(1) Principal, Kpff Consulting Engineers, steved@kpff.com

(2) Associate Professor, The University of Kansas, Dept. of Civil, Envir. & Arch Engineering, alepage@ku.edu

(3) Research Assistant, The Pennsylvania State University, Dept. of Architectural Engineering, bsf5038@gmail.com

(4) Associate, Kpff Consulting Engineers, john.hochwalt@kpff.com


Historically, the methods available for the design of special reinforced masonry shear walls in the building code have been well suited for the design of cantilever rectangular walls, but difficult to apply to perforated walls.

The new Limit Design method of the 2013 Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures combines linear-elastic analysis and yield mechanisms to determine the base shear strength and component deformation capacities that may be safely assigned to those more complex masonry wall configurations.

The authors have been actively involved in the development of these provisions and are currently developing a design guide aimed at demonstrating their use. This paper provides an update on their progress, and their findings regarding the advantages and applications of the method for the seismic design of masonry.


Keywords: Displacement-based design, limit analysis, reinforced masonry shear wall, seismic design, yield mechanism