Blind prediction of a cyclic pushover test on a two-storey masonry assemblage: a comparative study

Francesco Messali, Manimaran Pari, Rita Esposito, Jan Rots, D den Hertog

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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In recent years induced seismicity in the north of the Netherlands has considerably increased. The built environment in the region mainly consists of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings. Those buildings were not designed for seismic loads and have specific characteristics, that limit their seismic performance. In early 2017 a quasi-static cyclic pushover test on a calcium silicate element assemblage was carried out at Delft University of Technology. The assembled structure is representative of a typical terraced house built after the 1980’s in the Netherlands. The test was selected for a blind prediction contest, with the aim of (i) sharing the knowledge between consultant companies, (ii) improving the understanding of the structural behaviour of a typical URM structure, and (iii) contributing to the development of the Dutch guidelines for the seismic assessment of existing buildings. Nine engineering consultants working for the seismic assessment of the Groningen building stock participated to the contest. The predictions were characterised by different modelling methodologies, from analytical computations to equivalent-frame based or full finite element analyses.
The paper presents an analysis of the submitted predictions, in an anonymous format, and trends related to the adopted analysis methodology are identified. On average, the predictions can provide a good estimate of the experimental outcomes, but a large scatter between the predicted results is observed. Finally, the received predictions have been used to assess the seismic vulnerability of the tested structure according to the recent Dutch seismic guidelines and with different assessment procedures: the assessments based on the numerical analyses were overall consistent to that based on the experimental outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationThessaloniki, Greece
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering - Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: 18 Jun 201821 Jun 2018
Conference number: 16


Conference16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Abbreviated title16ECEE
Internet address


  • Unreinforced masonry
  • Blind test prediction
  • Full-scale building
  • Seismic assessment
  • Pushover


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