M.G. STEWART (1) and S.J. LAWRENCE (2)
(1) Corresponding Author: Professor, Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability, School of Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308 Australia.
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(2) SPL Consulting Pty Ltd and Conjoint Professor, Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability,
School of Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308 Australia.
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The paper compares design strengths with actual wall test data to estimate a model error in probabilistic terms, for slender and non-slender unreinforced masonry walls in compression. This information, in conjunction with probabilistic models for material properties and loads, is used to calculate the structural reliability (complement of probability of failure) of masonry walls in compression. The existing safety levels were found to be much higher than those accepted for other materials. Based on this rational analysis, changes to partial safety factors in the Australian masonry design code are recommended. Specifically, that the capacity reduction factor (f??) for walls loaded concentrically in compression be increased from 0.45 to 0.75, resulting in a 66% increase in the compressive design capacity of structural masonry.