Seismic capacity of irregular unreinforced masonry walls with openings


Fulvio Parisi, Department of Structural Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, via Claudio 21, 80125 Naples, Italy.



Masonry buildings are often characterized by geometric irregularities. In many cases, such buildings meet global regularity requirements provided by seismic codes, but they are composed by irregular walls with openings. The latter are masonry walls characterized by (i) openings of different sizes, (ii) openings misaligned in the horizontal and/or vertical direction, or (iii) a variable number of openings per story. An irregular layout of openings can induce not only a nonuniform distribution of gravity loads among masonry piers but also unfavorable damage localizations resulting in a premature collapse of the wall and hence a higher seismic vulnerability.

This paper is aimed at providing a simplified methodology to assess the effects of irregularities on the in-plane seismic capacity of unreinforced masonry (URM) walls with openings. To this end, a macroelement method was developed and validated through experimental results available in the literature.

The proposed methodology was based on the quantification of wall irregularities by means of geometric indices and their effects on seismic capacity of URM walls with openings through both sensitivity and regression analyses. Sensitivity analysis was based on a high number of static pushover analyses and allowed to assess variations in key seismic capacity parameters. Regression analysis let to describe each capacity parameter under varying irregularity index, providing empirical models for seismic assessment of irregular URM walls with openings. The in-plane seismic capacity was found to be significantly affected by wall irregularities, especially in the case of openings with different heights. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.