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Implications of the spandrel type on the lateral behavior of

unreinforced masonry walls


Fulvio Parisi*
,
, Nicola Augenti and Andrea Prota
Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
SUMMARY
Seismic response of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings is largely inuenced by nonlinear behavior of
spandrels, which provide coupling between piers under in-plane lateral actions. Seismic codes do not appropri-
ately address modeling and strength verication of spandrels, adapting procedures originally proposed for piers.
Therefore, research on spandrels has received signicant attention in some earthquake-prone countries, such as
Italy and New Zealand. In the last years, the authors of this paper have performed both monotonic and cyclic
in-plane lateral loading tests on full-scale masonry walls with single opening and different spandrel types. Those
tests were carried out in a static fashion and with displacement control. In this paper, experimental outcomes for
two as-built specimens are presented and compared with those obtained in the past for another as-built specimen
with a wooden lintel above the opening. In both newly tested specimens, the masonry above the opening was
supported by a shallow masonry arch. In one of those specimens, a reinforced concrete (RC) bond beam was
realized on top of the spandrel, resulting in a composite URM-RCspandrel. Then, the inuence of spandrel type
is analyzed in terms of observed damage, forcedrift curves, and their bilinear idealizations, which allowed to
compare displacement ductility and overstrength of wall specimens. Furthermore, effects of rocking behavior of
piers are identied, highlighting their relationship with hysteretic damping and residual drifts. Copyright
2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Received 28 October 2013; Revised 25 March 2014; Accepted 1 May 2014
KEY WORDS: full-scale testing; in-plane lateral behavior; masonry walls; spandrels
1. INTRODUCTION
Destructive earthquakes have demonstrated that unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings can suffer heavy
damage to spandrels, that is, horizontal strips connecting different piers (Figure 1(a)). This occurs
especially if local out-of-plane mechanisms do not take place, and hence, walls are mainly subjected to
in-plane lateral loads [1]. In this case, spandrels effectively participate to the global seismic response of
the URM building, resulting in the need to incorporate them as primary structural components in the
capacity model of the structure. How to account for this is not appropriately an issue of seismic codes
(e.g., [24]) where simplied procedures for modeling and strength verication of spandrels are
provided by just adapting those formulated for piers (e.g., [57]).
Different spandrel types can be identied in URM buildings, depending on the type of lintel above the
opening, namely at the lower edge of the spandrel, and the presence/absence of tensile resistant elements
on top of the spandrel. Dealing with existing URM buildings not designed for earthquake resistance,
spandrels have only stone, masonry, wooden, or steel lintels above openings, which transfer gravity
loads to piers. Especially in the case of old URM buildings with historical value, the masonry above the
*Correspondence to: Fulvio Parisi, Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples
Federico II, via Claudio 21, 80125 Naples, Italy.

