Experimental and numerical investigation of flexural concrete wall design details

A. Behrouzi, T. Welt, D. Lehman, L. Lowes, J. LaFave, D. Kuchma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Reinforced concrete structural walls are common in mid- to high-rise structures in high seismic regions, and are expected to have good strength and ductility characteristics if designed in accordance with ACI 318-14. However, experimental and analytical investigations of reinforced concrete structural walls and isolated boundary element prisms indicate that the existing design provisions may be insufficient to provide ductile, flexure-dominated response under cyclic loading. Walls designed with an ACI compliant boundary element length are susceptible to shear-compression failures below the maximum ACI allowable shear stress of 10Acv√fc′. Also of concern is the frequent use of thinner walls in modern design; as the wall's cross-sectional aspect ratio increases, such brittle shear-compression failures occur at even smaller shear stress values. In regards to detailing, special boundary elements with intermediate cross-ties exhibit a minimal improvement in confinement compared to ordinary boundary elements. This response can be linked to inadequacies in multiple code design parameters, including: vertical spacing and area of confinement steel, horizontal spacing and type of restraint to longitudinal bars, and development length provided for transverse reinforcement. Recent in-field wall failures have prompted concerns related to the minimum code required vertical and horizontal web shear reinforcement, as well as the relative amount of vertical-to-horizontal web steel. This paper examines ACI 318-14 special boundary element and web reinforcement provisions and provides design recommendations intended to improve wall performance as compared with current ACI requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStructures Congress 2017
Subtitle of host publicationBuildings and Special Structures - Selected Papers from the Structures Congress 2017
EditorsJ. Greg Soules
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780784480410
StatePublished - 2017
EventStructures Congress 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: Apr 6 2017Apr 8 2017

Publication series

NameStructures Congress 2017: Buildings and Special Structures - Selected Papers from the Structures Congress 2017


OtherStructures Congress 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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