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EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING & STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn.

2013; 42:101121 Published online 16 April 2012 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com). DOI: 10.1002/eqe.2195

Seismic capacity of irregular unreinforced masonry walls with openings


Fulvio Parisi*, and Nicola Augenti
Department of Structural Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy

SUMMARY Masonry buildings are often characterized by geometric irregularities. In many cases, such buildings meet global regularity requirements provided by seismic codes, but they are composed by irregular walls with openings. The latter are masonry walls characterized by (i) openings of different sizes, (ii) openings misaligned in the horizontal and/or vertical direction, or (iii) a variable number of openings per story. An irregular layout of openings can induce not only a nonuniform distribution of gravity loads among masonry piers but also unfavorable damage localizations resulting in a premature collapse of the wall and hence a higher seismic vulnerability. This paper is aimed at providing a simplied methodology to assess the effects of irregularities on the inplane seismic capacity of unreinforced masonry (URM) walls with openings. To this end, a macroelement method was developed and validated through experimental results available in the literature. The proposed methodology was based on the quantication of wall irregularities by means of geometric indices and their effects on seismic capacity of URM walls with openings through both sensitivity and regression analyses. Sensitivity analysis was based on a high number of static pushover analyses and allowed to assess variations in key seismic capacity parameters. Regression analysis let to describe each capacity parameter under varying irregularity index, providing empirical models for seismic assessment of irregular URM walls with openings. The in-plane seismic capacity was found to be signicantly affected by wall irregularities, especially in the case of openings with different heights. Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Received 21 October 2011; Revised 19 March 2012; Accepted 21 March 2012 KEY WORDS:

masonry buildings; structural irregularity; unreinforced masonry walls with openings; macroelement modeling; seismic capacity; irregularity indices

1. INTRODUCTION Structural irregularities signicantly affect the seismic performance of single masonry walls with openings and thus of an entire building. Existing masonry buildings often satisfy regularity criteria according to seismic codes, even though their structure is composed by irregular walls with openings. Opposed to their regular counterparts, irregular walls have openings misaligned in the vertical and/or horizontal directions (Figure 1ac), or different number of openings per story (Figure 1d). Such irregularities can be induced by the lack of conceptual seismic design or even by the creation/closure of openings motivated by architectural or structural purposes (e.g., modication of stiffness/strength distribution in plan, change of axial forces in some masonry piers). Irregular walls can also be identied in newly designed masonry buildings because of the presence of openings at intermediate staircase landings. It is underlined that existing walls have often openings

*Correspondence to: Fulvio Parisi, Department of Structural Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, via Claudio 21, 80125 Naples, Italy. E-mail: fulvio.parisi@unina.it. Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Figure 1. Faade walls with openings misaligned in (a) vertical direction, (b) horizontal direction, (c) both vertical and horizontal directions; and (d) faade wall with different number of openings per story.

with parapets. If their thickness is signicantly lower than that of adjoining piers and underlying spandrels, and no interlocking is ensured with the surrounding masonry, parapets are to be considered as nonstructural elements that do not contribute to the seismic capacity of the wall. A perforated masonry wall should then be classied as regular or irregular on the basis of the actual arrangement of openings from a structural viewpoint, that is, neglecting nonstructural parapets. Irregularities are frequently identied in the case of inner walls, even in the presence of regular peripheral walls. An irregular layout of openings induces not only a nonuniform distribution of gravity loads among masonry panels but also a concentration of seismic strength and drift demands in some parts of the wall. These factors can lead to unfavorable damage concentrations increasing the seismic vulnerability of the entire wall, as shown by past experimental tests [13] and on-site inspections after strong earthquakes, such as the 2002 Molise, Italy, earthquake [4] and the 2009 LAquila, Italy, earthquake (Figure 2). In other words, geometric irregularities can signicantly affect the seismic response of unreinforced masonry (URM) walls with openings because on the one hand, the damage is not affected but

Figure 2. Damage concentration at the location of signicant vertical irregularity in a masonry wall with openings (2009 LAquila earthquake).
Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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DOI: 10.1002/eqe

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potentiated by irregularities, whereas on the other hand, the damage is a feature of the seismic response. Reacting to this problem, the Italian Building Code (IBC) [5] states that seismic design of masonry buildings should be carried out by providing openings aligned along the height of each wall (Note that no horizontal alignment is specied). Otherwise, each perforated wall should be carefully modeled and assessed, but no specic criteria are given to that aim. For the sake of simplicity, IBC allows to consider just continuous masonry piers from the foundation system to the top of the building. This rule is mentioned in Eurocode 8 (EC8) [6] in the part relating to seismic design of simple masonry buildings. It is stressed that IBC, EC8, and also FEMA 356 [7] do not deal with the effects of horizontal irregularities, namely the presence of openings with different heights (i.e., doors and windows) at one or more stories, but this is clearly of concern for structural modeling of walls. Seismic response of masonry buildings can be adequately simulated only if a good knowledge of the nonlinear behavior of individual walls with openings has been reached. In this way, this paper is aimed at investigating the inuence of both vertical and horizontal irregularities to the seismic capacity of URM walls with openings. To this end, a macroelement method is used and was experimentally validated with reference to an irregular wall. A methodology is proposed to classify and quantify wall irregularities on the basis of a series of indices. A sensitivity analysis was carried out to capture the main effects of irregularities on the seismic capacity of walls with openings. Finally, regression analysis was performed to derive empirical relationships between capacity parameters and irregularity indices. Improving knowledge about the effects of wall geometry could be helpful for engineers in both seismic assessment and retrot of URM buildings and also for design of new masonry structures.

2. MACROELEMENT MODELING OF UNREINFORCED MASONRY WALLS WITH OPENINGS When dealing with standard masonry buildings, namely those composed by an assemblage of walls (with or without openings) and oor diaphragms, the rst challenge is to build up a capacity model able to reect the effective parts of each wall that provide earthquake resistance against in-plane lateral actions distributed by oors. This objective can be reached through macroelement modeling, which allows to overcome relevant difculties of numerical modeling techniques. 2.1. Macroelement modeling and failure modes Macroelement methods [e.g., 810] are widely used to assess seismic performance of masonry buildings. They are based on an equivalent frame idealization of each wall with openings where the following macroelements are identied: (i) pier panels, which are the vertical structural components; (ii) spandrel panels, which are the horizontal structural elements acting as coupling components between piers under horizontal actions; and (iii) joint panels (or cross panels), which are rigid elements connecting pier and spandrel panels. Joint panels are geometrically dened as intersection between spandrels and piers, namely horizontal and vertical masonry strips between two consecutive series of openings, respectively (Figure 3ac).