E-mail: fulvio.parisi@unina.it
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING & STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS
Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
Published online 28 May 2014 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com). DOI: 10.1002/eqe.2441
opening is supported by a regular arch (Figure 1(b)) or a at arch (Figure 1(c)), which transfers gravity
loads as both downward vertical forces and outward horizontal forces, the latter referred to as thrusts.
Otherwise, wooden or steel lintels can be found in ancient URM buildings (Figure 1(d) and (e)). A steel
lintel is usually realized with two I-beams that are transversely connected by steel ties to avoid potential
torsional-exural buckling. In this case, lateral external space along the beams is lled with mortar just
to provide at surfaces. In most cases, earthquake damage mainly affects spandrel panels, namely the
parts of spandrels between consecutive openings, whereas spandrelpier intersection zones, also called
joint panels [7], are usually found to be undamaged. Figure 2(a)(c) shows damage to spandrel panels
after the 2009 LAquila and 2012 Emilia-Romagna earthquakes in Italy.
Since the last century, reinforced concrete (RC) lintels have been constructed in most URM
buildings. When the importance of wall-to-wall and oor-to-wall connections to provide a global
box-type seismic response was recognized after major seismic events, tensile resistant elements,
for example, wooden/steel ties and RC bond beams, were inserted on top of spandrels. Particularly,
RC bond beams provide the following types of seismic resistance to URM walls with openings: (i)
out-of-plane bending resistance, because beams transfer most part of horizontal diaphragm actions to
longitudinal walls; and (ii) in-plane bending resistance, because their longitudinal reinforcing steel
bars provide both tensile and compressive strengths to the spandrel, while concrete provides
additional compressive strength. Therefore, URM spandrels with masonry arches or wooden lintels
above openings are typically observed in ancient URM buildings not designed for earthquake
resistance, whereas composite URM-RC spandrels are usually identied in modern URM buildings
either in as-built conditions or after seismic retrotting.
Experimental programs on URM building models with different spandrel types have been carried
out in the last 15 years. Benedetti et al. [8] performed a pioneering research work based on shaking
table tests of 24 half-scale building models. In this case, some models were made of brick masonry
and wooden lintels, whereas other models were made of stone masonry and regular arches above
openings. Those tests and subsequent energy evaluations [9] revealed a key concept of the seismic
response of URM buildings, that is, their energy dissipation capacity can be maximized if damage
develops within spandrels rather than piers. Bothara et al. [10] performed a shaking table test on a
(a) (c) (b)
Figure 2. Observed damage to spandrel panels: (a) partial collapse of regular arch; (b) exural cracks close
to spandrelpier intersection; and (c) diagonal shear cracks.
(c) (b)
(e) (d) (a)
Figure 1. Spandrel types in ancient unreinforced masonry walls with openings: (a) identication of spandrels
and piers; (b) spandrel with regular arch; (c) spandrel with at arch; (d) spandrel with wooden lintel; and (e)
spandrel with steel lintel.
1868 F. PARISI, N. AUGENTI AND A. PROTA
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
half-scale masonry building model with both wooden lintels and at masonry arches. That test
conrmed that spandrels can experience not only diagonal shear cracking (Figure 2(c)) but also
vertical exural cracks that originate at the location of opening corners and develop according to
masonry interlocking effects at spandrelpier intersections (Figure 2(b)).
On the basis of observed postearthquake damage evidence and such preliminary experimental results,
research programs have been underway for several years to investigate the mechanics of spandrels and
their inuence on nonlinear seismic behavior of URM buildings. The Italian Network of Earthquake
Engineering University Laboratories, whose Italian acronym is ReLUIS, have funded two research
programs including specic tasks to investigate the role of spandrels in the in-plane behavior of URM
walls. Full-scale testing was believed to be the most effective solution to that end, so different
spandrelpier systems in terms of geometry, masonry assemblage, and lintel type have been tested by
several research groups [1113]. In particular, the authors of this paper have investigated the inuence
of masonry spandrels on the in-plane lateral behavior of tuff masonry walls with single opening,
reproducing some of the typical spandrel types in Mediterranean countries. The rst wall specimen had
a wooden lintel above the opening and was tested in both as-built and predamaged conditions, as well
as after repair and external strengthening with an inorganic matrixgrid composite material [13]. This
investigation was motivated by the large presence of tuff masonry constructions (including cultural
heritage goods) in many earthquake-prone regions and consisted of quasistatic lateral loading tests in
displacement control. Furthermore, experimental testing was carried out on walls with openings, in
order to assess the inuence of spandrels including spandrelpier interaction effects, for example, the
modication of boundary conditions to the spandrel as a result of damage to piers. This feature of real
behavior cannot be captured by testing single spandrel elements or spandrelpier assemblages where
the drift on the spandrel is directly imposed as differential vertical displacements or rotations to the
piers, which remain macroscopically undamaged over the entire test duration (e.g., [11, 12]).
In this work, the main experimental ndings of two additional cyclic tests on full-scale tuff masonry
walls with an opening and a regular masonry arch above the opening, rather than a straight lintel, are
presented. One of those specimens also included a RC bond beam on top of the whole spandrel. Such
tests allow to increase knowledge about pros and cons of masonry arches and RC bond beams in
spandrels, giving the chance to improve seismic codes for design and assessment of URM building
structures. Experimental results are compared with those previously obtained for the rst specimen,
in terms of crack patterns, forcedrift curves, displacement ductility, overstrength, and rocking
behavior effects. Finally, hysteretic damping and residual drifts are discussed as they are related to
energy dissipation capacity and seismic loss assessment.
2. EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM
Quasistatic in-plane lateral loading tests were carried out on two wall specimens with different spandrel
types. In view of a comparative assessment, the rst wall specimen discussed by the authors in [13] is
herein recalled specimen W. The additional specimens forming the core of this paper are labeled as A
and AB in the following. Specimen A had a regular masonry arch above the opening, whereas
specimen AB had both the regular arch and a RC bond beam running on top of the spandrel.
2.1. Description of specimens
Each specimen was a symmetrical tuff masonry wall with a central opening (Figure 3(a)(c)). Tuff
masonry was composed of yellow tuff stones that were 100 150 300 mm
3
in size and were bonded
by mortar joints with nominal thickness of 10 mm. Tuff stone masonry layers were alternated along the
height of the specimen in a way to obtain discontinuous head joints and a running bond masonry. The
overall geometry of specimens A and AB was equal to that of specimen W, which was dened on the
basis of the following: (i) mechanical characterization tests on tuff stones, mortar, and masonry as a
whole; and (ii) numerical predictions provided by static pushover analysis of macroelement models
according to [7]. Details on material testing and design of specimens can be found in [1315]. It is only
underlined here that the design of specimens was aimed at developing most of damage within the
IMPLICATIONS OF THE SPANDREL TYPE ON THE LATERAL BEHAVIOR OF URM WALLS 1869
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
spandrel, in order to capture its impact on the in-plane behavior of specimens. Because of the nonlinearity
in the lateral behavior of walls with openings, the authors calibrated the magnitude of the initial axial loads
to apply on the piers before lateral loading (Section 2.3). That calibration was carried out by performing
pushover analysis on macroelement models subjected to different axial load magnitudes and hence
deriving a loading condition where the spandrel was expected to fail before the piers.
Each specimen can be regarded as an assemblage of two equal piers connected by a spandrel panel.
Both the piers and the spandrel panel were 1.70 m long, resulting in a total length of the specimen equal
to 5.10 m. Three tuff stone masonry layers were built over the spandrel, to obtain pier continuity in
elevation with an ideal upper story. Indeed, specimens were supposed to be taken out from a typical
multistory wall with openings. The total height of the specimen was then 3.62 m, while its thickness
was 0.31 m, that is, the sum of two 0.15-m-thick masonry wythes with a collar mortar joint. In the
case of specimen W the height of the opening and spandrel was 2.30 and 1.00 m, respectively.
Therefore, the rise of masonry arches in specimens A and AB was set to 330 mm in order to obtain
the intrados of the keystone at the same height of the wooden lintel in specimen W and hence a
spandrel height at the specimen centerline of 1.00 m for both specimens. The rise-to-length ratio of
the arch was about 1/5, and the depth of the arch cross-section was equal to 300 mm.
In the case of specimen AB, the RC bond beam was cast in place, and its cross-section was
310 230 mm
2
. According to specications of the past Italian Masonry Code (IMC) [16], practice
rules, and also some current seismic codes [4, 17], the bond beam was reinforced with four longitudinal
steel bars (14 mm in diameter) and 2-leg steel stirrups (8mm in diameter) with 200 mm spacing. It is
emphasized that the current Italian Building Code (IBC) [4] establishes that stirrups should be at least
6 mm in diameter, and their spacing should not be larger than 250 mm. IMC provided the same
detailing rules, while allowing a stirrup spacing up to 300 mm and increasing the minimum stirrup
diameter to 8 mm in the case of URM buildings with more than six oors. No specications about RC
bond beams are provided by Eurocode 8 (EC8) part 1 [17] for new URM buildings.
The tuff stones and mortar used for the construction of specimens were experimentally characterized
through compression, tensile and direct shear tests [14, 15]. Tuff masonry as a whole was also
investigated through both simple and diagonal compression tests to simulate lateral loading tests by
means of macroelement pushover analysis. Masonry joints were made of a hydraulic mortar, which
was a mixture of natural sand and pozzolana-like reactive aggregates with 1 : 6.25 water/sand ratio
by weight. Mean unit weight of tuff stones and mortar was, respectively, equal to 11.72 kN/m
3
(a)
(b) (c)
Figure 3. Geometry of (a) specimen W; (b) specimen A; and (c) specimen AB (dimensions in mm).
1870 F. PARISI, N. AUGENTI AND A. PROTA
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DOI: 10.1002/eqe
(with coefcient of variation CoV= 1.73%) and 16.92 kN/m
3
(CoV= 0.65%). Mean values of
uniaxial compressive strength f
c
, uniaxial tensile strength f
t
, compressive Youngs modulus E
c
,
and shear modulus G are outlined in Table I along with their CoV in round parentheses.
Direct shear tests provided shear sliding strength at zero conning stress
0,bj
= 0.15 MPa and initial
friction coefcient = 0.29 for the tuff stone-mortar interface (further properties of that interface can be
found in [15]).
Finally, concrete and reinforcing steel bars employed to build the RCbond beam on top of the spandrel
of specimen AB were experimentally characterized by displacement-controlled tests. In particular,
compressive and three-point bending tests were carried out on concrete cubes and prismatic specimens,
respectively. Tensile tests were carried out on steel bar specimens. Mean values and CoV (in round
parentheses) of mechanical properties of concrete and reinforcing steel bars are listed in Table II, where
f
cc
and f
ct
are the cube compressive strength and uniaxial tensile strength of concrete; f
y
and f
tu
are the
yielding and ultimate strengths of steel bars, respectively; E
cc
is the compressive Youngs modulus of
concrete; and A
gt
is the maximum elongation of steel bars.
Experimental results in Table II indicate that the concrete and reinforcing steel used for the RC bond
beam are very close to type C20/25 concrete and type B450C reinforcing steel, according to EC2 [18]
and IBC [4], respectively. Actually, such concrete and steel types are also equivalent to the concrete
type R
ck
250 and steel type Feb44k in the past Italian code on RC and metallic structures [19].
2.2. Test setup and instrumentation
The experimental setup employed for in-plane lateral loading tests is shown in Figure 4. First of all, -
shaped steel plates were bolted to squared holes of the laboratory strong oor at the location of pier
corners, in the transverse direction of the specimen. Then, RC beams (200 310 1900 mm
3
in size)
were cast in place over each couple of plates, in the longitudinal direction of the specimen. Shear
keys welded to the -shaped plates ensured a rigid connection of the beams to the strong oor. The
RC beams were cured during 28 days, and the masonry piers were built up over them without
supplemental shear keys that is by realizing just a simple mortar joint as pierbeam connection. This
is in agreement with past practice rules and codes (e.g., [16]). It is also noted that the RC beams at
the base of piers were made of the same concrete and reinforcing steel of the bond beam in
specimen AB. After each specimen was built up, two rigid steel beams were placed over the piers to
uniformly distribute vertical forces simulating gravity loads. Such forces were applied by
bidirectional hydraulic jacks with 500 kN nominal capacity, which were placed over the steel beams
at the centerlines of the piers. Couples of polytetrauoroethylene (PTFE) layers were installed
between hydraulic jacks and rigid beams to minimize friction at their interface.
Table I. Mechanical properties of constituent materials of tuff masonry.
Material f
c
[MPa] f
t
[MPa] E
c
[GPa] G [GPa]
Tuff stones 4.13 (18.54%) 0.23 (22.06%) 1.54 (6.43%) 0.44 (25.78%)
Pozzolana-like mortar 2.50 (7.34%) 1.43 (6.23%) 1.52 (22.12%) 0.66 (10.66%)
Table II. Mechanical properties of constituent materials of reinforced concrete.
Material f
cc
[MPa] f
ct
[MPa] E
cc
[GPa] f
y
[MPa] f
tu
[MPa] f
tu
/f
y
A
gt
[%]
Concrete 35.29
(14.31%)
2.82
(9.48%)
27.86
(10.18%)

