Coupling URM walls with RC walls

Although mixed reinforced concrete (RC) and unreinforced masonry (URM) wall structures are very common in regions of low to moderate seismicity, such as Switzerland, their seismic behaviour is still not well understood. Since the stiffness and strength of RC and URM walls are of the same order of magnitude, the overall structural behaviour of mixed RC-URM buildings depends strongly on both types of structural elements.

Coupling URM walls with RC walls: Effect on interstorey drift profiles. Image is taken from Paparo & Beyer (2016).

The objective of the project is to contribute to the understanding of the seismic behaviour of structures with RC and URM walls and to develop performance-based seismic design guidelines including the definition of performance limit states for such structures. A further research focus lies on the out-of-plane response of URM walls in such mixed structures and the influence of boundary conditions provided by slabs and neighbouring walls. The research project includes two large-scale testing programs: (i) Quasi-static cyclic tests on systems with one RC and one URM wall; and (ii) a shake table test on a four storey building with RC and URM walls built at half-scale (CoMa-WallS Project). 

Residential buildings in Switzerland with RC and URM walls (Photos: T. Wenk)

  • Article:
    • Quasi-static cyclic tests of two mixed reinforced concrete–unreinforced masonry wall structures [journal link]
  • Dataset: [dataset link
  • Funding: