Journal article

Understanding Poor Seismic Performance of Concrete Walls and Design Implications

The 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes in New Zealand revealed (1) improved structural response resulting from historical design advancements, (2) poor structural performance due to previously identified shortcomings that had been insufficiently addressed in design practice, and (3) new deficiencies that were not previously recognized because of premature failure resulting from other design flaws. This paper summarizes damage to concrete walls observed in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, proposes links between the observed response and specific design concerns, and offers suggestions for improving seismic design of walls in the following areas: amount of longitudinal reinforcement in wall end regions, suitable wall thickness to minimize the potential for out-of-plane buckling, and minimum vertical reinforcement requirements.

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