D8 reinforcing steel bars 545.46
(5.36%)
632.63
(2.43%)
1.16
(3.18%)
11.73
(9.63%)
D14 reinforcing steel bars 510.22
(5.78%)
605.57
(3.74%)
1.19
(2.11%)
15.59
(6.35%)
IMPLICATIONS OF THE SPANDREL TYPE ON THE LATERAL BEHAVIOR OF URM WALLS 1871
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
Transverse steel frames were installed over the piers at the location of their centerlines, in order to
provide contrast against vertical loading. Cap beams of transverse frames were properly stiffened to
avoid local buckling, and bolted connections were realized for both beamcolumn and columnbase
connections. The columns were connected by a couple of steel beams at each specimen side to
prevent potential out-of-plane failure modes.
Finally, a second reaction system consisting of a nonprismatic steel wall was used to apply lateral
loading to the specimen. The reaction wall was anchored to the laboratory strong oor by means of
four steel bars, each pretensioned at 400 kN. Cyclic lateral loading was applied by a servocontrolled
hydraulic actuator with 500 kN nominal compressive capacity, 290 kN nominal tensile capacity, and
250 mm stroke. That actuator was bolted on top of the reaction wall and supported by an
additional cable-stayed system. The application of load reversals to the specimen was allowed by six
steel bars (18 mm in diameter), which were bolted to the rigid end plate of the actuator and to
another rigid plate at the opposite edge of the specimen. A spherical hinge was installed between the
end of the horizontal actuator and its rigid plate, in order to apply in-plane lateral loading without
any parasite out-of-plane action for the specimen. A load cell with nominal and maximum capacities
equal to 200 and 250 kN, respectively, was used to measure the actual lateral load, which was
applied to the specimen.
Two different types of displacement transducers were mounted over specimens: linear variable
differential transformers (LVDTs) and wire potentiometer transducers (PTs). Joint panels were not
instrumented as they were expected to experience small deformations and no macroscopic cracks
owing to the geometry of the specimens (assumption conrmed by tests). The typical arrangement
of displacement transducers is shown in Figure 5. LVDTs were installed at end sections of piers and
spandrel panel above the opening, to obtain data on exural deformations, whereas PTs were
employed to measure both shear and rocking-induced deformations.
In particular, four vertical LVDTs were installed at the base of the piers and put in contact against the
RC beams (see the front side in Figure 5), in order to measure the width of potential tensile horizontal
cracks induced by the rocking behavior of the piers. The four vertical PTs along the height of the piers
(back side) were anchored to the RC beams as well, to include wire elongations related to rocking-
induced cracks. In the case of specimen AB, the RC bond beam was instrumented as follows: eight
horizontal LVDTs over cross-sections located in the proximity of spandrelpier intersections, an axial
horizontal LVDT at the mid section of the RC bond beam. The rst group of LVDTs was installed to
measure deformations at the location of potential plastic hinges, which were expected to be caused by
large drift demands on the spandrel panel as a result of piers rocking. The horizontal LVDT was
mounted to measure axial deformations of the RC bond beam.
Figure 4. Experimental setup.
1872 F. PARISI, N. AUGENTI AND A. PROTA
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
An additional potentiometer tagged as PT #1 was installed at the height of the horizontal actuator
but on the opposite side with respect to it. That potentiometer allowed to measure actual lateral
displacements experienced by the specimens. Real-time readings at the load cell and PT #1 were
assumed to be more reliable than load and stroke measurements provided by the actuator itself, to
plot forcedrift curves for each specimen.
2.3. Loading protocols
Lateral loading tests on specimens W, A, and AB were based on vertical loading of piers and then lateral
loading applied at the height of the spandrel. Vertical loading consisted of two concentrated forces applied
at the top of the piers by the hydraulic jacks. After two initial load cycles were completed to obtain
effective contrast between jacks and piers, the magnitude of vertical forces was monotonically
increased up to 200 kN (corresponding to approximately 10% of the mean ultimate load of pier cross-
sections). Then, vertical forces were kept constant, and the horizontal actuator began to apply lateral
loading on the specimen in a quasistatic fashion and with displacement control, to capture the softened
postpeak forcedrift response under increasing deformation demand. Displacement-controlled loading
was managed by the computer program of the data acquisition system, where a target displacement
time history was implemented. Therefore, the lateral force was changed at each time step in a way to
measure the target displacement on the horizontal actuator. All measurements were recorded at a
sampling rate equal to 5 Hz. The lateral loading stage of each test started with two displacement cycles
between 0.15 and 0.25 mm to reach good contrast between specimen and actuator. After those cycles
were completed, lateral loading was imposed to the specimen in accordance to the target displacement
time history inputted in the computer program. The time history dened for specimen W was different
from those of specimens A and AB. Indeed, specimen W was tested under monotonically increasing
displacements until a maximum displacement d
max
=28 mm was read at the actuator, which
corresponded to the onset of damage to the spandrel. That stop was motivated by the need to assess the
specimen response also in predamaged and repaired-upgraded conditions, as discussed in [13]. On the
other hand, both specimens A and AB were subjected to cyclic loading up to a near-collapse
performance level. Lateral loading was imposed in accordance to the target displacement time history
shown in Figure 6, which was composed of 17 cyclic displacement blocks, each of them consisting of
three cycles at each amplitude peak, that is, a total number of 51 cycles leading to d
max
=95.1 mm. The
displacement rate was set to 0.70 mm/s, whereas the displacement increment between consecutive
groups of three displacement cycles was equal to 5.6 mm.
If the interstory drift ratio
w
is introduced as lateral displacement d divided by the height of lateral
loading line from the base of the piers (y
0
=3050 mm), that is,
w
=d/y
0
, it can be equivalently stated
that monotonic loading on specimen W was stopped at a maximum drift
max
=0.9%, whereas cyclic
loading on specimens A and AB was dened in a way to reach
max
=3.1%. Nevertheless, cyclic tests
were expected to be stopped at the attainment of near-collapse performance level for the specimen. The
target displacement time history was then followed up to actual maximum drifts that were different for
specimens A and AB, depending on the lateral strength drop measured by the horizontal actuator and
Figure 5. Typical instrumentation of specimens (dimensions in mm).
IMPLICATIONS OF THE SPANDREL TYPE ON THE LATERAL BEHAVIOR OF URM WALLS 1873
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
the damage level observed during the test. The near-collapse performance level was associated with a
lateral strength drop of at least 20% on the postpeak branch of the forcedrift envelope curve related
either to positive or negative loading orientation.
3. OBSERVED DAMAGE
Crack patterns observed during any test were generated by a signicant rocking response of the
specimen. No cracking was detected on spandrelpier intersection zones, conrming the
assumption of small deformations and no macroscopic cracks used for design and instrumentation
of specimens (Section 2.2). With reference to Figure 7, the observed damage mainly consisted
of the following: (i) both diagonal shear and exural cracking in the spandrel panel above the
opening; (ii) horizontal tensile cracks at the base of the piers due to their rocking response;
and (iii) masonry crushing with transverse splitting at pier corners as near-collapse conditions
were attained. Those failure modes depended on the specimen geometry and magnitude of
axial loads imposed to the piers. In fact, the moderate slenderness of both piers and spandrel,
as well as low axial load levels on the piers, were expected to be associated with exural
cracking even at low lateral force levels, according to analytical predictions by limit strength
domains of URM cross-sections [6, 7]. Nevertheless, most part of damage concentrated in the
spandrel panel.
Damage detected on specimen W is herein briey discussed for comparative purposes. Horizontal
exural cracks were observed at the base of the piers at small drift levels (
w
0.06%). As
w
was
increased, the spandrel panel suffered vertical exural cracks at its end sections and a vertical crack
close to its midspan. Finally, diagonal shear cracking of the spandrel panel occurred at
w
= 0.65%.
For specimen A, diagonal shear cracking started at drift levels smaller than those recorded for
specimen AB. Diagonal shear cracking originated at both lower ends of the spandrel panel, and
then, it propagated along diagonals involving both tuff stones and mortar joints. In this case, the rst
portion of arch fell down at
w
= 0.37%, which is a drift level close to half the drift measured in the
case of specimen AB at the cracking onset in the masonry arch. Diagonal cracks propagated until a
second part of arch collapsed at
w
=0.56%. That drift level also induced horizontal exural cracks
at the base of piers. Then, the spandrel panel totally failed in shear at
max
=1.12%, which produced
the sudden loss of connection between the piers and hence a signicant lateral resistance drop for
the entire specimen (it is noted that
max
is intended to be the maximum drift corresponding to the
lateral displacement measured by potentiometer PT #1). After that failure, the upper triangular
fraction of masonry above diagonal shear cracks did not provide any contribution to the lateral
resistance, and the test was stopped.
As the spandrel of specimen AB included a masonry arch and a RC bond beam, the damage
observed at near-collapse (corresponding to
max
= 3.1%) was the result of a failure sequence, which
can be summarized as follows:
-100
-50
0
50
100
0 5000 10000 15000
d

