Earthquake performance assessment of low and mid-rise buildings: Emphasis on URM buildings in Albania

  • Received : 2016.07.26
  • Accepted : 2018.05.08
  • Published : 2018.06.25


This study focuses on the earthquake performance of two URM buildings having typical architectural configurations common for residential use constructed per pre-modern code in Albania. Both buildings are unreinforced clay brick masonry structures constructed in 1960 and 1984, respectively. The first building is a three-storey unreinforced one with masonry walls. The second one is confined masonry rising on five floors. Mechanical characteristics of masonry walls were determined based on experimental tests conducted according to ASTM C67-09 regulations. A global numerical model of the buildings was built, and masonry material was simulated as nonlinear. Pushover analyses are carried out to obtain capacity curves. Displacement demands were calculated according to Eurocode 8 and FEMA440 guidelines. Causes of building failures in recent earthquakes were examined using the results of this study. The results of the study showed that the URM building displays higher displacement and shear force demands that can be directly related to damage or collapse. On the other hand, the confined one exhibits relatively higher seismic resistance by indicating moderate damage. Moreover, effects of demand estimation approaches on performance assessment of URM buildings were compared. Deficiencies and possible solutions to improve the capacity of such buildings were discussed.


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