Seismic performance of buildings with thin RC bearing walls
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up to five stories) with thin RC shear-walls have been constructed for low-cost dwellings in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and other countries located in seismic-prone regions. These walls are 10 cm thick and their reinforcement consists mainly of a single layer of welded wire mesh. This construction technology offers two main advantages: economy and rapidity of construction. These buildings do not fulfill the international seismic codes but some national regulations are less demanding, not preventing the use of thin bearing walls. These buildings might be vulnerable to earthquakes because of their low ductility, the insufficiency of the experimental information, the absence of observed damages and, in some cases, poor construction quality. This work describes the initial steps of a wider research aiming at providing reliable seismic design guidelines for thin-wall buildings; the initial objectives are analyzing the seismic performance of these buildings, proposing preliminary design criteria and identifying further research needs. This research focuses on buildings located in Peru, being representative of the situations in the other countries. The vulnerability is numerically evaluated by push-over and nonlinear time history analyses; the structural parameters are obtained from available testing information. The obtained results show that the seismic strength of the analyzed buildings is insufficient; however, minor changes in the structural design might improve significantly their seismic performance. Economical and easy-to-implement design recommendations are issued.
CitationGonzáles, H.; Lopez, F. Seismic performance of buildings with thin RC bearing walls. "Engineering structures", Gener 2012, vol. 34, p. 244-258.