Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Architectural Engineering


Architectural Engineering


College of Architecture and Environmental Design


Dr. Anahid Behrouzi

Advisor Department

Architectural Engineering

Advisor College

College of Architecture and Environmental Design


A large number of pre-1980’s non-ductile reinforced concrete (RC) structures in California utilizing RC shear walls to resist seismic lateral forces have been identified as deficient by industry practitioners. These non-ductile wall systems are typically lightly reinforced and lack adequate boundary element detailing. Analytical studies suggest these walls are susceptible to brittle, compression-controlled failure modes due to damage from concrete crushing and bar buckling. Furthermore, poor behavior of lightly reinforced concrete walls was observed in many recent earthquakes, for example in Chile (1985), New Zealand (2010/2011) and Mexico (2017). This has generated concern among engineers in high seismic regions around the globe. This research report provides a comprehensive analysis of academic and industry standards for analyzing lightly reinforced concrete shear walls with low axial loads and no boundary elements. First, a comparison of two recent experimental testing programs of non-ductile concrete shear walls by de Sevilla et. al. and Lu et. al. is provided. Next, simplified pushover analyses by Priestley and ASCE 41-17 are compared to the experimental testing results of the abovementioned test programs. After creating a basis for quick, simple predictions, the authors pursued defining the necessary modeling and analysis parameters to create a sophisticated computer simulated model in PERFORM-3D. A parametric study was utilized to create final calibrations on static pushover analyses and cyclic load analyses of each test wall. PERFORM-3D modeling recommendations are provided to give industry practitioners a starting point for modeling nonductile concrete walls. Finally, the report ends on small academic and industry studies that will support future design-build-test preparations for large-scale testing at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.