[
m
m
]
t [s]
Figure 6. Target displacement time history for cyclic tests.
1874 F. PARISI, N. AUGENTI AND A. PROTA
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DOI: 10.1002/eqe
formation of axial cracks in the arch at
w
= 0.69% (Figure 8(a));
collapse of little central piece of arch at
w
=0.86% (Figure 8(b));
collapse of arch wedge at
w
= 1.03%, after rocking beginning of piers (Figure 8(c));
collapse of third arch portion and early masonry crushing at the base of the piers at
w
= 1.21%
(Figure 8(d));
collapse of fourth arch portion and early concrete cover spalling in the RC bond beam (top of end
section) at
w
= 1.72% (Figure 8(e));
complete concrete cover spalling at
w
= 2.58%; and
collapse of rst and second masonry layers above the arch (at the rst and second displacement
cycles, respectively) and plastic hinging of the RC bond beam at
w
= 2.67% (Figure 8(f)).
Therefore, the spandrels of specimens A and AB were notably prone to damage, as a result of a
signicant fragility of the masonry arch under differential displacements at its supports. Such a
difference in displacements was caused by different rocking rotations of the piers and the
associated drift demand on the spandrel panel. In fact, the piers of a wall with openings can
experience a different response even if they are subjected to equal boundary conditions and axial
load levels. This is generated by axial load variations resulting from a sort of frame behavior
under a global overturning moment, as well as nonlinear behavior due to smeared cracking of
(a)
(b)
(c)
BACK FRONT
BACK FRONT
BACK FRONT
Figure 7. Crack patterns to (a) specimen W; (b) specimen A; and (c) specimen AB.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE SPANDREL TYPE ON THE LATERAL BEHAVIOR OF URM WALLS 1875
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
masonry. The combination of such effects gives a dependence of pier exibilities on both axial
and lateral loads.
The rocking behavior of the piers was the source of large drift demands on the RC bond beam,
which suffered plastic hinging even though shear cracks propagated from the masonry below. That
propagation highlights that the 200 mm stirrup spacing was too large to favor full plastic hinging
without shear cracking in the RC beam. This also means that, when designing a wall with openings
where piers are expected to experience signicant rocking, a complete exploitation of plastic
resources of the RC bond beam is not guaranteed if specications by the past IMC [16] and current
IBC [4] are met and also when seismic design is carried out according to EC8 part 1 [17]. This is a
typical situation for modern URM buildings located in Italy and other European countries.
Figure 9(a)(f) shows both overall damage to specimens and crack patterns suffered by their
spandrel panels at the maximum drift imposed during the tests. As the maximum drift level was
reached during the test, specimen W experienced small horizontal tensile cracks at the base of the
piers and moderate cracking of the spandrel. In fact, the latter suffered both exural and diagonal
cracking. Two types of vertical cracks were observed: cracks in the proximity of the spandrelpier
interfaces, which were induced by the rocking behavior of the spandrel panel under lateral loading,
and a vertical crack close to the mid section, which was chiey caused by exural deformation of
the wooden lintel under masonry self-weight. Diagonal cracking formed only along a single
diagonal of the spandrel panel, as a result of monotonic loading from the left to the right (Figure 9(b)).
That loading orientation is denoted as positive in the case of cyclic tests on specimens A and AB.
The lintel did not lose its supports even though the anchorage length was just 150 mm, so the
masonry above was effectively supported during the test.
The test on specimen A revealed a more brittle behavior resulting from diagonal shear cracking of
the spandrel panel at small drift levels. Figure 9(d) reveals that diagonal shear cracks involved the
whole height of the spandrel panel and the complete loss of connection between the piers.
The cyclic in-plane loading test on specimen AB conrmed a signicant rocking response of all
the walls, which caused heavy damage to both piers and spandrel. The onset and propagation of
diagonal cracking from the masonry arch to the RC bond beam forced the masonry to fall down
progressively. Only two masonry layers did not collapse and did not lose their bond to the upper
RC bond beam (Figure 9(f)). The lower edge of fractured masonry arch was found to be almost
aligned with the diagonals of the spandrel panel. The latter did not behave as a simple rod able to
transfer just axial loads, because it dissipated drift demands through plastic hinging at its ends. It
is emphasized that the RC beam lost its upper concrete cover and suffered shear cracking as a
result of partially effective transverse reinforcement. Although diagonal cracks veried for the
(a) (c)
(e)
(b)
(d) (f)
Figure 8. Damage to the spandrel of specimen AB under increasing drift levels: (a)
w
=0.69%; (b)
w
=
0.86%; (c)
w
=1.03%; (d)
w
=1.21%; (e)
w
=1.72%; and (f)
w
= 2.67%.
1876 F. PARISI, N. AUGENTI AND A. PROTA
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
spandrel panel of specimen AB almost completely reproduced those observed on specimen A, the
RC bond beam had an important benecial effect as it delayed the propagation of shear cracks to
larger drift levels.
Specimens A and AB reached the near-collapse performance level as a result of different phenomena,
namely, complete loss of connection between the piers when diagonal shear cracking developed along the
whole height of the spandrel panel, in the case of specimen A, and heavy crushing of masonry at the base
of the piers when the drift level attained
max
=3.1%, in the case of specimen AB. For this last specimen,
Figure 10(a)(d) demonstrates that the rocking response of the piers starts with a single tensile crack along
a bed joint and then results in a combination of transverse splitting and moderate-to-heavy crushing of
masonry at the pier toes. In the case of specimen AB, the width of the horizontal crack exceeded
30 mm in the left pier (front side), while it reached approximately 15mm in the right pier. Transverse
splitting of masonry was particularly evident in the left pier, where the vertical crack width was larger
than 50 mm (Figure 10(c)). Conversely, in the case of specimens W and A, horizontal cracks at the
base of the piers reached a width smaller than 10 mm.
Figure 9. Damage at maximum drift levels: (a) specimen W and (b) its spandrel (
max
=0.9%); (c) specimen
A and (d) its spandrel (
max
=1.1%); and (e) specimen AB and (f) its spandrel (
max
=3.1%).
IMPLICATIONS OF THE SPANDREL TYPE ON THE LATERAL BEHAVIOR OF URM WALLS 1877
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4. EXPERIMENTAL FORCEDRIFT CURVES
Force and displacement readings recorded by the data acquisition system were processed in order to
obtain forcedrift curves, where the lateral resisting force and specimen drift were denoted by H and