Figure 3. Identication of (a) piers, (b) spandrels, and (c) macroelements in a regular masonry wall with openings.
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The failure mode of a exible macroelement depends on its aspect ratio, the relative strength between masonry components (i.e., masonry units, mortar joints, and their interface), the applied axial force, and the boundary conditions [11]. The failure mechanisms are usually dened as follows: (1) Rocking failure: As the lateral force or displacement demand increases, the masonry panel suffers tensile cracking at the end sections (horizontal cracks in Figure 4a) and experiences rigidbody (rocking) rotation until masonry crushing is reached at the compressed toes (vertical cracks in Figure 4a). (2) Diagonal tension cracking: Such a failure mode consists in the formation of a single diagonal crack that typically involves both mortar joints and masonry units (Figure 4b). (3) Shear sliding: This failure mode can develop along a single mortar bed joint (Figure 4c) or both bed and head joints in a stepwise way (Figure 4d). Both the in-plane lateral strength and displacement capacity of a macroelement are conditioned by the dominant failure mode that corresponds to the minimum lateral strength Vu. In addition to the boundary conditions and the magnitude of the axial force applied to the macroelement, the aforementioned crack patterns are mainly governed by the following mechanical properties of masonry: (i) the tensile and compressive strengths, as well as the corresponding cracking and ultimate axial strains, in the case of rocking failure; (ii) the diagonal shear strength at zero conning stress (which can be associated with the tensile strength of masonry) in the case of diagonal tension cracking; and (iii) the sliding shear strength at zero conning stress and the friction coefcient in the case of shear sliding failure. The length and amplitude of cracks in any failure mode are also affected by the stressstrain behavior of masonry in tension, compression, and shear, which is quantied by means of secant Youngs and shear moduli in simplied linear equivalent analyses. 2.2. Lateral strength and displacement capacity of macroelements Let us denote as fd,m the nominal compressive strength of masonry, and l and t the length and thickness of the URM macroelement. If an elasticperfectly plastic stressstrain model is assumed for masonry, fd,m can be set to 0.85 times the actual peak compressive strength to account for a nonlinear distribution of axial strains over each cross section. Otherwise, if masonry is assumed to have nonlinear stressstrain behavior, fd,m can represent the actual peak compressive strength. For the sake of simplicity, in this study, we consider an elasticperfectly plastic constitutive law for masonry so that the ultimate axial force of an URM cross section having a depth d is dened as Nu = fd,m dt. Masonry is also regarded as an equivalent homogeneous, no tensile resistant material. Nevertheless, other constitutive laws could be used to account for more real characteristics of masonry mechanics and their inuence on lateral strength. According to the stress block criterion for exural ultimate limit state, the nominal lateral strength corresponding to toe crushing (rocking failure) can be evaluated through the following equation: Vtc d  1 N d Nd 2l0 (1)

 Nd being the applied axial force, N d (=Nd / Nu) its value normalized to the ultimate axial force, and l0 the distance between the section where exural capacity is attained and the contraexure point. The latter changes with boundary conditions l0 ranging between 0.5l and l from xedxed to xedfree

Figure 4. Failure modes by (a) rocking failure, (b) diagonal tension cracking, (c) bed-joint sliding, and (d) stair-stepped sliding.
Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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conditions. The nominal lateral strength corresponding to diagonal tension cracking is computed according to the failure criterion proposed by Turnek and aovi [12] as follows: s  Nd Vdt bNu 1 pb

(2)

where b is the ratio between diagonal shear strength at zero conning stress and uniaxial compressive strength of masonry and p is a shear stress distribution factor related to the aspect ratio of the macroelement. The nominal lateral strength corresponding to stair-stepped diagonal sliding can be evaluated via the MohrCoulomb friction law as follows: 1  Vsd g ma N d Nu p (3)

where g is the ratio between sliding shear strength at zero conning stress and uniaxial compressive strength of masonry and ma is a ctitious friction coefcient of the whole masonry that is assumed equal to 0.4 by Eurocode 6 [13] and IBC [5]. The term ctitious is motivated by the fact that stairstepped sliding of masonry is a failure mode that locally consists in the combination of (i) tensile failure of head joints or head joint-masonry unit interfaces and of (ii) shear failure of bed joints or bond slip over the bed joint-masonry unit interfaces. It is also underlined that ma has not the same value for any type of masonry and typically falls in the interval [0.3,0.8]. Finally, the nominal lateral p  strength corresponding to bed-joint sliding can be computed by assuming ma 0:17= 3 N d 2 into Equation (3) [14]. This friction coefcient reduces as the conning pressure increases and has a local meaning given that it is related to a mortar bed joint. Therefore, Equation (3) can be rewritten as follows: Vbj p 1 3  g 0:17 N d Nu p (4)

Equal values are typically adopted for b and g because the current building codes refer to a unique shear strength at zero conning stress, denoted as t0, regardless of the particular failure mode (see, for instance, [5]). Therefore, the lateral strength of the macroelement is dened as follows: Vu min Vtc ; Vdt ; Vsd ; Vbj (5)

Limit strength domains corresponding to the aforementioned failure modes for b = g = 0.02 are plotted in Figure 5a and b for squat and slender doubly xed macroelements, respectively. Such domains show that diagonal tension cracking is a very limiting failure mode for both squat and slender macroelements. In particular, the squat macroelement is prone to suffer diagonal tension  cracking if 0.03 N d 0.85 and rocking failure for any other axial load value. The slender

