Research programme on seismic performance of reinforced concrete walls
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A wide range of reinforced concrete (RC) wall performance was observed following the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes, with most walls performing as expected, but some exhibiting undesirable and unexpected damage and failure characteristics. A comprehensive research programme, funded by the Building Performance Branch of the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and involving both numerical and experimental studies, was developed to investigate the unexpected damage observed in the earthquakes and provide recommendations for the design and assessment procedures for RC walls. In particular, the studies focused on the performance of lightly reinforced walls; precast walls and connections; ductile walls; walls subjected to bi-directional loading; and walls prone to out-of-plane instability. This paper summarises each research programme and provides practical recommendations for the design and assessment of RC walls based on key findings, including recommended changes to NZS 3101 and the NZ Seismic Assessment Guidelines.