Seismic design and viability of hybrid masonry building systems

Maryam Eidini, Daniel P Abrams, Larry Alan Fahnestock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hybrid masonry is an innovative technology for seismic design of buildings. The system uses reinforced masonry panels within a steel-framed structure, where steel connector plates link the steel frame to the masonry panels. The system has been used for construction of low-rise buildings in the low-seismic regions of the eastern and midwestern United States but has not been implemented in regions of moderate or high seismicity yet. Current research is underway to extend the application of hybrid masonry for use in high-seismic regions. In this paper, the overall approach for seismic design of one type of hybrid masonry systems is studied, and the steps of a capacity design process are presented, where two favorable ductile modes of behavior may be exploited: steel connector plates behaving as fuses or flexural yielding of the masonry panels. Moreover, this research applies the two design options for 3-, 6-, and 9-story prototype buildings located in a high seismic region and evaluates viability of hybrid masonry as a new seismic lateral-load resisting system. On the basis of this design framework and the exploratory studies, both approaches are shown to be feasible for developing realistic system configurations. Nevertheless, for the case of flexural yielding of the masonry panels, the steel connector plates must carry significant shear force demands. The structural system then requires more hybrid panels compared with corresponding systems when plasticity is concentrated in the steel connector plates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-421
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013


  • Capacity design
  • Connections
  • Ductility
  • Hybrid masonry
  • Masonry
  • Seismic design
  • Steel frames
  • Structural fuses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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