Performance-based approach for the retrofit of URM wall structures by RC walls
In several countries of moderated seismicity, with the re-evaluation of the seismic hazard most unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings with reinforced concrete slabs failed to satisfy the seismic design check. A possible seismically retrofit solution consists of adding RC walls to the existing structure or replacing selected critical URM walls with RC ones. Experimental and numerical studies have shown that this retrofit technique can be very effective since it modifies the global deformed shape of the structure, leading to an increase in the system’s displacement capacity. The paper proposes a Displacement-Based Design methodology for the retrofit of URM structures by replacing selected URM walls by RC walls. The methodology follows the Direct Displacement-Based Design (DBD) approach by Priestley et al. (2007) and is based in particular on the DBD procedure for frame-wall buildings (Sullivan et al., 2005 and 2006). The design procedure consists of three main phases: (i) A preliminary design check of the URM building by means of the DBD approach. (ii) If the structure does not fulfil the design check and exhibits at the same time a dominant shear behaviour, replacing the critical URM wall or walls with RC ones leads to an improved system’s behaviour. (iii) In the final phase, the DBD design of the mixed RC-URM wall structure, in which both the URM and the RC walls are taken into account, is carried out. The design methodology is then investigated through non-linear dynamic analyses of one case study.