Modeling criteria of older non-ductile concrete frame–wall buildings

P. F. Parra, C. A. Arteta, J. P. Moehle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The purpose of seismic provisions included in modern building codes is to obtain a satisfactory structural performance of buildings during earthquakes. However, in the United States and elsewhere, there are large inventories of buildings designed and constructed several decades ago, under outdated building codes. Some of these buildings are classified as non-ductile buildings. Currently, under the ATC-78 project, a methodology is being developed to identify seismically hazardous frame–wall buildings through a simple procedure that does not require full nonlinear analyses by the responsible engineer. This methodology requires the determination of the controlling plastic collapse mechanism, the base shear strength, and the ratio between the story drift ratio and the roof drift ratio, called parameter α, at collapse level. The procedure is calibrated with fully inelastic nonlinear analyses of archetype buildings. In this paper we first introduce an efficient scheme for modeling frame–wall buildings using the software OpenSees. Later, the plastic collapse mechanism, the base shear strength, and values of α are estimated from nonlinear static and dynamic analyses considering a large suite of ground-motion records that represent increasing hazard levels. The analytical experiment included several frame–wall combinations in 4 and 8-story buildings, intended to represent a broad range of conditions that can be found in actual buildings, where the simplified methodology to evaluate the risk of collapse can be applicable. Analysis results indicate that even walls of modest length may positively modify the collapse mechanism of nonductile bare frames preventing soft story failures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6591-6620
Number of pages30
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Base shear strength
  • Hazard levels
  • Non-ductile buildings
  • Nonlinear analysis
  • Plastic collapse mechanism


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