Benchmarking the seismic assessment of unreinforced masonry buildings from a blind prediction test

F. Parisse*, S. Cattari, R. Marques, P. B. Lourenço, G. Magenes, K. Beyer, B. Calderoni, F. Messali, M. Sousamli, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a benchmark exercise for the seismic assessment of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings as a follow-up of a blind prediction test organized in the context of the European Conference of Earthquake Engineering Series. The blind prediction exercise was aimed at better defining the open issues in current procedures for modeling and performing seismic analysis of URM buildings, by highlighting the uncertainty that can influence the results. This work presents an overview of the approaches used by different research teams and the scope of predictions. The benchmark structure was a three-story building with traditional European architecture from which two Cases were considered: A) stone masonry walls and flexible horizontal diaphragms and B) brick masonry walls and rigid horizontal diaphragms. A wide range of approaches was used by the participating teams concerning modeling strategies, methods of analysis and criteria for the attainment of limit states, which are here addressed as potential sources for the dispersion of predictions. The results were compared in terms of capacity curves, predicted failure mechanisms compatible with the fulfillment of limit states of near collapse and damage limitation, and related minimum values of peak ground acceleration (PGA). The results show an overall good agreement for damage patterns and collapse mechanisms in both benchmark structures, presenting some differences in the type of failure mode and its extent. However, the scatter of predicted capacity curves and critical PGAs is very high, especially for the Case with brick masonry and rigid diaphragms, indicating that clearer procedures in the building codes are required for professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)982-1005
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Analysis methods
  • Capacity curves
  • Damage predictions
  • Limit state criteria
  • Modeling approaches
  • Numerical simulation
  • PGA predictions
  • Seismic assessment
  • URM buildings


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