You are on page 1of 24

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall


1. Introduction
The accommodation of human force for the necessary use and adaptability is done by
buildings. Henceforth buildings are the driving force for the people. Hence it is essential to
analyse and design buildings such that they are safe, serviceable and economical. There are many
types of buildings to accommodate the needs and purpose of people.
For a structural engineer a tall building can be defined as one whose structural system
must be modified to make it sufficiently economical to resist lateral forces due to wind or
earthquakes within the prescribed criteria for strength, drift and comfort of the occupants. High
land prices, limitations of its availability, transport problems and in-creasing availability of
energy, advance in technology and communications among other between them, are moving the
society to grow vertical. As reinforced concrete penetrated the construction field at the turn of
the century, its use in high-rise concrete structures also became more widespread. Although prior
to World War I, high-rise structures were mostly in the domain of structural steel, the foundations
and, at times, floor slabs were concrete. After World War I, reinforced concrete multistory
structures appeared sporadically mostly for loft buildings using flat slabs with column capitals
and in a very few instances for apartment buildings up to 12 - 14 stories in height. Between 1940
and 1950 shear walls were introduced as an economical efficient bracing system for multistoried
buildings. Both of these elements-the flat plate and shear walls- became the major structural
system in all residential building of any height. The shear wall or diagonally braced structures
seems to have good technical and economical potentials to reach heights in excess of 100 stories.


Page 1

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

Traditionally, the primary concern of the structural engineer designing a building has
been the provision of a structurally safe and adequate system to support vertical loads. Recently
there has been a considerable increase in the number of tall buildings, both residential and
commercial and the modern trend is towards taller and more slender structures. Thus the effect of
lateral loads like wind loads, earthquake force and blast force etc., are attaining increasing
importance and almost every designer is faced with the problem of providing adequate strength
and stability against lateral loads. This is a new development, as the earlier building designers
usually designed for the vertical loads; and as an afterthought, checked, the final design for
lateral loads as well. Generally those buildings had sufficient strength against lateral loads due to
numerous partitions and short span beams and cross beams; and no modification in the design
was needed. Now, the situation is quite different, and a clear understanding of the effect of lateral
loads on building and the behavior of various components under loads, is essential. With the
increasing use of curtain walls dry walls partitions, and high strength concrete and steel
reinforcement in tall buildings, the effect of wall loads have become more significant.


Page 2

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

2. Types Of Load On Tall Buildings:
The buildings are subjected to both vertical and horizontal loads. At the preliminary
design stage all the components of a building are designed for vertical loads only. Ideally an
efficient system should not require an increase in the sizes of members when the effect of lateral
loads is also incorporated. Such designs are known as 'Premium free ' designs and may be
difficult to achieve.
Horizontal loads can be divided into the following three categories: (i) Wind loads, (ii) Earthquake loads, and (iii) Blast loads.
3. Lateral Load Resisting Units: In general a shear wall building, and for that matter any other structure, is designed to
satisfy certain basic structural and functional requirements. The structural requirements are: (a) Strength
(b) Stiffness
(c) Stability
Thus, the designed structure should be strong enough to withstand all the lateral loads without
excessive deformation or deflection and should be stable under the largest stipulated loads.
Three types of units are commonly used for resisting the lateral loads. These are:
(a) Frames
(b) Shear walls
(c) Tubes
Rigid frames have been used in the past for tall buildings and are still used up to certain heights.
However, they are not so efficient for lateral loads and are being replaced by shear walls and
cores/tubes for taller buildings. In the present seminar, the study is concentrated on shear wall
(lateral load resisting element) analysis and design.

Reinforced concrete (RC) buildings often have vertical plate-like RC walls called Shear
Walls. Shear walls are vertical elements of the horizontal force resisting system. Or Shear walls
are vertical walls that are designed to receive lateral forces from diaphragms and transmit them

Page 3

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

to the ground. The forces in these walls are predominantly shear forces in which the fibers within
the wall try to slide past one another (Fig .1).

Further, most RC buildings with shear walls also have columns; these columns primarily
carry gravity loads (i.e., those due to self-weight and contents of building). Shear walls provide
large strength and stiffness to buildings in the direction of their orientation, which significantly
reduces lateral sway of the building and thereby reduces damage to structure and its contents.
Since shear walls carry large horizontal earthquake forces, the overturning effects on them are
large. Thus, design of their foundations requires special attention. Shear walls should be
provided along preferably both length and width. However, if they are provided along only one
direction, a proper grid of beams and columns in the vertical plane (called a moment-resistant
frame) must be provided along the other direction to resist strong earthquake effects.
Door or window openings can be provided in shear walls, but their size must be small to
ensure least interruption to force flow through walls. Moreover, openings should be
symmetrically located. Special design checks are required to ensure that the net cross-sectional
area of a wall at an opening is sufficient to carry the horizontal earthquake force. Shear walls in
buildings must be symmetrically located in plan to reduce ill-effects of twist in buildings (Fig.
2). They could be placed symmetrically along one or both directions in plan. Shear walls are
more effective when located along exterior perimeter of the building such a layout increases
resistance of the building to twisting.

Page 4

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

4.1 Classification Of Shear Walls (Varghese 2001)

Simple rectangular types and flanged walls(bar bell type)

Coupled shear walls
Rigid frame shear walls
Framed walls with in filled frames
Column supported shear walls
Core type shear walls

4.2 Behavior Of Shear Walls During Earth Quake:

Shear walls resist two types of forces: shear forces and uplift forces. Connections to the
structure above transfer horizontal forces to the shear wall. This transfer creates shear forces
throughout the height of the wall between the top and bottom shear wall connections. The
strength of the concrete, steel and anchorage between them must resist these shear forces or the
wall will tear or shear apart. (Fig 3)


Page 5

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

Uplift forces exist on shear walls because the horizontal forces are applied to the top of the
wall. These uplift forces try to lift up one end of the wall and push the other end down. In some
cases, the uplift force is large enough to tip the wall over. Uplift forces are greater on tall short
walls and less on long walls. Bearing walls have less uplift than non-bearing walls because
gravity loads on shear walls help them resist uplift. Shear walls need hold own devices at each
end when the gravity loads cannot resist all of the uplift. The holds own device then provides the
necessary uplift resistance.




Connection for Uplift

Connection for


Fig. 3 Two functions of a Shear Wall

4.3 Functional Requirement Of A Shear Wall


Page 6

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

The philosophy of earthquake design for structures other than essential facilities has been
well established and proposed as follows:


To prevent structural damage and minimize non-structural damage in occasional


To avoid collapse or serious damage in rare major ground shaking









Shear walls function by working as a large vertical cantilever which has the ability to
resist large seismic forces. They can be very efficient in resisting horizontal loads and generally
provide strength much more economically than a frame structure. The reason for this extra
strength is because they can be designed to have some ductility. To have this ductility they are
designed with internal steel frames, this allows them to survive even after major damage has
been inflicted. Shear walls must provide the necessary lateral strength to resist horizontal
earthquake forces. When shear walls are strong enough, they will transfer these horizontal forces
to the next element in the load path below them. These other components in the load path may be
other shear walls, slabs or footings.
Shear walls also provide lateral stiffness to prevent the roof or floor above from excessive
side-sway. When shear walls are stiff enough, they will prevent floor and roof framing member
from moving off their supports. Also, buildings that are sufficiently stiff will usually suffer less
nonstructural damage.
4.4 Strength Of Shear Walls:
Shear walls, in particular, must be strong in themselves and also strongly connected to
each other and to the horizontal diaphragms. In a simple building with shear walls at each end,
ground motion enters the building and creates inertial forces that move the floor diaphragms.
This movement is resisted by the shear walls and the forces are transmitted back down to the
As shear walls act primarily as cantilevers they have three basic failure modes, shown in
(Fig.4). While designing the walls a balance must be found in the ratio of vertical load and

Page 7

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

ductility. The possibility of any of the modes of failure occurring can be minimized by increasing
the vertical load on the wall. This is generally done by increasing the dead load, however as the
dead load is increased the ductility is reduced. A compromise must be found where the increase
in strength, from the increase in dead load, is not offset by the reduction in ductility.

Fig. 4: Principle modes of failure of R C shear wall

Under the large overturning effects caused by horizontal earthquake forces, edges of
shear walls experience high compressive and tensile stresses. To ensure that shear walls behave
in a ductile way, concrete in the wall end regions must be reinforced in a special manner to
sustain these load reversals without loosing strength. End regions of a wall with increased
confinement are called boundary elements. This special confining transverse reinforcement in
boundary elements is similar to that provided in columns of RC frames. Sometimes, the
thickness of the shear wall in these boundary elements is also increased. RC walls with boundary
elements have substantially higher bending strength and horizontal shear force carrying capacity,
and are therefore less susceptible to earthquake damage than walls without boundary elements.
4.5 Shear Wall As Stiffeners:
The stiffness of the shear wall, just like its strength, depends on the combined stiffness of
its components: concrete and steel. Shear walls provide stiffness in large part by the ratio of their
height to width. Long short walls are stiffer than tall narrow ones. For a wall of constant height,
the stiffness will grow exponentially as the wall length increases.
4.6 Advantages Of Shear Walls In Rc Buildings:


Page 8

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

Properly designed and detailed buildings with shear walls have shown very good
performance in past earthquakes. Shear walls in high seismic regions require special detailing.
However, in past earthquakes, even buildings with sufficient amount of walls that were not
specially detailed for seismic performance (but had enough well-distributed reinforcement) were
saved from collapse. Shear wall buildings are a popular choice in many earthquake prone
countries, like Japan, Chile, New Zealand and USA. Shear walls are easy to construct, because
reinforcement detailing of walls is relatively straight-forward and therefore easily implemented
at site. Shear walls are efficient, both in terms of construction cost and effectiveness in
minimizing earthquake damage in structural and nonstructural elements (like glass windows and
building contents).


Page 9

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

General Dimensions
The following factors determine the general dimensional requirement of the walls.
1. The thickness of the wall should not be less than 150 mm.
2. If it is flanged wall, the effective extension of the flange width beyond the face of the
web to be considered in design, is to be lesser of
a) distance to an adjacent shear wall web
b) 1/10th of the total wall height
c) Actual width.
3. Where the extreme fiber compressive stresses in the wall due to all loads (the gravity and
lateral loads) exceed 0.2fck boundary elements are to be provided along the vertical
boundaries of the walls. These elements can be discontinued when the compressive
stresses are less than 0.15fck.
The following rules are to be observed for detailing of steel
1. Walls are to be provided with reinforcement in two orthogonal directions in the plane of
the wall. The minimum steel ratios for each of horizontal and vertical directions should
be 0.0025.

This reinforcement is uniformly distributed in the wall.

2. If the factored shear stress (v) exceeds 0.25

or if the thickness of wall exceeds 200

mm the bars should be provided as two mats in the plane of the wall one on each face.
3. The diameter of the bars should not exceed 1/10th of the thickness of the part of the wall.
4. The maximum spacing should not exceed L/5, 3t or 450 mm, where L and t are length
and thickness of the wall respectively.
5. Vertical steel provided in the wall for shear should not be less than horizontal steel
Reinforcements for Shear

Page 10

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

The nominal shear is calculated by the formula

Where d= effective width (=0.8 for rectangular sections)

Vu=factored shear
The nominal shear should not exceed the maximum allowable shear max as given by IS
The shear taken by concrete is given by the same value as in beam shear. (assuming
0.25% steel) and if necessary its value can be increased by multiplying factor due to axial load
() as per IS 456 clause 40.2.2.

[but not more than 1.5]

Where Pu =total axial load

And the resultant shear stress is c then the shear capacity of concrete is given by
With Vs=Vu-Vc
The steel required for shear force resistance is determined using the relation

Adequacy of boundary elements


Page 11

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

The boundary elements should be able to carry all the vertical loads. The boundary
elements when provided will have greater thickness than web. The maximum axial load on the
boundary elements due to effects of vertical load and moments is

P=sum of factored gravity loads +

Where Mu= factored moment on the whole wall.

Muv=moment of resistance provided by the rectangular section with distributed vertical
reinforcement across this wall section only (excluding boundary elements)
C= c/c distance between the boundary elements.
If the gravity loads tend to add the strength of the wall the load factor for this is taken as only
The boundary elements are designed as vertical columns with the vertical steel not les
than 0.8% and not greater than 4%.these elements should be provided with special confining
steel throughout their height.
Flexural Strength
The wall should be safe under the action of combined bending and axial load. This can be
determined by interaction curve or formal give in IS 13920:1993 (Annex A).
Required splice and anchorage
Horizontal steel which acts as web steel shall be anchored near edges of the wall or
confined to the core of the boundary elements.
Splicing of vertical flexural reinforcement should be avoided as far as possible in the
regions of flexural yielding which can be taken to extend of for a distance of the length of wall
(L) above the base of the wall or 1/6th the wall height. if spliced, not more than 1/3rd of steel
should be spliced at such a section and pitch of splicing should be staggered minimum of 600
mm. and splicing length should not be more than 150 mm.

