Analytical Models to Determine In-Plane Damage Initiation and Force Capacity of Masonry Walls with Openings

Anastasios Drougkas*, Rita Esposito, Francesco Messali, Vasilis Sarhosis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Masonry panels consisting of piers and spandrels in buildings are vulnerable to in-plane actions caused by seismicity and soil subsidence. Tectonic seismicity is a safety hazard for masonry structures, whereas low-magnitude induced seismicity can be detrimental to their durability due to the accumulation of light damage. This is particularly true in the case of unreinforced masonry. Therefore, the development of models for the accurate prediction of both damage initiation and force capacity for masonry elements and structures is necessary. In this study, a method was developed based on analytical modeling for the prediction of the damage initiation mode and capacity of stand-alone masonry piers; the model was then expanded through a modular approach to masonry walls with asymmetric openings. The models account for all potential damage and failure modes for in-plane loaded walls. The stand-alone piers model is applicable to all types of masonry construction. The model for walls with openings can be applied as is to simple buildings but can also be extended to more complex structures with simple modifications. Model results were compared with numerous experimental cases and exhibited very good accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04021088
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Analytical modeling
  • Earthquake engineering
  • In-plane loading
  • Limit analysis
  • Masonry

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