Seismic capacity of RC frame buildings with masonry infill damaged by past earthquakes

  • Hamood Alwashali Tohoku University, Sendai
  • Md. Shafiul Islam Tohoku University, Sendai
  • Debasish Sen Tohoku University, Sendai
  • Jonathan Monical Purdue University, West Lafayette
  • Masaki Maeda Tohoku University, Sendai


Many of the buildings which experienced damage in recent earthquakes such as the 2015 Nepal Earthquake were reinforced concrete (RC) frame buildings with unreinforced masonry infill walls. This study proposes a simplified procedure to estimate the in-plane seismic capacity of masonry infilled RC frame buildings based on concepts of the Japanese seismic evaluation standard (JBDPA, [1]). The correlation of seismic capacity and observed damage obtained using a database of 370 existing RC frame buildings with masonry infill that experienced earthquakes in Taiwan, Ecuador and Nepal is investigated. The Is index, which represents the seismic capacity of buildings in the Japanese standard, showed good correlation with the observed damage and proved to be effective as a simple method to estimate seismic capacity. The method was then applied to 103 existing buildings in Bangladesh that have not experienced a major earthquake recently. The results emphasize the necessity for urgent seismic evaluation and retrofitting of buildings in Bangladesh.


Japan Building Disaster Prevention Association (2001). “Standard for Seismic Evaluation of Existing Reinforced Concrete Buildings”. Japan Building Disaster Prevention Association (JBDPA), Tokyo, Japan (In Japanese).

Maeda M, Alwashali H, Suzuki K and Takahashi K (2012). “Damage of RC building structures due to 2011 East Japan Earthquake” Proceedings of 2012 Structures Congress, ASCE, Chicago USA, Vol 2. DOI:

Paulay T and Priestley MJN (1992). “Seismic Design of Reinforced Concrete & Masonry Buildings”. John Wiley & Sons. DOI:

Aoyama HA (1981). “Method for the evaluation of the seismic capacity of existing reinforced concrete buildings in Japan”. Bulletin of New Zealand National Society for Earthquake Engineering, 14(3): 105-130

Otani S (2000). “Seismic vulnerability assessment methods for buildings in Japan”. Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology, 2(2): 47–56

Mehrabi AB, Shing PB, Schuller M and Noland J (1996). “Experimental Evaluation of Masonry infilled RC Frames”. ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 122(3): 228-237. DOI:

Jin KW, Choi H and Nakano Y (2016). “Experimental study on lateral strength evaluation of unreinforced masonry-infilled RC frame”. Earthquake Spectra, 32: 1725-1747.

Suzuki T, Choi H, Sanada Y, Nakano Y, Matsukawa K, Paul D, Gülkan P and Binici B, (2017). “Experimental Evaluation of the In-Plane Behavior of Masonry Wall Infilled RC Frames”. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, 15(10): 4245-4267. DOI:

Kakaletsis DJ and Karayannis CG (2009). “Experimental investigation of infilled reinforced concrete frames with openings”. ACI Structural Journal, 106(2): 132-141.

Blackard B, Willam K and Mettupalayam S (2009). “Experimental observations of masonry infilled RC frames with openings”. ACI Special Publication, 265: 199-222.

Al-Nimry HS (2014). “Quasi-Static Testing of RC Infilled Frames & Confined Stone-Concrete Bearing Walls”. Journal of Earthquake Engineering, 18:1–23.

Imran L and Aryanto A (2009). “Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Frames In-Filled with Lightweight Materials under Seismic Loads”. Civil Engineering Dimension, 11(2):69–77.

Bose S and Durgesh CR (2016). “Lateral Load Behavior of an Open-Ground-Story RC Building with AAC Infills in Upper Stories”. Earthquake Spectra, 32(3): 1653-1674. DOI:

Alwashali H, Sen D, Jin K and Maeda M (2019). “Experimental investigation of influences of several parameters on seismic capacity of masonry infilled reinforced concrete frame”. Engineering Structures, 189: 11–24.

Alwashali H (2018). “Seismic Capacity Evaluation of Reinforced Concrete Buildings with Unreinforced Masonry Infill in Developing Countries”. Ph.D. Thesis, Tohoku Univ, Tohuku, 10/2018

American Society of Civil Engineers (2007). “ASCE/SEI 41-06: Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings”. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Reston, Virginia, USA, 428 pp.

New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (2017). “The seismic assessment of existing buildings Part C7”. New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE), Wellington, NZ.

Datacenter Hub, Purdue University; NCREE (2016) “Performance of RC Buildings in the 2016 Taiwan EQ”

Chungwook S, Enrique V, John PS, Pedro R, Pujol S, Aishwarya YP and Lucas L (2016). “Performance of Low-rise RC Buildings in the 2016 Ecuador EQ” Datacenter Hub,

Prateek P, Pranjal PS and Praveen PS (2016). “Performance of Masonry Structures in Nepal” Datacenter Hub,

Sen D, Alwashali H, Jin K and Maeda M (2018). “Contribution of surrounding RC frame and masonry wall in lateral resistance of masonry infilled RC frame”. Proceedings of the Annual Japan Concrete Institute Annual Conference, Kobe, Japan.

Dawe JL and Seah CK (1989). “Out-of-plane resistance of concrete masonry infilled panels”. Journal of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering, 16: 854–864.

Angel R, Abrams D, Shapiro D, Uzarski J and Webster M (1994). “Behaviour of reinforced concrete frames with masonry infills”. Report No. UILU-ENG-94-2005. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA.

Flanagan RD and Bennett RM (1999). “Bidirectional behaviour of structural clay tile infilled frames”. ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 125(3): 236–244. DOI:

Chiou TC, Hwang SJ, Chung LL, Tu YS, Shen WC and Weng PW (2017). “Preliminary Seismic Assessment of Low-Rise RC Buildings in Taiwan”. Proceeding of World Conference of Earthquake Engineering, 9-13 January 2017, Santiago, Chile.

Cevallos O, David J, Carlos Á and Ximena A (2017). “Production and quality levels of construction materials in Andean regions: A case study of Chimborazo, Ecuador”. Journal of Construction in Developing Countries. 22(1): 115-136. DOI:

Dizhur D, Dhakal R, Bothara J and Ingham J (2016). “Building typologies and failure modes observed in the 2015 Gorkha (Nepal) earthquake”. Bulletin of New Zealand National Society for Earthquake Engineering, 49(2): 211–232. DOI:

Pradhan S, Fukui S, Sanada Y and Kusunoki K (2017). “Seismic performance evaluation of an RC building with brick walls in Nepal”. Proceeding of Annual Meeting of AIJ, Paper No. 23451.

How to Cite
Alwashali, H., Islam, M. S., Sen, D., Monical, J., & Maeda, M. (2020). Seismic capacity of RC frame buildings with masonry infill damaged by past earthquakes. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 53(1), 13-21.