w
, respectively. A comparative analysis of such curves is performed herein, considering drift
measurements corresponding to displacement readings of PT #1, that is, the wire potentiometer
placed at the height of the horizontal actuator.
A roughly bilinear (exure-dominated) forcedrift behavior up to the peak resistance was found in
the case of specimen W under monotonic lateral loading (Figure 11(a)), allowing to identify an ideal
cracking point, and hence both initial and postcracking lateral stiffness. When the peak lateral
resisting force was attained, diagonal shear cracking occurred in the spandrel panel, and a 15% drop
in the lateral resisting force was measured. As the lateral drift was further increased, the lateral
resisting force raised again. The test was stopped at the attainment of
max
= 0.9% to allow further
cyclic testing in predamaged conditions, which is out of the scope of this paper ([13]).
Typical narrow forcedrift loops for exural response with both stiffness and strength degradation,
as well as low energy dissipation capacity, were found for specimens A and AB. Figure 11(b) shows
that specimen A experienced very different drift levels depending on the orientation of lateral loading,
even though the peak resisting levels were almost the same. A higher displacement capacity was found
in the case of specimen AB, which also experienced small residual drifts compared with maximum
drifts, namely, a signicant recentering capacity (Figure 11(c)). It is noted that recentering capacity
is the ability of the structure to return the center of mass to its initial position after unloading. After
the peak resisting force, specimen AB suffered a signicant, but gradual, strength degradation as the
lateral drift increased up to the maximum drift imposed during the test.
On the basis of the forcedrift responses (their envelopes for cyclic tests), the following performance
levels were identied for each specimen: (i) cracking onset; (ii) peak resistance; and (iii) maximum
displacement. Forces and drifts associated with such performance levels are listed in Table III. The
cracking point of the experimental forcedrift curves was dened at a lateral stiffness reduction
equal to 10%. That stiffness drop was captured by monitoring the ratio between secant lateral
stiffness k and simple moving average stiffness k
sma
at each resisting force level. The secant
stiffness was dened as the ratio of the measured resisting force H to the corresponding
displacement d. The simple moving average stiffness at a given force level was dened as the
arithmetic mean of the secant stiffness values ranging between the rst nonzero value and that
corresponding to the force level under consideration. In that way, signicant variations in stiffness
were identied, and secant lateral stiffness at cracking was dened as the ratio between the
estimated cracking force H
cr
and the displacement d
cr
(corresponding to the cracking drift
cr
). The
maximum resisting force and its corresponding lateral drift are, respectively, denoted by H
max
and

Hmax
, whereas the maximum drift imposed during the test and the corresponding resisting force are
indicated as
max
and H
max
, respectively.
In the case of specimen W, the cracking resisting force was approximately 0.5 times the peak
resisting force, whereas H
cr
= 0.7H
max
is assumed by IBC [4]. The cracking drift was instead about
one order of magnitude lower than the drift associated with peak resistance.
(a) (b) (d) (c)
Figure 10. Rocking response of the piers of specimen AB: (a) tensile crack close to the base of the left pier
(front side) and (b) crack width measured and (c) masonry splitting and crushing of left pier and (d) masonry
splitting and crushing of right pier.
1878 F. PARISI, N. AUGENTI AND A. PROTA
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
Specimen A suffered a signicant stiffness reduction during lateral loading, even in the prepeak
range of forcedrift curves. Indeed, on the basis of stiffness monitoring, cracking onset was
conventionally identied at resisting force and drift levels, that is, H
cr
and
cr
, which were almost
equal to those measured in the case of specimen W but signicantly lower than those recorded on
specimen AB. The ratio H
cr
/H
max
was approximately equal to 0.6 and 0.5 in the positive and
negative loading orientations, respectively. Specimen A was also characterized by a signicantly
lower peak resistance compared with other specimens, as a result of the regular masonry arch,
instead of the wooden lintel, above the opening. This caused that H
max
was 17% and 22% lower
than that of specimen W in the positive and negative loading orientations, respectively.
In the case of specimen AB, the RC bond beam allowed to reach a peak resistance 46% and 57%
higher than those computed for specimen A in the positive and negative orientations, respectively.
Dealing with the rising branch of the forcedrift envelope curve, the ratio H
cr
/H
max
was about 0.6
and 0.8 in the positive and negative loading orientations, respectively. The RC bond beam delayed
the 10% stiffness drop at force and drift levels notably higher than those related to specimen W. The
secant lateral stiffness at cracking for specimen AB was approximately 10% lower than that
estimated for specimen W. This can be motivated by the presence of the masonry arch above the
opening, which was less effective than the wooden lintel in connecting the piers, thus resulting in a
-250
-200
-150
-100
-50
0
50
100
150
200
250
H

[
k
N
]
Specimen W
Specimen A
Specimen AB
-250
-200
-150
-100
-50
0
50
100
150
200
250
H

[
k
N
]
0
50
100
150
200
250
-4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4
H

[
k
N
]
(a)
(d)
-250
-200
-150
-100
-50
0
50
100
150
200
250
-4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4
-4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4
H

[
k
N
]
Cyclic response
Envelope
(b)
Cyclic response
Envelope
(c)
Figure 11. Forcedrift curves: (a) specimen W; (b) specimen A; (c) specimen AB; and (d) envelopes.
Table III. Parameters of the experimental response of specimens.
Specimen
Loading
orientation H
cr
[kN]
cr
[%] H
max
[kN]
Hmax
[%] H
max
[kN]
max
[%]
W Positive 99 0.06 184 0.65 172 0.89
A Positive 96 0.06 153 0.38 141 0.59
Negative 73 0.07 143 0.62 84 1.10
AB Positive 132 0.09 224 0.52 126 2.67
Negative 185 0.16 224 0.88 109 3.13
IMPLICATIONS OF THE SPANDREL TYPE ON THE LATERAL BEHAVIOR OF URM WALLS 1879
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DOI: 10.1002/eqe
lower lateral stiffness of the whole specimen. Specimen AB reached the same peak resistance in both
loading orientations, even though their corresponding drifts were different. In fact, in the case of
specimens A and AB, the difference was that their rst cracked loading was conditioned on cracking
previously suffered in the opposite orientation. This interpretation of asymmetrical response at
different performance levels is also supported by nonlinearity effects because of masonry cracking
and axial load variations in piers generated by global overturning moment corresponding to lateral
loading. Therefore, asymmetrical cyclic behavior can occur even in the case of symmetrical
specimens in terms of geometry, loads, and external boundary conditions. The peak resistance of
specimen AB was approximately 22% higher than that measured in the case of specimen W. The
gradual deterioration of the spandrel panel in the postpeak forcedrift range caused a progressive
reduction in the connection between the piers, resulting in a signicant strength degradation
(Figure 11(c)). As the maximum drift level was imposed to specimen AB, the lateral resisting force
was found to be less than half the peak resistance.
Finally, the envelopes of hysteretic forcedrift curves are compared in Figure 11(d), where the curve
of specimen W is plotted in the positive quadrant only, because of monotonic loading. It can be
observed that specimen A had the lowest levels of displacement capacity and peak resistance. The
realization of the RC bond beam on top of the spandrel (specimen AB) considerably increased both
displacement capacity and peak resistance. The total vertical load V applied to specimens W, A, and
AB was estimated to be 429, 468, and 470 kN, respectively, considering self-weight of constituent
materials and initial axial loads of 200 kN on the piers. Such a computation allowed to compute the
ratio H/V (typically referred to as seismic coefcient), which was found to be approximately 43% in
the case of specimen W, 3133% in the case of specimen A, and 48% in the case of specimen AB,
at the peak resistance level.
5. BILINEAR IDEALIZATION OF FORCEDRIFT CURVES
The envelopes of the experimental forcedrift curves were approximated as bilinear diagrams to
characterize the response of an idealized SDOF system, which is widely used to estimate seismic
demand on inelastic structures (e.g., [20]). Furthermore, idealized bilinear forcedeformation diagrams
are usually adopted to dene the in-plane seismic capacity of masonry walls under lateral loading in a
simplied way [6, 21]. In the case of walls with openings, the SDOF system approximation does not
induce major errors for single-story specimens (case under study). The methodology used in the past by
the authors for specimen W was also employed for specimens A and AB, in order to consistently
compare their idealized SDOF models and to discuss current code values. Therefore, two bilinear
idealization procedures according to Tomaevi [22], and both EC8 part 3 [3] and IBC [4], were used to
estimate the following capacity features: (i) ultimate force H
u
; (ii) yielding drift
e
(corresponding to d
e
);
(iii) elastic stiffness k
e
; (iv) displacement pseudoductility ; and (v) overstrength factor . It is
underlined that, in this paper, the authors use drifts rather than displacements in order to provide
dimensionless deformation capacity estimates that do not depend on the height of specimens. Regardless
of the bilinear idealization procedure being used, displacement ductility was computed as =
u
/
e
,
where
u
is the ultimate drift. The latter was assumed to be the experimental drift corresponding to a
resisting force level equal to H
u
=C
Sd
H
max
, where C
Sd
is the strength degradation factor. This factor
was assumed to be not lower than 0.8, that is, corresponding to a strength degradation not greater than
20% on the postpeak falling branch of the forcedrift envelope. This assumption derived from the fact
that the tests were stopped at strength degradation levels usually lower than that typically considered in
seismic codes, that is, 20%. Typically, the ultimate capacity point (
u
,H
u
) of the forcedrift curve was
different from the experimental point at maximum deformation (
Hmax
,H
max
). By the way, it is also
emphasized that the bilinear idealization for specimen W is presented only for comparative purposes
without providing actual capacity estimates, because the lateral loading test on that specimen was
stopped when just a moderate damage was detected on the spandrel.
As far as lateral stiffness is concerned, the bilinear idealization procedure according to [22] sets k
e
equal to the experimental secant stiffness at cracking (k
cr
). The experimental force and drift associated
with k
cr
are denoted as H
cr
and
cr
, respectively. Conversely, in the procedures reported in [3, 4],
1880 F. PARISI, N. AUGENTI AND A. PROTA
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
cracking is supposed to be associated with a force equal to 0.7H
max
so that elastic lateral stiffness is
dened as k
e
= 0.7H
max
/d
cr
, where d
cr
is the lateral displacement corresponding to 0.7H
max
on the
forcedisplacement envelope curve. In both bilinear idealization procedures,
e
is derived by
imposing equal areas below the envelope forcedrift curve and idealized diagram, which means that
the same energy dissipation capacity is assumed for the actual and idealized structural systems. The
ultimate force of the idealized SDOF system was then derived as H
u
= k
e
d
e
. A graphical denition
of idealized forcedrift diagrams according to both procedures is provided in Figure 12(a), where
different estimates of cracking, elastic, and ultimate limits are pointed out.
According to IBC [4], the overstrength factor was dened as = H
u
/H
cr
, which is a part of the
strength reduction factor to be used in linear equivalent seismic analysis (e.g., [23]). It is noted that
IBC [4] allows one to set = 1.4 in the case of single-story URM buildings and = 1.3 in the case
of single-story RM buildings.
As described in Section 2.2, two types of displacement readings were obtained during the tests,
namely, stroke measurements provided by the horizontal actuator and displacements measured by
potentiometer PT #1. When displacement readings of potentiometer PT #1 were considered,
the features of idealized SDOF systems corresponding to specimens were found to be those outlined
in Tables IV and V, which are, respectively, associated with the bilinear idealization procedures
according to [22] and [3, 4]. If the estimates related to positive and negative orientations of lateral
loading are averaged (bracketed values), differences between results of the two bilinear idealization
procedures tend to vanish. This gives the chance to identify the main effects of the spandrel type on
the in-plane seismic capacity. Nevertheless, the idealization procedure provided by EC8 part 3 [3]
and IBC [4] was more sensitive to the postcracking branch of forcedrift envelopes, overestimating
the yielding drift and underestimating displacement ductility in the case of specimens W and A. The
last was not the case of specimen AB, whose capacity estimates provided by both idealization
procedures were almost the same. This occurred because postcracking stiffness of specimen AB was
(a) (b)
0
0
0.4
0.2
0.6
0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3
H
/
V
Figure 12. (a) Bilinear idealizations and (b) idealized in-plane capacity diagrams of specimens.
Table IV. Capacity features adopting procedure by Tomaevi.
Specimen
Loading
orientation H
u
[kN]
e
[%]
u
[%]
W Positive 162 0.10 0.89 8.51 1.64
A Positive 147 0.09 0.59 6.44 1.53
Negative 136 0.13 1.04 7.74 1.85
(142) (0.11) (0.82) (7.09) (1.69)
AB Positive 211 0.14 1.63 11.85 1.60
Negative 212 0.18 1.47 8.00 1.14
(212) (0.16) (1.55) (9.93) (1.37)
IMPLICATIONS OF THE SPANDREL TYPE ON THE LATERAL BEHAVIOR OF URM WALLS 1881
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DOI: 10.1002/eqe
not signicantly lower than the initial stiffness, resulting in the same estimate of k
e
after both bilinear
idealizations. On the basis of such considerations, the estimates of specimen W and bracketed estimates
of specimens A and AB listed in Table IV can be preferentially used to compare seismic capacity
features of specimens, because their experimental response seems to be more accurately described
by the idealized SDOF system derived in accordance to Tomaevi [22]. Idealized forcedrift
diagrams averaged over both loading orientations are plotted in Figure 12(b), where resisting force
H is replaced by the corresponding seismic coefcient H/V.
First of all, the yielding drift was found to be between 0.10% and 0.11% in the case of specimens W
and A, respectively, and 0.16% in the case of specimen AB, that is, 1.6 and 1.4 times those computed
for specimens W and A, respectively.
This indicates that the RC bond beam on top of the spandrel with masonry arch delayed the
attainment of the elastic limit to larger drift levels. It is also worth noting that the spandrel with
wooden lintel (specimen W) allowed to reach an average ultimate drift larger than that computed for
the spandrel with masonry arch above the opening (specimen A), even if strength degradation of
specimen W at
u
=
max
was lower than half that of specimen A. In other words, if specimen W
would have been tested up to a maximum drift corresponding to a strength degradation factor equal
to that of specimen A, the spandrel with wooden lintel would have favored an average value of
u
signicantly larger than that actually measured in the case of spandrel with masonry arch. This
remark is consistent with the fact that the wooden lintel was more effective than the arch in
allowing the spandrel to behave as coupling beam for the piers. The realization of the RC bond
beam in the spandrel with masonry arch (specimen AB) almost doubled the average displacement
capacity, increasing
u
from 0.82% to 1.55% (bracketed values in Table IV). In any case, ultimate
drift limits of piers provided by current codes were exceeded by those estimated for each
specimen. In fact, EC8 part 3 [3] allows one to set
u
to 0.4% and 0.8% H
0
/D for shear and
exural failure modes of piers, respectively, where H
0
is the distance between the section where
exural capacity of the pier is attained and the contraexure point and D is the length of the pier.
IBC [4] sets
u
to 0.4% and 0.8% for shear and exural failure modes, respectively, reducing the
exural limit value to 0.6% in the case of existing URM buildings. Such drift limits are related to
the same performance level, which is referred to as signicant damage in EC8 and life safety
prevention in IBC.
The lowest displacement ductility was found for specimen A, whereas the highest estimate was
found for specimen AB, showing a 40% increase in ductility induced by the addition of the RC
bond beam to the spandrel with masonry arch. It is also noteworthy that the average displacement
ductility in the case of spandrel with wooden lintel (specimen W) was 20% higher than that related
to the case of spandrel with masonry arch (specimen A).
Approximately, the same estimates of overstrength factor were found in the case of specimens W
and A, which were, respectively, 20% and 23% higher than that related to specimen AB.
Seismic coefcients corresponding to H
u
were estimated to be 38%, 30%, and 45% in the case of
specimens W, A, and AB, respectively. This means the following: (i) that the spandrel with wooden
lintel contributed to resist a horizontal acceleration about 27% greater than that related to the
spandrel with masonry arch; and (ii) that the RC bond beam doubled the seismic coefcient of
specimen A. An increase in the seismic coefcient of walls can have great impact on the overall
Table V. Capacity features adopting procedures in Eurocode 8 and Italian Building Code.
Specimen
Loading
orientation H
u
[kN]
e
[%]
u
[%]
W Positive 171 0.19 0.89 4.68 1.73
A Positive 150 0.11 0.59 5.23 1.56
Negative 135 0.12 1.04 8.51 1.84
(143) (0.12) (0.82) (6.87) (1.70)
AB Positive 212 0.15 1.63 10.76 1.61
Negative 210 0.16 1.47 8.91 1.13
(211) (0.16) (1.55) (9.84) (1.37)
1882 F. PARISI, N. AUGENTI AND A. PROTA
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
capacity of a masonry building, because higher horizontal seismic accelerations can be resisted without
additional structural mass. This can be an advantage not only in seismic design of URM buildings but
also in retrot of existing buildings. In the case of substandard buildings without historical value,
replacing masonry arches with wooden lintels above openings can be a low-cost seismic upgrading
strategy able to increase the in-plane resistance of walls. If masonry arches are to be preserved for
their architectural value, lintels can be installed above them. Conversely, although the installation of
RC bond beams on top of existing spandrels is a more complex and invasive retrot measure, it also
connects orthogonal walls favoring a box-type seismic response of the building.
6. DIFFERENTIAL PIER DRIFTS, HYSTERETIC DAMPING, AND RESIDUAL DRIFTS
Displacement readings provided by the horizontal actuator and PT #1 at opposite edges of each
specimen allowed to estimate lateral drifts of both left and right piers (on the front side), that is,
left
and
right
(note that the latter was previously assumed to be representative of the specimen drift
w
).
The difference between such drifts, which is denoted here by =
left

