Improving the Seismic Performance of Existing Reinforced Concrete Buildings using Advanced Rocking Wall Solutions
Recent major earthquakes such as Northridge 1994 and Izmit Kocaeli 1999 highlighted the poor performance of existing buildings constructed prior to the early 1970’s. Low lateral seismic design coefficients and the adopted “working stress design” methodology (essentially an elastic design) lacked any inelastic design considerations, thus leading to inadequate detailing. Insufficient development lengths, lapping within potential plastic hinge regions, lack, or total absence of joint transverse reinforcement, and the use of plain round reinforcement and hooked end anchorages were common throughout the structure. The behaviour is generally dominated by brittle local failure mechanisms (e.g. joint or element shear failures) as well as possible soft-storey mechanisms at a global level. Amongst several possible retrofit interventions, a typical solution is to provide the structure with additional structural walls i.e. external buttressing or column in-fills. Extensive developments on precast, post-tensioned, dissipative systems have shown promise for the use of rocking wall systems to retrofit existing poorly detailed frame structures. In this contribution, the feasibility of such a retrofit intervention is investigated. A displacement-based retrofit procedure is developed and proposed, based on targeting pre-defined performance criteria, such as joint shear and/or column curvature deformation limits. A design example, using the proposed retrofit strategy on a prototype frame is presented. A brief overview on experimental work ongoing at the University of Canterbury investigating the dynamic response of advanced rocking walls for retrofit purposes will be provided.