W.A.FERGUSON Building Research Establishment
G.J.EDGELL British Ceramic Research Limited
The performance of laterally loaded masonry is normally measured by static loading, using airbags. It has been suggested that it might be enhanced if the load is applied rapidly, as happens in the case of a real wall subjected to loading by gusts of wind. Two matched pairs of storey height walls were built using the same mortar batches and masonry units. One of each pair was tested by applying a static load with air bags and the second was subjected to a loading simulating 3sec gusts of wind that were steadily increased in amplitude until failure occurred. The results of this limited test programme suggest that an increase in the lateral load capacity due to gust loading does not occur, although one of the gust loaded walls did suffer an atypical mode of failure.