Seismic assessment of a lab-tested two-storey unreinforced masonry Dutch terraced house

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The exploitation of geo-resources in the northern part of the Netherlands (Groningen region) is triggering shallow earthquakes, rising the need of assessing the current building stock. Being the region not prone to tectonic earthquakes, buildings are designed as wind-resistant systems and have specific characteristics that can limit their seismic performance. In this framework, an extensive research has been carried out on the performance of low-rise unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings at Delft University of Technology. Major attention was focussed on the behaviour of terraced houses, which represent the majority of structures within the URM building stock. In this paper, the case study of a modern Dutch terraced house, built after 1980, made of calcium silicate element masonry and reinforced concrete floors is considered. A quasi-static cyclic test on a full-scale two-storey structure resembling the considered typology is presented. The experimental results are used to evaluate the seismic performance of the structure in the framework of the nonlinear static analyses. A comparative study highlights the importance of the selection of the assessment procedures. Adopting the experimental results as a benchmark, a blind prediction contest revealed a large output variability depending on the adopted analysis method and modelling choices. Consequently, the cross-validation among different analysis methods currently appears the best approach to achieve a more accurate prediction of the structural capacity. The combined experimental and numerical work presented in this paper allows gaining a deeper insight on the evaluation of the seismic performance of Dutch terraced houses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4601-4623
Number of pages23
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Blind prediction contest
  • Calcium silicate (CS) element masonry
  • Dutch terraced house
  • Full-scale quasi-static cyclic test
  • Seismic assessment


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