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CMDC has worked in collaboration with Svetlana Brzev and Tony Yang from the University of British Columbia.

Supporting Innovation through Research Partnerships

Work has been conducted on the following projects:

Flanged Boundary Elements on Reinforced Masonry Shear Walls

Project Summary:

Reinforced masonry shear walls (RMSWs) have been demonstrated to possess adequate ductility and energy dissipation characteristics for seismic design applications. However, slender RMSWs, characterized by high height-to-thickness (h/t) ratios, may be vulnerable to out-of-plane instability under in-plane seismic loading.

Out-of-plane instability is a failure mechanism that affects RMSW end-zone regions subjected to cycles of tensile strain, followed by compressive strain during load reversal. This failure mechanism has the potential to cause unexpected and rapid strength degradation or collapse, if not considered in design.

The Canadian masonry design standard, CSA S304-14, prescribes h/t limits for the seismic design of RMSWs to prevent out-of-plane instability, however, no experimental testing verifies these limits. Moreover, the h/t limits are independent of the cross-sectional shape of the RMSW, despite the wall response being significantly influenced by this parameter. At a given drift demand, T-shaped RMSWs, i.e. rectangular RMSWs with flanged boundary elements at one end-zone, tend to produce higher strains at the end-zone without flanged boundary elements as compared to the end-zones of rectangularly-shaped RMSWs. This may increase the risk of out-of-plane instability affecting T-shaped RMSWs.

Select Journal Articles:

Robazza, B.R., S. Brzev, T.Y. Yang, K.J. Elwood, D.L. Anderson, and B. McEwen. “Seismic Behaviour and Design Code Provisions for Predicting the Capacity of Ductile Slender Reinforced Masonry Shear Walls.” Engineering Structures 222 (2020): 110992.

Robazza, B.R., T.Y. Yang, S. Brzev, K.J. Elwood, D.L. Anderson, and W. McEwen. “Response of Slender Reinforced Masonry Shear Walls with Flanged Boundary Elements under in-Plane Lateral Loading: An Experimental Study.” Engineering Structures 190 (2019): 389–409.

Robazza, B. R., S. Brzev, and T. Y. Yang. “An experimental study on slender reinforced masonry shear walls subjected to in-plane reversed cyclic loading.” In Brick and Block Masonry-From Historical to Sustainable Masonry, pp. 483-490. CRC Press, 2020.

Robazza,B.R.,  Brzev,S., Yang,T.Y., Elwood, K.J., Anderson, D.L., and McEwen,W. (2018). Seismic Behaviour of Slender Reinforced Masonry Shear Walls under In-Plane Loading: An Experimental Investigation, Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, 144(3): 04018008.

Robazza,B.R.,  Brzev,S., Yang,T.Y., Elwood, K.J., Anderson, D.L., and McEwen,W. (2017). A Study on the Out-of-Plane Stability of Ductile Reinforced Masonry Shear Walls Subjected to in-Plane Reversed Cyclic Loading. The Masonry Society Journal, 35(1): 73-82.

Azimikor, N., Brzev, S., Elwood, K., Anderson, D.L., and McEwen,W. (2017). Out-Of-Plane Instability of Reinforced Masonry Uniaxial Specimens Under Reversed Cyclic Axial Loading. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol. 44: 367–376

Robazza,B.R.,  Brzev,S., Yang,T.Y., Elwood, K.J., Anderson, D.L., and McEwen,W. (2017). Effects of Flanged Boundary Elements on the Response of Slender Reinforced Masonry Shear Walls: An Experimental Study. Proceedings of the 13th Canadian Masonry Symposium, Halifax, NS, Canada.

Seismic Behaviour of Reinforced Masonry Buildings


Project Summary:

Reinforced masonry (RM) has been used in Canada for more than 50 years, mostly for construction of low- and mid-rise buildings. The National Building Code of Canada 2015 (NBC 2015) permits the use of Ductile Shear Wall class for tall masonry buildings, but the height limit was set to 60 m at sites with moderate seismic hazard and 40 m for high seismic hazard sites.

Only a few tall (15+ storey high) RM buildings have been constructed in Canada to date, mostly at sites with low to moderate seismic hazard.

Recent NAMC Articles:

Brzev S., Reiter M., Pérez-Gavilán J., Quiun D., Membreño M., Hart T., and Sommer D. (2019, June). “Confined Masonry: The Current Design Standards.” In P.B. Dillon & F.S. Fonseca (Eds.), Proceedings of the Thirteenth North American Masonry Conference. Paper presented at the 13th North American Masonry Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah (pp. 50–62). Longmont, CO: The Masonry Society

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