility provisions.

Experimental data on the nonlinear behavior of reinforced masonry shear walls is very limited, and it does not cover the range of possible design parameter values. Helping to remedy that deficiency, a UCSD staffer will conclude the project's three-year term with a series of large-scale shake tests at San Diego's NEES/Englekirk Structural Engineering Research Center. Project contact is Rex Graham,

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