right
, can be used as a
measure of the effectiveness of the spandrel in connecting the piers. In Figure 13, the lateral
resisting force is plotted against , on the basis of the envelopes of experimental forcedrift
curves in the positive loading orientation. When was not zero, the spandrel shortened as a
result of horizontal compression (up to the corner points on the rising branches of forcedrift
envelopes) or its progressive failure. When spandrel shortening was caused by horizontal
compression, the spandrel was more able to transfer a fraction of horizontal force from the left
pier to the right pier. Otherwise, the progressive failure of the spandrel induced a gradual loss of
connection between the piers. To associate the relative distance between the piers with given drift
levels of specimens, the ratio /
w
is used herein. If the forcedrift diagram of the wall with
openings is known, the ratio /
w
allows to dene the spandrel deformation and damage as the
lateral drift changes.
In the case of specimen W, which was subjected to monotonic testing, the relationship between H
and was rather linear up to H=120 kN (point C
W
in Figure 13), namely, the horizontal force
level associated with the corner point on the rising branch of the experimental forcedrift curve
(Figure 11(a)). Such a corner point was recorded when exural cracks at the end sections of the
spandrel panel were observed. In that condition, was approximately equal to 0.12%, because it
was associated with
left
and
right
of about 0.22% and 0.10%, respectively. Therefore, the ratio /
w
was
about 1.2 at the rst corner point of the experimental forcedrift curve of specimen W. As H
increased up to its maximum level and then decreased until the maximum drift was reached,
gradually reduced. This indicates a progressive reduction in shortening of the spandrel panel and
hence an elongation up to its initial length. By contrast, if the vertical exural crack on the right-
C
W
C
A
C
AB
0
50
100
150
200
250
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
H

[
k
N
]
[%]
Specimen W
Specimen A
Specimen AB
Figure 13. Lateral resisting force versus variation between pier drifts (positive orientation).
IMPLICATIONS OF THE SPANDREL TYPE ON THE LATERAL BEHAVIOR OF URM WALLS 1883
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
hand side of Figure 9(b) is observed, the gradual reduction of to zero may be related to an effective
behavior of the wooden lintel as a passive tie, because it was subjected to tension.
A different behavior was detected in the case of specimen A, where the masonry arch suffered
premature failure and progressively collapsed as a result of diagonal cracking. The relationship between
H and was rather linear until the lateral resisting force reached H=147 kN (corresponding to
=0.15%), which is very close to the peak resistance H
max
=154 kN. The corner point C
A
in
Figure 13 was then associated with the corner point of the forcedrift envelope in Figure 11(b). In this
case, =0.15% was associated with
w
=0.21%, resulting in /
w
=0.71. As specimen A was
subjected to larger lateral drifts in the positive loading orientation, H linearly reduced, and
increased. When
w
=0.59% was reached, was found to be 0.54% resulting in /
w
=0.92. The
rst part of arch fell down at
w
=0.37%, that is, when the lateral resisting force was approaching H
max
.
As larger lateral drifts were imposed to specimen A, the masonry arch progressively collapsed,
reducing both strength and stiffness of the spandrel. This means that, when specimen A was loaded
in the positive orientation, the spandrel panel drastically shortened so the left pier experienced
lateral drifts notably larger than those of the right pier.
In the case of specimen AB, the relationship between H and was roughly linear up to
H
max
= 224 kN and = 0.21% (point C
AB
in Figure 13), which were associated with
Hmax
= 0.52%,
that is, /
w
=0.40. Also in that case, the rst cracks in the masonry arch were observed at a larger
drift level (Section 3), and the progressive collapse of the arch caused a signicant drop in both
strength and stiffness of the spandrel. As the lateral drift increased up to
w
=1.63%, reduced to
0.20% at H=184 kN (i.e., the peak resisting force measured in the case of specimen W), resulting in
/
w
= 0.12 at that stage of the test. As
w
was further increased up to 2.67%, also increased up
to 0.44% resulting in /
w
=0.16 at near-collapse.
The energy dissipation capacity of specimens was also investigated and indirectly measured through
the hysteretic damping ratio, which is used in displacement-based design/assessment of structures [24].
The exural hysteretic response of specimens produced a very low energy dissipation capacity
according to [6] and [24]. The hysteretic damping ratio of specimen W in as-built conditions was not
estimated, because monotonic testing was carried out in that case. Therefore, specimen W was
considered in its predamaged conditions under cyclic testing ([13] for its experimental forcedrift
curves). It is underlined that the equivalent damping ratio is typically regarded as the sum of two
components, as follows:

eq

eq;e

eq;h
(1)
where
eq,e
is the equivalent damping ratio associated with elastic behavior and
eq,h
is the equivalent
damping ratio associated with hysteretic behavior.
eq,h
was computed by equating the energy E
h
dissipated in a hysteresis cycle of the actual specimen to the energy E
s
/4 dissipated by a viscous
damping cycle of an equivalent linear system [25], where E
s
is the strain energy. Therefore, it was
assumed:

eq;h

1
4
E
h
E
s
(2)
which turns out to be:

eq;h

E
h
2k
e

wc
y
0

2
(3)
where k
e
is the elastic stiffness,
wc
is the maximum drift of the specimen in a cycle, and y
0
is the
height at which lateral displacements were measured. Figure 14(a) shows the hysteretic damping
ratio under varying drift for each specimen.
All curves outline a negative exponential trend because of the exural hysteretic behavior of
specimens. In near-collapse conditions, the hysteretic damping ratios of specimens A and AB were
almost the same. A higher value of
eq,h
was found in the case of specimen W, evidencing a higher
1884 F. PARISI, N. AUGENTI AND A. PROTA
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
energy dissipation capacity of spandrels with wooden lintels rather than masonry arches above
openings. In all cases, the low damping levels were basically a consequence of small areas per cycle
compared with elastic areas under varying drift. This is a feature of structural systems experiencing
rocking behavior under lateral loads. It is noteworthy that past shear compression tests on individual
brick masonry piers led to estimate an average value of
eq,h
equal to 5% in the case of exural
failure [6].
Finally, residual drifts of specimens were analyzed to quantify repairability conditions for each spandrel
type. The residual drift is a nonzero drift corresponding to a complete unloading of the structure, that is, a
zero force level (zero crossing of hysteretic forcedrift curve). Residual drifts were then computed
for the specimens under study in each half cycle. This is an important task because the spandrel
type may affect the ability of an URM wall with openings to return to its initial position after
severe lateral loading. It is emphasized that, although collapse does not occur, large residual drifts
make the structure no longer usable or may require too expensive repair measures. This motivates
the following: (i) the use of residual deformations as additional engineering demand parameters
together with maximum deformations, to quantify earthquake damage at different seismic
intensity levels; and (ii) seismic loss assessment procedures considering the impact of residual
interstory drifts.
Figure 14(b) shows residual drifts
r
of specimens under increasing drift
w
at each loading cycle.
Specimen W, which again is considered in its predamaged conditions, experienced zero residual
drifts until
w
=0.15% was reached. As
w
increased, a logarithmic increase in
r
occurred until the
residual-to-maximum drift ratio RMDR=
r
/
w
reached 11% at
w
=1.26%.
The presence of the masonry arch in specimen A did not signicantly modify the onset of residual
drifts, which became different from zero at
w
= 0.18%. As the lateral drift increased, the residual drift
increased according to a logarithmic trend but more rapidly than in the case of specimen W. The
residual drift reached 0.26% at
w
= 1.12%, resulting in RMDR= 23%.
Almost the same trend in residual drifts is found in the case of specimen AB, but it suffered residual
drifts signicantly smaller than those of specimen A. Again, the residual drift was zero until the
specimen reached a lateral drift equal to 0.18%. The increase in residual drift under increasing

w
was less important compared with other specimens. Indeed,
r
was found to be 0.16% at

w
= 3.13%, resulting in RMDR= 5%. This indicates that the RC bond beam was able to limit
residual deformations, even if no signicant improvements in terms of hysteretic damping were
found. This nding satisfactorily agrees with previous remarks, because large drifts associated with the
rocking behavior of piers were observed during the test on specimen AB, and most part of permanent
damage (and hence residual drifts) was caused by masonry crushing at pier toes and plastic hinging of
the RC bond beam. Finally, if the curves in Figure 14(b) are compared, it can be noted that, in general,
the lateral drift
w
produced the following: (i) comparable residual drifts in the case of spandrel with
masonry arch and spandrel with wooden lintel; and (ii) almost a halved residual drift in the case of
spandrel with both masonry arch and RC bond beam. For instance,
r
=0.1% was associated with
specimen drifts approximately equal to 0.4%, 0.6%, and 1.1% in the case of spandrels with masonry
arch, wooden lintel, and both masonry arch and RC bond beam, respectively.
3.9%
2.3%
2.6%
0
1
2
3
4
5

e
q
,
h

[
%
]

w
[%]
w
[%]
Specimen W
Specimen A
Specimen AB
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0 1 2 3 4 0 1 2 3 4

r

[
%
]
Specimen W
Specimen A
Specimen AB
(a) (b)
Figure 14. Graphs of (a) hysteretic damping ratio and (b) residual drift versus specimen drift.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE SPANDREL TYPE ON THE LATERAL BEHAVIOR OF URM WALLS 1885
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
7. CONCLUSIONS
The main ndings of two full-scale lateral loading tests on tuff masonry walls with an opening and
different spandrel types have been presented and compared with those obtained in the past for
another specimen. Comparisons have been carried out in terms of crack patterns, forcedrift curves,
capacity features of idealized SDOF systems, pier drifts, hysteretic damping, and residual drifts.
Three specimens with the following spandrel types have been compared: spandrel with wooden
lintel (specimen W), spandrel with masonry arch (specimen A), and spandrel with masonry arch and
RC bond beam (specimen AB). The geometry of specimens and the magnitude of axial loads on the
piers inuenced the forcedrift curves, which showed a stable hysteretic rocking behavior. No
damage was detected on spandrelpier intersection zones, conrming typical modeling assumptions
in macroelement methods. Large horizontal cracks formed at the base of piers because of rocking.
The spandrel type inuenced the observed damage as follows:
The wooden lintel did not slip off from the piers, even if its anchorage length was small. After the
spandrel panel suffered diagonal cracking, the lintel ensured the connection of the piers avoiding
the collapse of the masonry above.
The spandrels with masonry arch progressively fell down at small drift levels as a result of the
arch fragility against differential displacements at its supports, induced by rocking of piers.
The RC bond beam on top withstood large drift demands by plastic hinging, delaying the com-
plete loss of connection between piers at large drift levels. Nevertheless, to inhibit the propagation
of shear cracks from the masonry to the RC bond beam, a stirrup spacing lower than those allowed
by codes is suggested for beam sections close to spandrelpier intersections.
The lowest resistance was found in the case of spandrel with only masonry arch. The RC bond beam
on top favored a peak resistance increase of about 50%. In the case of spandrel with wooden lintel, the
peak resistance was up to 1.3 times that related to the spandrel with only masonry arch.
Bilinear idealizations of forcedrift envelopes allow to suggest reference values for walls with
rocking piers and different types of spandrels, as follows:
The peak lateral resistance can be assumed to be 35%, 30%, and 45% of the total gravity load in
the case of spandrel with wooden lintel, only masonry arch, and both masonry arch and RC bond
beam, respectively.
The yielding drift can be set to 0.1% in the case of spandrel with wooden lintel or masonry arch
and 0.16% in the presence of RC bond beam on top (corresponding to a 60% increase).
The ultimate drift can be assumed to be 0.8% in the case of spandrel with wooden lintel or ma-
sonry arch and 1.5% in the presence of RC bond beam.
The displacement ductility can be set to 7, 8.5, and 9.5 in the case of spandrel with only masonry
arch, wooden lintel, and both masonry arch and RC bond beam, respectively.
The overstrength factor can be set to 1.6 in the case of spandrel with wooden lintel or masonry
arch and 1.3 in the presence of RC bond beam.
The analysis of pier drifts has conrmed the effectiveness of the wooden lintel in connecting the
piers after spandrel failure and, by contrast, the gradual loss of connection induced by progressive
collapse of spandrels with masonry arches. Dealing with the energy dissipation capacity of walls
with openings and rocking piers, the authors suggest a hysteretic damping ratio equal to 2% in the
case of spandrels with masonry arch regardless of the presence of RC bond beam and 4% in the
case of spandrels with wooden lintel.
Finally, the analysis of residual drifts under varying lateral drift of specimens has allowed to
investigate the inuence of spandrels on recentering capacity of walls. The ratio between residual
and maximum drift at near-collapse can be set to 10%, 20%, and 5% in the case of spandrel with
wooden lintel, only masonry arch, and both masonry arch and RC bond beam, respectively.
Different residual-to-maximum drift ratios show that the spandrel type also affects the ability of
URM walls to be repaired after severe in-plane lateral loading.
Further research is needed to assess the inuence of the spandrel type in the case of piers subjected
to moderate-to-high compression levels, where rocking behavior may be less evident or even
1886 F. PARISI, N. AUGENTI AND A. PROTA
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe
negligible compared with that observed in this study. Moreover, lateral loading tests should be carried
out to investigate the in-plane lateral behavior of walls with steel ties in the spandrel and irregular walls
with openings.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
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) and PON
0102324 PROVACI project (Technologies for Earthquake Protection and Valorization of Cultural Heritage
Sites), which were, respectively, funded by the Italian Civil Protection Department and the Italian Ministry of
Education, University and Research.
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IMPLICATIONS OF THE SPANDREL TYPE ON THE LATERAL BEHAVIOR OF URM WALLS 1887
Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Earthquake Engng Struct. Dyn. 2014; 43:18671887
DOI: 10.1002/eqe