On Design Requirements for Reinforced Concrete Structural Walls


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Title: On Design Requirements for Reinforced Concrete Structural Walls

Author(s): J. K. Wight, S. L. Wood, J. P. Moehle, and J. W. Wallace

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 162


Appears on pages(s): 431-456

Keywords: ductility; earthquake-resistant structures; floors; walls; reinforced concretes; standards; structural design; Design

Date: 8/1/1996

Following the strong earthquake in Chile on March 3, 1985, an intensive study was conducted to ascertain why the large inventory of moderate rise buildings in the coastal city of Vina del Mar performed so well during the earthquake. The major findings were that the vast majority of the buildings in this coastal city had a high wall area to total floor area ratio and that the reinforcement detailing in the boundaries of these walls were considerably less than required by U. S. codes. Analytical studies indicated that the high percentage of walls led to significantly lower drifts under severe seismic shaking, thus lowering the ductility demands on the walls. At lower levels of ductility demand, experimental results have demonstrated that wall boundaries did not need special detailing of transverse reinforcement. The findings from the series of research studies following the Chilean earthquake have led to modified U. S. design procedures that relate the need for special detailing in wall boundary elements to expected strain levels along the compression edge of the wall. The expected strain levels are determined based on the aspect ratio of the wall and the percentage of wall area to floor area used in the building.