Figure 5. Limit strength domains of (a) squat macroelement and (b) slender macroelement under xedxed conditions.
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 macroelement can suffer stair-stepped sliding if 0.03 N d 0.18, diagonal tension cracking if 0.18   N d 0.65, bed-joint sliding if 0.65 N d 0.77, and rocking failure for other axial load values. The lateral behavior of each macroelement is dened by forcedisplacement curves including both exural and shear contributions (see [10] for details on the algorithm). The exural contribution is computed by means of a deformation-based approach where (i) sectional axial strains {ez,i(x,z)} are monotonically increased by assuming EulerBernoulli hypothesis and (ii) the geometry of the effective macroelement domain is updated by removing the cracked part subjected to tensile strains according to the no tensile resistant model assumed for masonry. The effective macroelement domain is dened as the fraction of total macroelement volume that provides lateral resistance under a given displacement, according to the constitutive model assumed for masonry. At each maximum axial strain level efz; max , the corresponding exural displacement df,k and lateral force Vk are computed for the macroelement. The exural displacement is derived by double integration of axial strains over the effective macroelement domain, whereas the lateral force is computed by single integration of equilibrium equations at the end sections accounting for the applied axial force. The shear contribution ds,k is then computed at the same lateral force level through a stress-based, closed-form equation derived from single integration of shearing strains {gx,i(z)} over the effective macroelement domain. Ultimate displacement capacity du of the macroelement can be dened in compliance with IBC [5] or EC8 [15]; alternatively, du can be dened as the lateral displacement corresponding to the attainment of the ultimate axial strain eu at an end section. In the latter way, one can directly include the inuence of the specic masonry mechanics on the macroscopic behavior of the macroelement. Figure 6 shows the evolution in the half effective macroelement domain under increasing lateral drift, whereas Figure 7 gives a representation of the forcedisplacement curve of a URM macroelement failing in exure.

Figure 6. Macroelement evolution under increasing deformation demand: (a) linear elastic state, (b) nonlinear elastic state, and (c) elastoplastic state.

Figure 7. Derivation of forcedisplacement behavior of a macroelement.


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Such a curve consists of four branches as follows: (1) The rst branch is associated with an uncracked macroelement in elastic conditions (Note that only material nonlinearity at small deformations affects the exural strength). The effective domain has the gross macroelement geometry (Figure 6a). (2) The second branch describes the elastic forcedisplacement behavior in the presence of both material and geometric nonlinearities, the latter caused by masonry cracking in tension. The effective macroelement domain is considered as the union of the subregions 1 and 2 related to the uncracked and cracked parts, respectively (Figure 6b). (3) The last two branches simulate the inelastic forcedisplacement behavior in cracked conditions (Figure 6c). After ez,max reaches the cracking strain of masonry ecr at the end section, a further region, denoted by 3, develops resulting in a hardened behavior of the macroelement (i.e., the third branch in Figure 7). If strain softening is taken into account in the constitutive model of masonry, after the end section reaches a crossing inelastic axial strain, the masonry strength degradation causes a gradual lateral strength drop and hence the softening branch in Figure 7.

3. DEFINITION OF PIER EFFECTIVE HEIGHT IN IRREGULAR WALLS WITH OPENINGS When assessing a masonry building under earthquake actions through macroelement methods [810], irregularities in the arrangement of openings should be identied and included in the capacity model. As widely recognized in the literature, a key modeling parameter is the effective height heff to be assumed for piers. FEMA 356 [7] allows to perform pushover analysis of perforated URM walls under the strong spandrelweak pier assumption, taking into account the effect of spandrels only in terms of boundary conditions of piers (xedxed or xedfree piers) and dening the effective height of each pier as the height of adjacent openings. This assumption does not typically apply to existing URM walls because they have weak spandrels without reinforced concrete (RC) bond beams and well-anchored lintels. For such a case, past recommendations [16] have proposed to assume heff as the interstory height for a better reproduction of uncoupled piers. It is also stressed that the FEMA 356 approach fails in the case of coupled walls with different opening heights even if spandrels can be considered as strong elements. Kingsley [17] recognized the need for an accurate denition of pier effective height in walls with openings of different sizes. A specic modeling strategy for irregular walls with openings was proposed by Augenti [18], on the basis of visual observations of past earthquake damages to residential and school buildings [4]. That strategy was also conrmed by on-site inspections on cultural heritage buildings destroyed by the 2009 LAquila, Italy, earthquake [19]. The cyclic nature of the earthquake ground motion may induce nonclassical failure patterns in piers, depending on the height of adjoining openings. Figure 8

Figure 8. Shear failure of pier in unreinforced masonry wall with different opening heights (2002 Molise, Italy, earthquake).
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shows large diagonal shear cracks that could be associated with two different effective heights of the pier. As a result, two different capacity models could be assumed for perforated walls with different opening heights at the same story, depending on the orientation of seismic forces (Figure 9ad). In particular, the effective height could be considered equal to that of the opening that follows the pier in the same orientation of the seismic force. A similar modeling rule was independently proposed by Moon et al. [16] after a simulation of quasistatic lateral loading tests on a full-scale two-story URM building [2]. That rule is related to rocking failure of piers rather than diagonal shear cracking because the effective height of a pier is dened as the height over which a compression strut is likely to develop. This denition can lead to the same effective height according to Augenti [18] and to a pier geometry, which changes with the loading orientation. It is noted that most of piers of the model tested by Yi et al. [2] suffered stairstepped cracks due to rocking, which propagated at an angle up to 3045 from opening corners. Similar damage patterns were observed by Paquette and Bruneau [1] on a single-story URM building with exible diaphragm, which was subjected to pseudo-dynamic tests under increasing seismic motion intensity. Regardless of the particular failure mode, Dolce [20] proposed a simplied formula to dene the effective height of piers, on the basis of a series of nite element analyses on 20 different pierspandrel subassemblages. In the case of end piers, Dolce found an upper bound slope of 30 for segments simulating masonry cracks that start at the right or left corner of the adjacent openings and propagate toward the opposite pier edges. This modeling rule was also conrmed by experimental tests in the case of piers failed in exure rather than shear [21]. Bothara et al. [3] investigated the seismic response of a half scale, two-story brick masonry house with timber oors by means of shaking table tests, under increasing earthquake ground motion intensity. Longitudinal walls of the test model had different types of irregularities in the arrangement of their openings. Some end piers signicantly rocked and suffered oblique cracks starting from opening corners. It is worth noting that the rule suggested by Dolce [20] could also be applied to regular walls with openings, as conrmed by damage to transverse walls of the model tested by Bothara et al. [3]. On the basis of such a literature review, the macroelement modeling of a masonry wall with openings should be carried out by taking into account the layout of openings and the orientation of seismic forces. Regardless of the failure modes of piers, which depend on the expected axial force levels within them, irregular walls with openings can be modeled according to one of the modeling rules discussed previously.

Figure 9. Diagonal cracking of piers and macroelement modeling of unreinforced masonry wall with different opening heights for (a,b) rightward and (c,d) leftward orientations of seismic action.
Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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4. STATIC PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF UNREINFORCED MASONRY WALLS WITH OPENINGS AND EXPERIMENTAL VALIDATION Because masonry structures exhibit nonlinear behavior even under small displacement demands corresponding to low-intensity earthquakes, linear analysis procedures are not able to simulate their seismic response. Static pushover (SPO) analysis can then provide more reliable response predictions for performance-based assessment of masonry structures, ensuring a limited computational work compared with that of nonlinear dynamic analysis. In the following sections, an SPO procedure is proposed and experimentally validated for irregular masonry walls with openings. 4.1. Static pushover procedure On the basis of the macroelement modeling rules discussed previously [16, 18, 20], an individual URM wall with openings can be regarded as an equivalent frame composed by two-node elements with axial, exural, and shear exibilities (i.e., pier and spandrel panels), connected by rigid elements (i.e., joint panels). Each exible macroelement is affected by both mechanical and geometric nonlinearities. In the case of irregular walls, two different capacity models are developed for both orientations of in-plane lateral actions. A force-based SPO analysis in response control can then be carried out for each lateral load pattern separately (e.g., proportional to inertia masses or fundamental mode shape multiplied by inertia masses), according to IBC [5] and EC8 [6]. The forcedisplacement curve of each macroelement is step-by-step updated accounting for the current axial force due to both gravity and lateral loads and the axial forceshear force interaction. The latter is simulated by means of the limit strength domains discussed in Section 2.2. In the procedure described in the succeeding texts, subscripts i and j indicate, respectively, the horizontal and vertical strips at which a macroelement or opening belongs to, whereas superscripts j and k in round parentheses denote an iteration and displacement step, respectively. Horizontal and vertical strips of the URM wall are progressively numbered from the top to the base and from the left to the right, respectively. The lateral force prole is dened by the vector F0 = (1. . .bi. . .bn)T, where one can set the force distribution factor at the ith oor level to bi = mifi/m1 for modal load pattern and bi = mi/m1 for uniform load pattern (Note that mi and fi are, respectively, the mass and modal shape components at the ith oor level, whereas m1 is the mass at the top oor). After inertia masses and initial stiffness of the structure have been dened, vertical loading is applied and then SPO is carried out by keeping constant F0 and monotonically increasing the lateral displacement at the control point. Thus, the lateral force vector F(k) = (F(k). . .Fi(k). . .Fn(k))T at the kth 1 analysis step is computed as follows: Fk lk F0 (6)

where l(k) is the load multiplier derived by a total updating strategy. At the jth iteration of the kth analysis step, the displacement prole can be assumed equal to the force prole, namely D0 where D0
j;k j;k

F0

(7)

 T j;k 1 . . .oi . . . o j;k includes displacement distribution factors. Therefore, the lateral n

displacement vector is computed as


D j;k dck D0 j;k

(8)

where
dck dck1 ddc

(9)

is the lateral displacement at the control point. The increment ddc can be kept constant during SPO analysis, or it can be changed through a specic variation law. A series of iterations are needed to
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k

predict the deformed shape of the URM wall corresponding at dc and F0; frame analysis is performed j;k for each iteration to compute horizontal forces resulting from a given trial displacement prole D0 . Force convergence is believed to be reached if the following criteria are met:   F j;k =F j;k b   i i 1 8i  tolb   bi j < j max

(10)

that is, the resisting force proles meet the load pattern dened at the beginning of SPO analysis, and the maximum number of iterations is not attained. If Equation (10) is satised, the resisting base shear is computed, and a point of SPO curve can be plotted. Otherwise, the assumed displacement prole is adjusted as follows: oi
j;k

oi

j1;k

bi j1;k j1;k Fi =F1

(11)

