SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2008

Seismic Evaluation of Low-Rise Reinforced Masonry Buildings with Flexible Diaphragms


This paper provides an integrated approach to the seismic evaluation of low-rise reinforced masonry buildings with flexible roof diaphragms. The paper is divided into four phases. In Phase 1 (Behavior), results from shaking-table testing, quasi-static testing, and analytical predictions are integrated to provide a coherent description of the seismic response of low-rise reinforced masonry buildings with flexible roof diaphragms. Two half-scale, low-rise reinforced masonry buildings with flexible roof diaphragms are subjected to earthquake ground motions on the Tri-axial Earthquake and Shock Simulator at the United States Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, Engineer Research and Development Center. Following the shaking-table tests, diaphragms and top four courses of attached masonry walls are salvaged from the half-scale structures and tested quasi-statically in their own plane. A new index, the diaphragm drift ratio, is introduced to describe the potential for diaphragm damage. In Phase 2 (Analysis), coordinated analytical modeling is developed and implemented to corroborate and extend the results of that experimental work, and to examine the efficacy and accuracy of different analytical modeling approaches. Linear elastic finite-element models, simplified two-degree-of-freedom models, and nonlinear lumped-parameter models are developed; all agree well with measured responses. In Phase 3 (Seismic Evaluation), the first two phases are used to develop and verify a simple extension to FEMA 310, the predominant seismic evaluation methodology for low-rise reinforced masonry buildings with flexible diaphragms. In Phase 4 (Application and Verification), the proposed extension, applied to four existing buildings, is shown to be simple, useful, and necessary.

Author Information

Cohen, Gregory, L.
The University of Texas, Austin, TX
Klingner, Richard, E.
The University of Texas, Austin, TX
Hayes, John, R.
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
Sweeney, Steven, C.
US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Champaign, IL
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Developed by Committee: C12
Pages: 109–146
DOI: 10.1520/STP45710S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-6272-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-3492-8