Masonry is one of the oldest forms of construction materials that is still in use today. However, construction practices in the modern age demand faster and more economical practices. Dry-stack masonry, or masonry that doesn't use mortar to bind the blocks together, is a unique system to make masonry more economical. Though several systems of dry-stack masonry have been suggested little to no data exists as most of these systems are patented. This research used dry-stacked normal weight concrete masonry units with an eccentrically placed reinforcement. The wall system is connected through a surface bond and lacks any geometric connection. Previously, research has been conducted on the wall system for its axial compressive capacity, but little information is known about its ability to withstand lateral forces such as earthquakes. Research was conducted on the wall system in order to determine the seismic parameters, including the force reduction factor, overstrength factor, and the displacement amplification factor. To determine these factors the guidelines from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Quantification of Building Seismic Performance Factors 2009 were followed. The guidelines are explicit that both experimental data and computer modeling are needed to quantify these parameters. Experimental data was obtained from a diagonal tension test, and an in-plane shear test. The diagonal tensions test provided preliminary values on the shear modulus and shear resistance. The in-plane shear test was of primary interest and what would be used to verify the computer model. Computer modeling of the wall system was accomplished with Vector 2. Initially the computer modeling was done to reproduce experimental data. Then, a parametric study was performed using the model to see what component of the wall most effected its capacity. This analysis showed that the surface bond was the component of the wall that most affects its capacity. Finally, the computer model was run through the FEMA Far-Field earthquake suite to gather data on the strength and ductility. Values of the force reduction factor, overstrength factor, and displacement amplification factor were determined based on the time history analysis and pushover analysis on the computer model.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





masonry, dry-stack, seismic design, shear walls