and frame analysis is repeated until Equation (10) is satised. In this case, the l(k) value corresponding to the analysis step under consideration can be dened. SPO is stopped when all piers minus one have reached their ultimate displacement capacity or numerical stability is lost. This means that the SPO curve is typically characterized by a post-peak, stair-stepped falling branch where each lateral strength drop is associated with the collapse of a macroelement. 4.2. Experimental validation In order to perform a simplied assessment of irregular URM walls with openings, the SPO procedure presented in Section 4.1 was validated through experimental data provided by Paquette and Bruneau [1]. Such researchers carried out pseudo-dynamic tests on a single-story, full-scale URM building under increasing seismic motion intensity. The building was approximately 4.1 5.7 m2 in plan and 2.7 m high and was composed by four two-wythe solid brick masonry walls with thickness of 190 mm. Two walls had two openings with different heights (namely a window and a door); and hence, they are considered as irregular walls in this study. The other two walls had no openings. The walls with openings had the same geometry. All walls were realized on an RC foundation that, in turn, was anchored to the laboratory strong oor through four high-strength steel bars. The masonry above each opening was supported by RC lintels with anchorage length of about 150 mm at both ends, which is a typical length of existing masonry buildings [22]. Two 10-mm vertical gaps were left between one of the walls with openings and the others. Such a construction solution was adopted to assess the discrepancy between response predictions from individual wall models considered by many engineers and the actual three-dimensional response. The roof was composed by 10 wood joists with 38 286-mm2 rectangular cross section and 406-mm spacing. Such joists were covered with diagonal and straight sheating overlays made of 19 140-mm2 boards. The roof was then connected to the walls by means of 19-mm diameter through-wall bolts and steel bearing plates 150 150 6 mm3 in size. A masonry parapet was built on the wood roof along the entire perimeter of the test building, and water containers were placed on the roof to simulate a 2.4 kN/m2 live load. The two-wythe solid brick walls were laid in running and American bond with a header course at every six courses, tying the two wythes together. The masonry was the assemblage of 90 57 190-mm3 bricks and mortar with cement : lime : sand in 1:2:9 proportion simulating old mortar types. The following mean values of mechanical properties were obtained for that masonry: uniaxial compressive strength fm = 22.20 MPa, tensile strength ft = 0.18 MPa, bed-joint sliding strength at zero conning stress t0,bj = 0.52 MPa, diagonal shear strength at zero conning stress t0,dt = 0.42 MPa, and Youngs modulus Em = 18870 MPa (i.e., Em = 850 fm). It is emphasized that the aforementioned values are signicantly higher than the typical values of old masonry types. For solid brick masonry, the IBC Commentary [23] provides fm between 2.40 and 4.00 MPa and shear strength at zero conning stress t0 between 0.060 and 0.092 MPa. Such values can be amplied by
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1.5 and 1.3 to account for good quality characteristics of mortar and transverse connection between wythes, respectively, resulting in fm,max = 7.80 MPa and t0,max = 0.179 MPa. The pseudo-dynamic tests were carried out by using a synthetic acceleration time history with peak ground acceleration equal to 0.453 g as input ground motion. That acceleration time history was generated for La Malbaie, Canada to be representative of Eastern North America seismicity. The tests were performed under La Malbaie time history multiplied by 0.25, 0.5, 1.5, and 2 to assess the building performance at several ground motion intensities. Figure 10a shows the irregular wall of the building used as reference for the experimental validation. The horizontal force corresponding to the input ground motion was applied by a hydraulic actuator at the center span of the roof level, in the direction parallel to the walls with openings. The irregular wall of interest for this study experienced the hysteretic forcedisplacement behavior reported in Figure 10b under La Malbaie time history multiplied by 2. That seismic input induced exuralshear cracks with a width ranging from 2.5 to 13 mm. Details on the specimen design, test setup, instrumentation, and observed crack patterns can be found in [1]. Experimental results showed (i) a negligible effect of wall continuity at the building corners on the lateral strength of the URM walls during high-intensity seismic motion, even if a different stiffness was observed during low-intensity seismic motion; (ii) the specimen experienced a maximum lateral drift of approximately 1% under La Malbaie time history multiplied by 2 (corresponding to a peak ground acceleration approximately equal to 0.9 g) without signicant strength degradation; and (iii) the wood diaphragm remained essentially elastic at any seismic intensity level. It is emphasized that a negligible effect of wall continuity among orthogonal walls allows to assume rectangular cross sections for piers, instead of L-shaped, T-shaped, or X-shaped cross sections. Therefore, a planar capacity model can be developed for each wall, and a spatial assemblage of walls and oors can be carried out. Especially in the case of existing buildings, wall intersections are seldom effective because of the absence of both interconnections among masonry units and RC bond beams. Two SPO analyses were carried out for the tested URM wall, one for each lateral load orientation. The modeling rule presented in [18] was used to dene pier effective heights. To compare in-plane seismic capacity predictions complying with IBC [5] and EC8 [15], we considered two different sets of values for the limit state of near collapse (NC) of single macroelements. In fact, for existing URM buildings, IBC assumes that primary walls (i.e., those belonging to the lateral-force resisting system) reach NC in exure if f = 0.006 and in shear if s = 0.004. In the same conditions, EC8 establishes f = 4/3 0.008 l0/d and s = 4/3 0.004 (see Section 2.2 for the meaning of l0 and d). It is underlined that is dened as the ratio between the relative lateral displacement between end sections r and the effective length of the macroelement leff. These different denitions of NC led to different SPO curves for both lateral load orientations, as shown in Figure 11. It is worth noting that the experimental in-plane response was rather different under positive and negative displacement demands, leading to an absolute value of lateral drift in the negative orientation about two times that measured in the positive orientation. Such evidence was well captured by SPO analysis, although the IBC-complying denition of limit states for single macroelements led to more conservative

Figure 10. Unreinforced masonry wall specimen: (a) elevation (dimensions in millimeter) and (b) hysteretic forcedisplacement response under synthetic acceleration time history multiplied by 2.
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Figure 11. Comparison between experimental and theoretical curves.

predictions of displacement capacity for the irregular wall. Furthermore, satisfactory predictions of lateral resistance were obtained for both load orientations. The collapse of a macroelement induced a resistance drop, which was more evident under negative displacement demands.

5. CHARACTERIZATION OF WALL IRREGULARITIES To investigate the in-plane lateral behavior and seismic capacity of irregular URM walls with openings, we grouped typical geometric irregularities in a number of classes and quantied them by indices. This classication and indexing work allowed to perform sensitivity analysis by varying one irregularity index at a time and keeping constant the others. Key capacity parameters were monitored to capture the main effects of irregularities. Finally, regression analysis was performed; after the best regression models were detected, empirical relationships between capacity parameters and irregularity indices were obtained and are proposed herein. The signicance of seismic capacity variations with irregularities is discussed from both statistical and structural viewpoints. 5.1. Classication of wall irregularities In masonry walls with openings, the following basic irregularities can be identied: (1) Horizontal irregularity: The wall has openings with different heights at the same story and equal lengths along the height (Figure 12a). (2) Vertical irregularity: The wall has openings with equal heights at the same story and different lengths along the height (Figure 12b). (3) Offset irregularity: The wall has horizontal and/or vertical offsets between openings with equal or different sizes (Figure 12c). (4) Variable openings number irregularity: The wall has different number of openings per story (Figure 12d). The rst three basic irregularities are here dened for single couples of openings, whereas the last irregularity is dened for couples of stories. The presence of more basic irregularities induces a complex irregularity. Opening offsets are frequently identied in the vertical direction, also at the locations of staircases in new buildings; they cause nonuniform paths of gravity loads and strange damage patterns. 5.2. Quantication of wall irregularities In order to assess the inuence of irregularities on nonlinear response of walls with openings and variations in their seismic capacity parameters, a series of global and partial irregularity indices are dened herein. A global irregularity index indicates whether a perforated wall is regular (i = 0) or not (0 < i 1), given a couple of openings or stories. Given a type of irregularity, a partial irregularity index quanties the distribution of the irregularity throughout the masonry wall.
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Figure 12. Irregular walls with (a) horizontal irregularity, (b) vertical irregularity, (c) offset irregularity, and (d) variable openings number irregularity.

