Influence of base rigidity on the load-carrying capacity of loadbearing masonry walls

Design of loadbearing, out-of-plane (OOP), tall masonry walls tends to have stringent limits related to their buckling stability and the scarcity of research on their structural reliability. This currently puts the masonry industry at a disadvantage as a construction alternative compared to other structural options. The proposed research investigates the strength of tall masonry walls against lateral loads, considering the influence of base rigidity. Current design practice does not recognize the influence of actual support conditions in estimating the load capacity of slender masonry walls. Neglecting the rigidity of common foundation systems leads to an underestimation in load capacity that can be uneconomical. This indicate the need to determine the structural response of walls with realistic boundary conditions at the base, in terms of strength against lateral loads, and to develop numerical models that allow for the development of new design methods that account for base rigidity.

Joseph Entz
Clayton Pettit
Faculty Supervisor: 
Carlos Cruz Noguez
Partner University: