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Lateral load testing of an existing two story masonry building up to near collapse

Laboratory testing, although necessary to understand failure mechanisms of individual masonry walls, spandrels or small scale building models, cannot fully mimic the real system behavior of masonry structures. In order to observe the performance of an existing two story masonry structure, cyclic lateral load testing up to near collapse was conducted. The test building was sliced approximately in the middle through the reinforced concrete slabs of both stories and one side was strengthened with the objective of obtaining a strong reaction wall. The other side of the structure was taken as the test structure with a floor plan of approximately 10 m x 10 m. Hydraulic actuators attached at the slabs of both stories were employed to impose one way cyclic displacement excursions. Flexural and shear deformations on a number of walls were measured and crack propagations were monitored. The structure was tested up to a lateral strength drop of approximately 20 % from the ultimate load, which occurred at a drift ratio of about 0.60 %. The failure of the walls in the building, which were mostly failed in a diagonal tension mode, was concentrated on the first story. Results of this valuable test provide important data on the performance of an actual masonry building and were employed to assess the applicability of various stiffness and strength and simplified load-deformation models in the literature.