In the case of horizontal irregularity, the following global index can be dened: iH H Hmax Hmin 2Hmed Hmax Hmin (12)

where Hmax and Hmin are, respectively, the maximum and minimum opening heights and H is the total irregularity (Figure 12a) dened as follows: H Hmax Hmin H H (13)

and being the distances between corresponding upper and lower opening edges. H H The distribution of the horizontal irregularity with respect to the centroid of the higher opening can be completely described by the following partial indices:  H H H  H H H

a (14) b

Therefore, the amount and distribution of a horizontal irregularity can be quantied through iH and one of the partial indices given by Equation (14a,b) because their sum is equal to unity. It is noted that such partial indices quantify the relative position between the lower and higher openings rather than their absolute position in the wall. Similarly, in the case of vertical irregularity, the following global index can be dened: iV L Lmax Lmin 2Lmed Lmax Lmin (15)

where Lmax and Lmin are, respectively, the maximum and minimum opening lengths and L is the total irregularity (Figure 12b) dened as follows:
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L Lmax Lmin r lL L

(16)

r and lL being the distances between corresponding right and left opening edges. L The distribution of the vertical irregularity with respect to the centroid of the longer opening can be described through the following partial indices: r L L L l l  L L L
r

a (17) b

Therefore, the amount and distribution of a vertical irregularity can be quantied through iV and one of the partial indices given by Equation (17a,b) because their sum is equal to unity. When quantifying an offset irregularity in the vertical direction, one should consider that the distance O between the upper edges of two openings cannot exceed O,max = D tf H, where D is the interstory height, tf is the thickness of the oor slab or RC bond beam, and H is the height of the lower opening (Figure 12c). Furthermore, the sum of the opening heights (i.e., H+ and H) cannot be larger than D tf (Note that this criterion only works if oors are at constant level throughout the wall; otherwise, D should be considered as the maximum interstory height associated with the oors placed above the couple of openings under consideration). It follows that the following global irregularity index can be dened: O D tf H

iO

(18)

A similar index can be introduced for offset irregularity between right and left edges of two openings, that is, in the horizontal direction of a perforated wall. In such a case, the distance O between the right and left edges of two openings cannot be larger than the right/left pier. Finally, in the case of a perforated wall with different number of openings per story (Figure 12d), each couple of consecutive opening series can be analyzed to characterize such a wall irregularity. The following global irregularity index can be evaluated: Nmin Nmax

iN 1

(19)

where Nmax and Nmin are the maximum and minimum numbers of openings per story, respectively. If Nmin Nmax 2, the distribution of the openings can be quantitatively described through a partial irregularity index given by the following relation:     1 2xG  iD  L 
w

(20)

where xG is the distance of the centroid G of the series of openings that correspond Nmin and Lw is the overall length of the perforated wall. In the case of symmetric arrangement of openings (i.e., xG = Lw/2), the index iD is equal to zero. If the absolute sign in Equation (20) is not applied, then iD quanties also the location of G with respect to the centerline of the perforated wall.
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6. SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS Response-controlled SPO analysis was carried out on two-story URM walls with a maximum number of openings per story equal to 2, 3, and 4. Each parametric analysis included the case of regular perforated wall to estimate capacity variations against that case. The nonlinear behavior of URM walls with offset irregularities and different number of openings per story does not fall in the scope of this sensitivity study. To assess the inuence of both vertical and horizontal irregularities, the benchmark perforated wall was assumed to be composed by two stories, each of them having three piers with length of 1.70 m and effective heights according to [18], a spandrel with height of 1.00 m running along the entire wall, and two openings with length of 1.70 m and height of 2.30 m (Figure 13). The total height of the wall was equal to 6.60 m, whereas the thickness was assumed to be 0.80 m, which is a common value for existing URM buildings located in European countries and not designed for earthquake resistance. The wall was supposed to be made of solid clay brick masonry with the following mechanical properties: mean uniaxial compressive strength fm = 4.30 MPa, mean shear strength at zero conning stress t0 = 0.10 MPa, mean Youngs modulus Em = 3000 MPa, and mean shear modulus Gm = 1200 MPa. Each global irregularity index was changed in the interval [0,1] with a step of 0.25 considering all couples of openings, namely several locations for the opening supposed to be the source of wall irregularity. For global irregularity indices equal to 0.25, 0.50, and 0.75, also the partial global indices were changed in the interval [0.25,1] with a step of 0.25, resulting in 17 combinations of global and partial indices for both horizontally and vertically irregular walls. SPO analysis was performed under both modal and uniform load patterns, as well as for both orientations in the case of horizontal irregularity because different pier effective heights were assumed. A total amount of 918 SPO analyses were carried out. Figures 14af and 15af show SPO curves corresponding to horizontally and vertically irregular URM walls with openings, for both modal and uniform load patterns. In each gure, the legend shows the case of regular wall as reference and those of irregular wall. Each case of irregular wall is characterized by a code composed by six numbers: the rst number is the value of global irregularity index; the second number is the value of partial irregularity index; the third and fourth numbers in round parentheses denes the opening (i,j) that induces the irregularity type under consideration (i.e., (2,2) in Figures 14af and 15af); the fth number is the number of wall stories, which is equal to 2 in this study; and the last number is the maximum number of openings per story, which was considered equal to 2, 3, and 4. The following types of diagrams were detected in this sensitivity study: (1) pushover curves with low nonlinearity up to the maximum resisting base shear and brittle collapse of more macroelements; (2) pushover curves with high nonlinearity and progressive reduction in resisting base shear due to the collapse of macroelements at increasing drift levels; and (3) pushover curves with no resistance drop, representing a ductile behavior of perforated walls.

Figure 13. Front and lateral views of the benchmark wall with openings (dimensions in meter).
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1400 1200 1000

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1400 1200 1000

(a)
Vb[kN]

(b)

Vb[kN]

800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

dc[mm]
1400 1200 1000

dc[mm]
1400 1200 1000

(c)
Vb[kN]

(d)

Vb[kN]

800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

dc[mm]
1400 1200 1000

dc[mm]
1400 1200 1000

(e)
Vb[kN]

(f)

Vb[kN]

800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

dc[mm]

dc[mm]

Figure 14. Pushover curves of horizontally irregular unreinforced masonry walls under leftward orientation of seismic action and horizontal irregularity at the left upper opening in the cases of (a) Nmax = 2 and modal load pattern, (b) Nmax = 2 and uniform load pattern, (c) Nmax = 3 and modal load pattern, (d) Nmax = 3 and uniform load pattern, (e) Nmax = 4 and modal load pattern, and (f) Nmax = 4 and uniform load pattern.

