McMaster University, Civil Engineering


As part of an ongoing study at McMaster University, three walls constructed of ½ scale concrete block were tested to quantify the influence of wall stiffness discontinuity on seismic design. Changes of stiffness at floor slab levels are common in real world construction, yet their influence is traditionally not considered in laboratory testing or codified analysis. In addition, modifying reinforcement detailing in different boundary element sections in upper floors is representative of a practical and cost-efficient design approach. Observed effects of changing the wall stiffness include extent of cracking, damage, post peak response, and the extent of inelastic curvature. Analysis of experimental results from the tested walls indicated that changes in stiffness over the height of a wall can be tailored to satisfy different levels of seismic demand.

Key words
Boundary Elements, Concrete Block, Floor Slabs, Lateral Stiffness, Reinforced Masonry, Seismic Behaviour, Shear Walls