Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Architecture - Architectural Engineering


Architectural Engineering


College of Architecture and Environmental Design


Anahid Behrouzi

Advisor Department

Architectural Engineering

Advisor College

College of Architecture and Environmental Design


This project report summarizes the findings of a half-scale laboratory test on a slender lightly reinforced concrete (LRC) shear wall subjected to cyclic loading. LRC shear walls, specifically those of pre-1980’s type design, have longitudinal and horizontal reinforcement ratios near the code minimum, while often lacking confinement in the wall end-zones. These walls are thought to exhibit brittle compressive failure mechanisms such as rebar buckling or concrete crushing based on observations from past earthquakes. Non-ductile concrete buildings are a large contributor to earthquake losses around the globe, as noted in the San Fernando (1971) and Christchurch (2011) earthquakes, to name a few. In the U.S., buildings constructed before the 1976 UBC are at risk for collapse and pose a significant threat to occupant life-safety and community resilience. Thus, there is pressure among structural engineers to create feasible and economical design solutions to address these non-ductile concrete performance issues. The wall test performed in this paper reproduced a unique failure mechanism of LRC walls tested at the University of Auckland, University of Illinois, and the University of Canterbury where there is limited distribution of plasticity, such that there are few, wide primary cracks and secondary cracks do not develop. Also, several of these tests (Cal Poly and Auckland) exhibits higher than anticipated displacement ductilities due to rocking at the wall-foundation interface. The experimental test results from this project enable the examination of current industry practice for conducting a nonlinear analysis of LRC walls as discussed in Doan & Williams (2020).