Page 12

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

Lateral ties are provided in lapped splices of diameter larger than 16 mm dia of ties =1/4
diameter of bar or 6 mm.
Formula for Moment of resistance of Rectangular Shear walls( IS 13920)
IS 13920 (1993) Appendix A gives the expression for moment of resistances of slender
rectangular walls with uniformly distributed reinforcement and subjected to moment and axial

For particular case of x/L < 0.5 and neglecting small quantities we get


Page 13

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall


Page 14

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

6. Design Example (Varghese 2001)
Design a shear wall of length 4.16m and thickness 250 mm is subjected to the following
forces assume Fck=20Mpa and fy=415Mpa and the wall is high wall with following loading
2.Seismic load

Axial force(kN)

Moment (kNm)


Step1 Determination of design loads
P1= (0.8x1950) + (1.2x250) =1,860 kN
P2= 1.2 (1950+250) = 2,640 kN
Moment =1.2 (4800+600) = 6480 kNm
Shear=1.2 (700+20) = 864 kN
Step2 check for requirement of boundary elements
Assuming uniform thickness, L=4160 mm; t=250 mm

Page 15

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall




A=bd=4160x250=1.04x106 mm2


=11.52 and -6.45N/mm2

As extreme stresses are high, boundary elements are needed. Also there is tension at one end of
the wall due to B.M .
Step3 Adopt the dimension of boundary elements
Adopt a bar bell type wall with a central 3400 mm portion and two ends 380 x 760 mm giving a
total length of 3400 + 380 =4160mm.
Step4 Check for requirement of two layers of steel
Two layers of steel required if
a) Shear stress is more than 0.25
b) The thickness of the section is more than 200 mm
depth of section = c/c boundary elements=3400+380 =3780 mm


= 0.25


=0.92 N/mm

=1.25 N/mm2

Page 16

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

Also thickness of wall is more than 200 mm so use two layers of steel with suitable cover.

Step5 Steel determination

Let us put minimum required steel of 0.0025 and check for safety of wall.
As =0.0025 x 250 x 1000 = 625 mm2 in two layers
Provide 10dia @ 250 mm < 450mm (max)
Provide same steel in both vertical and horizontal
Step6 Calculation of Vs taken by steel.
V =0.92 N/mm2
c=0.36Mpa for 0.25% steel and fck 25.also max=3.1 Mpa.
Designed steel is required for Vs = (0.92 -0.36) bd =0.56 x 250 x 3780 = 529. 2kN

Step7 Shear reinforcement

As the wall is high horizontal steel is more effective. Therefore,

d=3780 mm


considering Sv=1m height


Page 17

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

horizontal shear steel area =628 mm2 =Asv


= 0.628

nominal steel provided will satisfy shear requirements.

Step 8 To find flexural strength of web part of wall

Vertical load on wall (with factor of 0.8)
P= 0.8 (1950) +1.2(250) = 1860 kN
Assuming it as UDL over the area the axial load for the central part beams=Pw

Pw = 1860

= 1860 x 0.595 = 1107 kN

Step 9 To calculate the parameters and x/L

= 0.516 ( we know)

< 0.5


Page 18

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

= 0.041
Mu=0.041 x 25 x 250 x 34002 =2370 kNm < 6480 kNm (required)

Step 10 To calculate moment carried by boundary elements M1

M1=6480-2370 =4110 kNm
Step 11 Calculation of compression and tension in boundary elements due to M1
Distance between boundary elements =3480 +380 =3.86 m (=c)

Axial load =


This load acts as tension at one end and compression at other end
Step 12 Calculate the compression due to axial loads at these ends

Fraction of area at each end =

Factored compression at compression end taking worst case P2=(0.2025x2640) =535kN

Factored compression at tension end (taking P1)
=0.2025 x 1860 = 377kN
Compression at compression end=1065+535=1600kN
Tension at tension end= -1065+377=-688kN
Step13 Design of boundary elements for compression

Page 19

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

Design one end as column, check laterals for confinement and check for anchorage and splice
Step14 Design of tension side of shear wall
Provide the same steel as in compression side check also for tension (earthquake forces can act in
both directions).
Step15 Design of reinforcement around the openings.
Openings are provided in the main body of the wall. Assume opening size of 1200 x 1200

Area of reinforcement cut off by opening = 1200(thickness)

=1200 x 250 x 0.0025

Provide 4 nos. 16 mm bar =804 mm2
Provide 2 nos. 16 mm , one on each face of the wall, on all the sides of the hole to compensate
for the steel cut off by the hole.


Page 20

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall


Page 21

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

Enlarged view of Boundary Element.


Page 22

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

Detailing as per IS 13920:1993


Page 23

Analysis and Design of Shear Wall

IS 1893(Part 1) : 2002, Criteria for Earthquake Resistant Design of Structures, BIS, New
IS 13920: 1993 code of practice for Ductile detailing of reinforced concrete structures
subjected to seismic forces.
P.C.Varghese, Advanced Reinforced Concrete Design, Prentice-Hall of India Private
Limited, New Delhi, 2001 .


Page 24