Matthew Chase, David Arnold, Relja Lukic and Daniel Carson

Matthew Chase, Engineer, WSP Canada Inc., 150 Slater St., Ottawa, ON, Canada, matthew.chase@wsp.com
David Arnold, Engineer, WSP Canada Inc., 150 Slater St., Ottawa, ON, Canada, david.arnold@wsp.com
Relja Lukic, Engineer, WSP Canada Inc., 150 Slater St., Ottawa, ON, Canada, relja.lukic@wsp.com
Daniel Carson, Engineer, WSP Canada Inc., 150 Slater St., Ottawa, ON, Canada, daniel.carson@wsp.com

ABSTRACT
Centre Block, Canada’s heritage designated federal parliament building, was constructed in 1916 after fire destroyed an earlier building of the same name that occupied the site. It was reconstructed using techniques considered state-of-the art at the time. This included hybrid walls consisting of an exterior sandstone wythe built integrally with clay brick backing and using a cement-based mortar. Currently, Centre Block is undergoing a major rehabilitation, including a seismic upgrade. As a precursor to the upgrade design, a testing program was completed to investigate the structural properties of Centre Block’s unique masonry walls. Both in situ testing following ASTM C1197 (masonry deformability) and ASTM C1531 (joint shear strength) protocols and their equivalent destructive laboratory tests of extracted prisms were conducted. This paper reviews and provides commentary on the test procedures and discusses the advantages and limitations of each. The results of the in situ and destructive laboratory tests are presented and compared. It was found that the in situ ASTM C1197 test protocol provided a reliable means of estimating masonry deformability and was significantly easier to perform than the equivalent destructive laboratory test on extracted prisms. The opposite was observed for the ASTM C1531 tests where more consistent results were obtained with the equivalent laboratory test.

KEYWORDS: Centre Block (Canadian Parliament Buildings), clay-brick masonry, in situ testing, masonry prism, Nepean sandstone, seismic material design properties