RC buildings retrofitted by converting frame bays into RC walls

TitleRC buildings retrofitted by converting frame bays into RC walls
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
Fardis MN, Schetakis A, Strepelias E
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Date Published10/2013

Adding concrete walls by infilling certain frame bays with reinforced concrete is popular for seismic retrofitting, but is covered by codes only if the connection of the old concrete to the new ensures monolithic behavior. To avoid penalizing the foundation of the new wall with a very high moment resistance, the new concrete should not be thicker than, or surround, the old frame members. A cost-effective connection of these members to a thin new web is proposed, alongside a design procedure and detailing that conform to current codes. Owing to practical difficulties, footings of added walls are often small and weakly connected to the other footings, hence they uplift and rock during the earthquake. The model for uplift of 3D footings consists of two pairs of nonlinear-elastic springs in a cross layout and approximates also moderate nonlinearities in the soil continuum. It is used in nonlinear, static or dynamic, analyses of three buildings with added walls. The analyses of a clean, regular 4-story building show the benefit from uplift to the added walls and a certain adverse effect on some columns but not on beams, as well as the lack of a clear positive effect of tie-beams. The application to a 7-story and a 2-story real building with extreme, yet typical, irregularities in plan and elevation exemplifies the real-life restrictions in the use of added walls and shows their limits for the improvement of seismic performance; certain deficiencies in flexure or shear remain in both and are corrected at very low cost with local fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) jackets without new analysis of the building, as FRPs do not change the member effective stiffness or moment resistance.