The rst type of SPO curves was typically related to a cascade of shear failures or even tensile failure of piers, which was caused by axial forces corresponding to lateral displacement demands (i.e., axial forces induced by overturning moment at each story). Such damage localization is particularly dangerous because it produces a sudden collapse of the wall. In this case, seismic retrotting of the existing irregular wall should increase strength and/or ductility of macroelements expected to suffer brittle failure. Vertical post-tensioning could be applied to piers expected to fail in tension, to avoid any mass increase. The second type of SPO curves resulted from a partial ability of the irregular wall to redistribute strength and drift demands among macroelements after one or more failures. This is an intermediate nonlinear behavior of existing irregular walls where only some macroelements suffer brittle failure and need to be retrotted. Finally, the third type of SPO curves was typically related to a rather uniform distribution of strength and drift demands throughout the wall, allowing almost a full exploitation of the available ductility. In such cases, if the existing irregular wall does not meet code requirements for the limit state of life safety or NC, seismic retrotting should provide a uniform increase in strength and/or ductility throughout the wall. The following parameters were computed for each pushover analysis: (1) overstrength ratio of the wall; and (2) elastic vibration period T, ultimate shear force Vu, ultimate displacement du, available displacement ductility m, and ductility-based force reduction factor Rm of the idealized SDOF system.
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1400 1200 1000 1400 1200 1000

117

(a)
Vb[kN]

(b)

Vb[kN]

800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

dc[mm]
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dc[mm]
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(c)
Vb[kN]

(d)

Vb[kN]

800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

dc[mm]
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dc[mm]
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(e)
Vb[kN]

(f)

Vb[kN]

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800 600 400 200 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

dc[mm]

dc[mm]

Figure 15. Pushover curves of vertically irregular unreinforced masonry walls under leftward orientation of seismic action and vertical irregularity at the left upper opening in the cases of (a) Nmax = 2 and modal load pattern, (b) Nmax = 2 and uniform load pattern, (c) Nmax = 3 and modal load pattern, (d) Nmax = 3 and uniform load pattern, (e) Nmax = 4 and modal load pattern, and (f) Nmax = 4 and uniform load pattern.

The bilinear idealization of base shear (Vb) versus top displacement (dc) curves was carried out by dening the ultimate displacement du at 20% base shear drop (limit state of life safety) and the elastic stiffness as the ratio between 0.7Vb,max and the corresponding top displacement, where Vb,max is the maximum resisting base shear [5]. The limit elastic displacement de was derived by assuming equal areas below the actual and idealized forcedisplacement diagrams. Hence, the available displacement ductility was dened as m = du/de. The overstrength ratio was computed as = au/a1, where au = 0.9amax (i.e., 0.9 times the load multiplier corresponding to Vb,max) and a1 is the load multiplier corresponding to the attainment of the nominal lateral strength in a pier regardless of its failure mode. Finally, the ductility-based force reduction factor was estimated as Rm = (2m 1)1/2 according to the equal energy rule typically assumed for low-period structures such as URM buildings [24, 25]. Therefore, the total force reduction factor can be dened as R = Rm [5].

7. REGRESSION MODELS Regression analysis was carried out for different aggregations of SPO results. The lower level of analysis detail was related to the variation in a given parameter c normalized to its realization for regular wall cR (i.e., c/cR), under varying global irregularity index iH (or iV). In such a case, regression analysis was performed over all SPO results related to different locations of the openings
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causing wall irregularity, partial indices, maximum numbers of openings per story, load patterns, and orientations of seismic actions. Although regression analysis without any disaggregation of data sets was less accurate than others, it allowed to derive simplied equations for seismic assessment of URM walls with openings (Figures 16af and 17af). In particular, regression analysis was carried out on the 5th percentile of sectional data to provide conservative estimates of capacity parameters. Each data section was represented by the vector j = {1j. . .ij. . .Sj} associated with the value j of irregularity index (where j = 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1; ij = cij/cR; and S = number of SPO results, that is, the sample size, corresponding to j) and was ordered in increasing order of magnitude. The 5th percentile of each data section, namely the value of cj/cR not exceeded by 5% of SPO results corresponding to j, was estimated according to classical statistical procedures. Finally, a regression model was derived for each capacity parameter under investigation by means of the ordinary least square method applied to the vector 5 = {1. . .j. . .1}, in a way to maximize the coefcient of determination R2 (Note that 1 and 1 are the values of c/cR at j = 0, i.e., zero irregularity, and j = 1, respectively.). This modus operandi was motivated by the fact that in some cases, seismic capacity may also increase under a given orientation of seismic forces, whereas a large reduction usually occurs in the opposite orientation. Actually, structural engineers are interested to the worst case that corresponds the major reduction in seismic capacity. The scope of regression analysis was then to provide some hints on the unfavorable effects that can be caused by the closure, modication, or realization of openings in an existing URM wall. Regression analysis for horizontal irregularity was
1.5 1.5

T/TR = 1 - 0.14iH R = 0.58


1

(a)
1
Vu/VuR

Vu/VuR = 1 + 0.03 iH R = 0.76

(b)

T/TR
0.5

0.5

0.25

0.5

0.75

0.25

0.5

0.75

iH
1.5 1.5

iH

(c)
1
du/duR

(d)
1

0.5

/R

du/duR = exp(-1.98 iH) R = 0.84

/ R = exp(-1.9 iH) R = 0.84

0.5

0.25

0.5

0.75

0.25

0.5

0.75

iH
1.5 1.5

iH

(e)
R/RR
1

0.5

/R

R/RR = exp(-1.16 iH) R = 0.85

/R = exp(-0.87 iH) R = 0.64


1

(f)

0.5

0.25

0.5

0.75

0.25

0.5

0.75

iH

iH

Figure 16. Empirical models for horizontally irregular walls with openings: (a) T/TR iH; (b) Vu/VuR iH; (c) du/duR iH; (d) m/mR iH; (e) Rm/RmR iH; and (f) /R iH.
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1.5 1.5

119

T/TR = 1- 0.08 iV R2 = 0.77


1

(a)
Vu/VuR
1

Vu/VuR = 1 + 0.05 iV R2 = 0.60

(b)

T/TR
0.5

0.5

0.25

0.5

0.75

0.25

0.5

0.75

iV
1.5 1.5

iV

(c)
1

(d)
/
1
R = exp(-1.64 iV) R2 = 0.99 R

du/duR

du/duR = exp(-1.72 iV) R2 = 0.98


/

0.5

0.5

0 0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1 0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1

iV
1.5 1.5

iV

(e)
R

R /R R = exp(-1.02 iV) R2 = 0.99 /


R

/
1

R = 1- 0.25 iV R2 = 0.95

(f)

