Seismic evaluation of masonry building conglomerations of adjacent structures

Student: Adam Rush
Supervisors: Dr. Guido Magenes, Dr. Andrea Penna

A masonry building conglomeration is a series of masonry buildings in close enough proximity to one another that they will interact during an seismic event. Recent earthquakes have demonstrated that single buildings within a masonry conglomeration, like historic city centres, are susceptible to damage due to the interaction of adjacent buildings. This damage typically occurs in the form of local failures of individual walls and other structural elements, sometimes resulting in collapse of the entire building. Understanding of this behaviour and remediation measures have progressed to the point that with the necessary resources, historic buildings can be strengthened to prevent these local failures. This study is concerned with buildings that tend not to exhibit local failure mechanism during an earthquake and are susceptible to global damage due to building interaction. The goal is to determine which of five major parameters most influence the behaviour of a building due to inter-building interaction. These parameters are: stiffness of the walls, height of the building, mass of the building and stiffness of the diaphragm, type of inter-building connection, and position within a conglomeration. Monotonic pushover analysis is conducted on various combinations of coupled systems and multiple building conglomerations. The results indicate that the relative heights of adjacent buildings and the type of inter-building connection are the most important parameters to consider for future studies.

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