R /R

0.5

0.5

0.25

0.5

0.75

0.25

0.5

0.75

iV

iV

Figure 17. Empirical models for vertically irregular walls with openings: (a) T/TR iV; (b) Vu/VuR iV; (c) du/duR iV; (d) m/mR iV; (e) Rm/RmR iV; and (f) /R iV.

performed considering 558 SPO results at each iH value, whereas that related to vertical irregularity was performed accounting for 288 SPO results at each iV value. In all cases, high values of R2 indicate a satisfactory goodness of t of the empirical models. Therefore, the equations presented in this study could be used to estimate the reduction in some key parameters of irregular walls with openings, such as and Rm, with respect to the corresponding regular wall. It is emphasized that such empirical models provide conservative predictions. In fact, it could be shown that the parameters of interest can also increase, depending for instance on the location of the opening within the wall and orientation of seismic actions under consideration. Furthermore, it was found that the law of variation of a parameter with a partial  r irregularity index (i.e., H or L ) may depend on the value of the corresponding global irregularity index. In general, regression analysis results indicate that seismic capacity of URM walls with openings (in terms of ultimate displacement capacity du, displacement ductility m, and total force reduction factor R) is signicantly affected by geometric irregularities, and its reduction is more signicant under increasing horizontal irregularity. Figures 16a and 17a show that the elastic period T of the idealized SDOF system slightly reduces as a global irregularity index increases from zero to unity. On the contrary, a little increase in Vu under increasing global irregularity index is evidenced in Figures 16b and 17b. As opposed to what appears for other capacity parameters, both T and Vu are quite insensitive to horizontal and vertical wall irregularities. In fact, SPO analyses evidenced that such irregularities induce, on the one hand, little variations in the distribution of elastic demand among macroelements and, on the other hand, signicant changes in the distribution of inelastic
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demand. This indicates that idealized SDOF systems of different irregular walls corresponding to a given regular URM wall with openings have approximately the same initial stiffness and ultimate force but different values of displacement ductility. These results could also be of interest to investigate how seismic demand on idealized SDOF systems changes with the type and amount of geometric irregularities through nonlinear dynamic analysis. Negative exponential trends were found for all other parameters in both cases of horizontal and vertical irregularities; a particular case was that of , which was found to be characterized by a negative exponential trend in the case of horizontal irregularity (Figure 16f) and a linear descending trend in the case of vertical irregularity (Figure 17f). In any case, a reduction in the overstrength ratio means that geometric irregularities reduce the ability of the wall to redistribute strength and drift demands throughout the wall after the failure of a macroelement. The empirical equations derived for T and Vu could be used to estimate inelastic displacement demand on the irregular wall under consideration, to be compared with the ultimate displacement capacity.

8. CONCLUSIONS A simplied methodology for the assessment of the effects of geometric irregularities on the in-plane seismic capacity of URM walls with openings has been proposed. To this end, a macroelement method was developed and validated through experimental results. The proposed methodology was based on (i) the classication and quantication of typical geometric irregularities by means of indices and (ii) the assessment of geometric irregularity effects through both sensitivity and regression analyses. Irregularity indices allow to establish whether a wall with openings is regular or not, the total amount of irregularity, and its distribution throughout the wall. Sensitivity analysis consisted in a signicant number of responsecontrolled SPO analyses where variations in key capacity parameters with respect to the case of regular wall were assessed. Regression analysis let to describe each capacity parameter under a varying irregularity index, providing empirical models for seismic design/assessment of irregular URM walls with openings. Among the geometric irregularities identied in this study, those related to different opening heights at the same story (horizontal irregularity) and lengths between two consecutive stories (vertical irregularity) were investigated because of their large presence in the worldwide building heritage. Therefore, SPO analysis was carried out on a benchmark two-story URM wall with openings by assuming several maximum numbers of openings per story, locations of the openings causing wall irregularity, and lateral load patterns. Different capacity models were considered for negative and positive orientations of seismic actions to account for their inuence on the pier effective height. SPO curves have shown that geometric irregularities can induce damage localizations and a cascade of brittle failures, resulting in a premature collapse of the wall. Seismic design should then minimize wall irregularities that are often induced by architectural trends; seismic retrot of existing walls should reduce irregularities in the arrangement of openings and mitigate their negative effects. Regression analysis was carried out on the 5th percentile of sectional data to provide conservative estimates of capacity parameters. Analysis results have shown that the in-plane seismic capacity of URM walls (in terms of ultimate displacement capacity, displacement ductility, and force reduction factor) signicantly reduces as geometric irregularities increase. In particular, a higher sensitivity to horizontal irregularity has been detected, especially in the case of global overstrength ratio. The latter decreases with an exponential trend in the case of horizontal irregularity and a linear trend in the case of vertical irregularity. Variations in the ultimate displacement capacity of URM walls with openings under increasing irregularity indices have been also estimated for a simplied displacement-based seismic assessment. On the basis of this study, the authors recommend to explicitly include both vertical and horizontal irregularities within capacity models of URM walls with openings. Otherwise, one can predict rst the in-plane seismic capacity of the regular wall corresponding to the actual irregular wall to be designed or assessed and then potential variations caused by geometric irregularities through the proposed regression models. The latter also allow to predict whether and how seismic capacity of an existing wall may decrease after some openings are closed, modied, or realized. If seismic capacity of the as-built irregular wall is known, no structural analysis (be it linear or nonlinear) is needed to rapidly assess potential unfavorable effects of structural modications.
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Further research is needed (i) to assess seismic capacity sensitivity to offset irregularities and different number of openings, (ii) to dene limits of applicability of macroelement methods to URM walls with large irregularities (e.g., threshold irregularities derived from analyticalnumerical comparisons), and (iii) to investigate the effects of complex irregularity congurations on seismic capacity. The effects on seismic demand could also be investigated by means of nonlinear dynamic analyses of SDOF systems equivalent to irregular URM walls.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This research was carried out in the framework of the ReLUIS-DPC 20102013 project (Line AT1-1.1 Evaluation of the Vulnerability of Masonry Buildings, Historical Centers and Cultural Heritage) funded by the Italian Department of Civil Protection. The authors express their sincere thanks to Prof. Michel Bruneau and Dr. Jocelyn Paquette for providing their experimental data.
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Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2013; 42:101121


DOI: 10.1002/eqe